Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tears of Love

CEI teachers saying goodbye to students

Goodbye time tears

Nine months have passed already, since I’m here in Taiwan sharing Christ's love with kids from various schools and townships of Yunlin County. So many cute faces have been surely stocked in a corner of my brain. So many good memories have found a hiding place somewhere in my heart. But what’s my favorite camp week enjoyable moment? Friday morning goodbye time. Not because I’m glad that at last, the naughty kids are leaving the CEI campus but because of how most of them purely and naturally express their gratitude toward us for being there for them after all, teaching and supporting them, playing games with them during English classes and break times, loving them throughout the week no matter how good or bad their behaviors might be sometimes.

I like to see tears in their innocent eyes, of course, when those tears are tears of love. What I’m trying to say is that I’m usually happy to see how what they really are deep inside their hearts, can suddenly explode into those tender tears in their eyes: they are nothing but little lovers that long to be loved. And when they seem to have barely found that love from the CEI teachers they meet for the first time and for a short time, they realize that Friday has already come and that they will have to say goodbye so soon. What is more natural from kids in such a situation than shedding tears of love?

Most of the time when the kids are in tears during the closing ceremony, it’s neither because they are homesick (as some of them are the first days of the camp) nor because they are so happy to leave CEI and return to their hometown, school or family that they burst into tears of joy. For those of them who have such a feeling of joy do not cry; instead, they have their faces lightened by a big smile, synonym of the great joy in their heart: the joy of going back home…

I remember George, a kid from last week’s camp, a very intelligent and lively boy. He was so happy to go back home (because he was homesick, of course!), while his twin sister, Jessica was in tears just like almost half of the kids in the auditorium. That was as usual, just when we started singing the goodbye song with them.

The tears in the eyes of those kids are deep expressions of their unspoken gratitude toward the CEI teachers. Their touching emotions expressed through silent crying is nothing but a message: we are grateful, we love you, and we will definitely miss you! What expression of love and gratefulness more beautiful than this do we need to have from them to realize how much love we have sown in their hearts within only five days?

Toy, my joy of last camp

Toy is my “Coup de Coeur” of this whole semester so far. Not because he was the best student of last camp or of all the previous camps. Not because he has a good English level, nor because he likes me. The reason why he touched my heart so deeply is the contrary of all the above; he was far from being a good student, his English level is very low, he has serious learning disabilities, he has a sad family background; but over all those weaknesses he has, I found, in him a real ray of sunshine.

His enthusiasm, his determination, his willingness and his cute smile, have taken over his weaknesses and led him to a successful camp completion. How touching it was to see him during the traditional “Love sharing time” standing in front of us, eager to share his impressions with others! How touching his emotive voice was, hearing him sharing one thing he learned during the camp, one character improvement he noticed from a home school classmate, and one character he would like to put into practice when he will go back home! Toy was so touching that his home school teacher couldn’t hold back her tears after his sharing.

Beyond the big smile he offered me each time he saw me, beyond the fact that he kept waving at me constantly with an innocent and cheerful face, the best gift Toy gave me the last day during lunch time, was to invite me to come with my plate and join him at his table: “Teacher Yar, Teacher Yar, come, sit…” he said to me showing me the empty seat next to him. Which loving teacher could turn down such a loving invitation from his student? His invitation was irresistible. And what was my surprise and joy when I heard Toy trying his best to communicate with me as I effectively joined him with my meal. And guess how? Surprisingly, more than fifty percent of the words he spoke to me were in English, using most of the English vocabularies we taught them throughout the week! How happy I felt hearing him trying his best to have a conversation with me in English!
I will rejoice in the Lord

I’m grateful to God for the miracle he keeps operating behind the scenes, in the life of Taiwan children through VOICE Missions’ ministry. And like Habakkuk said in his last prayer:

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

This is to say that though we cannot officially share the Gospel with the kids we teach here in Taiwan, though we might not see flourishing now the fruit of Christ love we sow in their life through the time we spend with them teaching them and playing with them, yet we will rejoice in the Lord for using us as vessels to spread his blessing over their lives.

Yes, I will take joy in the God of my salvation, for He is the only one who can water the seeds we sow in their hearts; He is the only one capable of working the best for the salvation of Taiwan’s unreached people. All be to His glory!


Yarmonth Drissou (Yar) is 34 and is from Togo, a small French speaking country located on the West African coast.  In his hometown, Yar used to be a French and English as Second Language teacher in both elementary and junior high school for 5 years.  After 5 years, he resonded to God's call upon his life, quit teaching and moved to Switzerland for a three year Bible college program.  He is a professioal graduate with a Bachelor of Theology since June 2016 and is hoping to pursue his postgraduate studies for a Master of Theology.  He is a pastor and Bible teacher and also a writer fond of poetry and philosophy. “Eurêka” and “Le procès de Tromal” are his published books so far.  After his Bachelor degree in Switzerland, Yar was waiting for the 2017 fall semester to make it to Dallas Theological Seminary when God opened VOICE Missions' door for him in Taiwan, where he has been serving since September 2017.