Friday, May 6, 2016

To Be Like a Child

Matthew 18:3 says, “and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” I am honestly amazed every day of this opportunity that God has given to me. Almost every day of the last two years God has reminded me in some way that I must become like a child, just like one of my students. Children are full of examples and also demonstrate a very clear picture of our Heavenly Father and the relationship that He wants to have with us.

“For we walk by faith, and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) I must say that this last year I have felt how little faith I have when struggles and hard times come. It is easy for me to say to myself, “have faith” when everything feels as if it is close to perfect. When the hard days, the struggles, the bad news comes, my first instinct is to run into my room and hide from the world. And my second instinct is to question why the struggles are happening and how God will use this to show His goodness to me. One way that my students have impressed me is that when I teach in the classroom, they sometimes have so many questions. As I try to explain and answer them, the language barrier often really hinders my explanations. One of my students, Jerry, will always say, “It’s ok teacher, you say it’s like this so we will say it is this way.” Jerry’s leadership has been a huge strength for the entire class. Now other students in his class say, “Oh we will remember teacher. It’s okay.” Their ability to have faith in me and my example reminds me of how I need to trust in God’s leadership over my daily life. He is worthy of my trust and faith not only on a good and easy day but especially during the difficult ones.

Fairly early in the year, I realized that I needed to start looking at my student’s strengths. I started to look at other people’s praise of children so I could find more ways to encourage my students. A lot of people have given very high praise for children of the next generation. As a Christian my highest praise will be at the end of my time on earth, when God says “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” As we are headed toward the end of the school year, I keep reminding myself about my three main goals here in Taiwan. That my view and understanding of Christ’s love for us will only grow and become clearer. That my students will be able to view the world through Christ’s eyes. And, that my faith will continue to grow throughout the challenges. I will never forget this gift of not only teaching Taiwanese students but of learning from them as well.

~Gabrielle Schweikert

Gabrielle, from Missouri, is currently serving with VOICE Missions on the Kinmen team. Traveling, spending time with her family and friends, observing nature and caring for people and animals are some of her favorite things to do. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with the desire to teach children wherever God leads her.

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