Sunday, March 2, 2008

Christian Service

This may be a little off topic, but relevant nevertheless. This year of teaching has been entirely a volunteer endeavor. I've been told that I am crazy. People don't understand what I do and why I do it. They say "I could never do that". They quote bible verses at me like "a workman is worthy of his hire".

Here's the bottom line. Last July, my DH and I were sitting in our garden discussing the plans for the coming school year. We were asking ourselves, "How can we help out GICA this year?". Last year, both Les and I volunteered our time to teach a few high school classes. We knew the school was in financial difficulty. We knew that every year, Mr. C. would hire teachers who demanded too high of a pay for the finances of the school. By volunteering, we were assuring that no teacher would go unpaid and that the school would perhaps be financially viable to survive the year. So Les taught two classes - 12th grade bible and 12th grade history. I was willing to teach whatever and since 9/10th bible and 11/12th English were the classes needing a teacher, that is what I taught. So from 8 to 10am everyday we worked at GICA, no strings attached, on a strictly volunteer basis. We survived that year and were blessed at graduation by a speech from the school valedictorian (a student we had watched grow over the past 5 years from a difficult pre-teen to a considerate young adult). He thanked us personally for our commitment to the school and gave us credit for teaching him the way Christians should act.

So here we were sitting in our garden and contemplating what we should do. I thought about my own kids and how best I could help the school without neglecting my own children's education. Teaching the elementary class, which I knew would be small, seemed the most logical answer.

We didn't think, "let's negotiate for pay". We didn't think, "this is too much". All we thought about is "how can we help?" And I suppose it crossed our minds, "will this be mutually beneficial for all?" Which meant, will this help our family and the school? And the answer was a resounding "yes!"

It has been a hard year. It is almost over. Yet I wouldn't trade it for any other year. Cassie has excelled in school, learning the value of friendships. Eric discovered that school really wasn't for him. Stephanie discovered that sleeping in was more important than having friends. Okay, that one is a given for most 13 year olds I think....or maybe not.

And we've discovered that to truly serve the Lord you have to step beyond what the world thinks. Not everyone can volunteer full time. We've been blessed with a business that allows us to have the time to do this. I think there are more people out there who could do the same if only they would quite looking at the verse "a workman is worthy of his hire" and start looking at verses like 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 where Paul talks about running a race and receiving a prize...he speaks of the crown we will receive in heaven as being much more valuable than the temporal one we receive on earth. In other words, getting paid now for working isn't as valuable as the payment we will receive in heaven for the good works we do on earth.

I'm not trying to brag or boast but to just somehow get the point across that I do this more because SOMEONE has to than anything else. I wish more people would view life in this manner.
We know people who have money and means and could easily afford to take a year off and volunteer their time in a Christian school, or in the mission field, or wherever, but would never dream of doing such a thing for fear they would be taken advantage of. These same people look at me and say "fool", that I am "enabling" only because they can only see in the physical world and do not attempt to look beyond.

I am saddened by humanity at times. If I am saddened, how much deeper saddened is our Lord?