April 28, 2018
Over the years God has taught me many things. Some lessons have come easier than others. Through everything, though, He has taught me to expect the unexpected.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). This means that he is unchanging and consistent. It does not mean that we should put Him in a box limited by our human understanding. If all the aspects of God could be fathomed and understood by our rational minds, He would not be God (Ecclesiastes 8:17; Romans 11:33).
Therefore, I have come to expect the unexpected. The cool thing about the unexpected is that it rarely comes when I expect it!
Teaching middle school was something that I never expected to do. Yet that is the opportunity that God used to open the door for our return to Paraguay. I am teaching language arts, social studies, and Bible to 6th through 8th graders. It has been a challenge learning to balance my teaching responsibilities with being a full-time doctoral student, missionary, wife, and mom. However, my students have found a special place in my heart.
God has ignited within me a passion for teaching and sharing God's Truth within all subject areas. I seek to love my students in such a way that they experience a taste of God's love for them. I desire that their understanding of God goes beyond a doctrinal "head" knowledge to a true "heart" knowledge. I want them to learn to expect the unexpected.
At the end of the semester, the secondary students have a final exam in each of their subjects. One of the sections of my 8th grade Bible exam asked the students to write a paragraph summarizing what they had learned from each of 3 units and how it could be applied to their lives.
As it came to the end of the exam time, I noticed that all of the students were finished except for one girl. When I approached her desk to look at her paper, I saw that she was writing a lot more than the expected paragraph. I knelt down and told her that it was not necessary to write so much and that what she had was sufficient.
At that moment she broke out into tears.
"What's wrong?" I asked. I interpreted her tears as a sign of stress over the exams.
She gave me an embarrassed smile.
"Would you like to step outside and tell me?"
Outside of the classroom, a new stream of tears began to flow down her face. "Mrs. Paige," she said, "You don't understand. I know that I don't have to write so much. I NEED to. God has been speaking to me about a lot of things. Every time He tells me something at church or home, I come to school and hear the same thing in your class. I am so full of the Holy Spirit!"
My heart leaped as I hugged the young lady in front of me who was radiating the beauty of God's love. I had not anticipated an unexpected move of the Spirit during an 8th-grade final exam. I have a feeling, however, that it had been totally expected by God.
December 29, 2017
As I look out on a sea of unwashed faces and uncombed hair, my heart breaks. How many homes are represented here? How many are homes where the children are not receiving enough love?
Then, I remember my Lord asking Peter, "Do you love me?"
To Peter's "Yes Lord," he responded, "Feed my lambs."
I realize that he meant more than physical food.
These children come to the Costanera church to get food and receive love along with it. I am amazed because I can see it changing their lives. However, I worry that it is not enough to break the cycle of selfishness, neglect, and poverty that generations of their families have endured.
Then, a little hand slips into mine and gives it a tug. As I look down into the beautiful unwashed face she tells me, "Your face keeps changing."
I kneel down so that we are eye level and ask, "How so?"
She tells me, "It is happy then sad, happy then sad."
I smile and tell her that I will work on keeping it happy. With a smile, she returns to her food.