Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Forgotten God

Sometimes I feel completely useless. Yesterday was my first day back at teaching, after being off ill for two weeks. I had started to ask God the question, ‘Why did you bring me here but have the girls lose vital weeks of teaching?’ I’ve come all the way over here from the UK and have been constantly delayed and had to miss lessons due to things out of my control. My tooth broke, and I was in Kampala for a week; I was ill for two weeks; I’ve been besieged by migraines and had to take random days off in the middle of the week… I had begun to convince myself the girls were learning nothing because I was never around.

I’ve been reading Francis Chan’s book ‘Forgotten God’, about the Holy Spirit, to prepare for a session on the third member of the Godhead that nobody really feels they know much about. On reading it, I realised I know very little about him either! In the book, when Chan asks the question ‘When was the last time you undeniable saw the Spirit at work in or around you?’ My first response was ‘a long time ago, because I haven’t been able to do His work’. Then I actually had a think about that, and it hit me that I had experienced Him this very afternoon.

Today we did presentations again, the third time they’ve taken a topic and presented to each other on it, for a full 20 minutes. They had each chosen a chapter in a book and were describing what they’d learned and how it had affected them.

I was blown away by how much they’ve improved since their arrival. In the second week, I asked them to do a presentation and they all either rambled through it with nothing much to say, talked to the ceiling, or spent the whole time with their nose in their notes. They found answering questions incredibly difficult and didn’t really ingest the contents of their own presentations, let alone anyone else’s. Today, on the other hand, they were charismatic, entertaining and clearly knowledgeable about their subjects. One of them talked about the dangers of the love of money, and it turned into an intelligent debate about dealing with money when poor and whether rich non-Christians get their money from God. There were good arguments from both sides, and everyone came to a consensus based on Scripture that we’d already studied, with little to no help from me.
I was blown away. Clearly the Holy Spirit has been working in these girls’ lives. He doesn’t need my 100% attendance to do His thing. In fact I think He was demonstrating that He doesn’t need me at all, He’s just offering me the privilege of coming along for the ride.

If you met these girls now, you would never know that three months ago they were always in consensus in giving me the answer they thought I wanted to hear, with no clue why they believed it. The Holy Spirit has transformed them into young women with educated opinions and a belief in their own, independent voice. Perhaps I’ve missed a few days, but together we’ve been on a journey that hasn’t stopped for them when I wasn’t around.

I can’t wait to see them when they graduate in two months. I think I might cry...

P.S. My kittens have come home. They’re a bit bigger than in the last picture! The stripy one is called Mavis, and the white one is called Splash because she has an orange face (look carefully at the top right picture in the link!).

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