Today has been a very good day. I am teaching the book of Hebrews to all the students. Today we were studying Hebrews chapter 10. All of the students seem to be very eager. That certainly makes teaching better. I’ve been places, where it seemed like people could care less. But that has never been the case here at the school.
I feel good in that I am on track to finish the book on time. Today is a little short, since I have the teachers meeting this afternoon. When I come down to teach a short course, I also have to have the teacher’s meeting to see how things are going and talk about plans in the issues that need to be discussed. Usually we will have some pizza for lunch and then dig in for the afternoon. Today was no exception, but we didn’t get finished until about 6:00 PM. I truly believe that we are making progress with the school. I believe we have a good staff. They are all dedicated, and they are all working together.
This evening I have a meeting to have his supper with one of the second years student family. Young couple were our meeting, are from the country of Panama. The couple has a small young boy who is in the first grade. I always delight and having an opportunity to visit and talk with them. This is my first time with this particular couple, but I’ve had several occurrences over the years of doing this very thing. I’ve learned a lot from these young people that have come trade for two years. I’ve heard some very interesting stories, and find out a lot about the background. Tonight was no exception. The couple is very excited about getting started with their home congregation when they finish the school.
After we had a good meal of rice fish and coleslaw, the young man asked me a question. He wanted some counsel about marriage. From what I’ve seen of the young couple, they seem to be doing very well. I told him that I don’t have a lot of experience since I’ve only been married once and is to the same woman for 46 years. I did tell them that there’s no magic potion and maintain a good marriage. Certainly, the marriage needs to be based upon God’s word. I told them that there early years will be the ones they look back upon and thank about them with fondness. Most of the time they were not recall the bad times, but the good times. I also told them that the Bible describes the continuous circle. That circle is found in Romans chapter 5 verses 3 to 5. It talks about tribulations that brings patients. Patients then brings proven character. Proven character then brings hope. That is true of their marriage as it is in any other area of life.
About the time we were getting through, we had a knock at the door. It was our school secretary Millie. She brought me to test that was to be administered tomorrow. She also reminded me that the children’s home was waiting for me to come and speak in their devotional tonight. Yes, I had forgotten it. So I hurried over to the children’s home and it seems I arrived as they were gathering for their evening devotional. The children’s home is divided with two parents. There’s the small children side, with their house parents, and then there was the other side that have the teenaged children. I was doing the devotional for the teenaged side. I decided that I would tell them a story about a young man that had his share of problems when he was a teenager. I describe one particular incident that involved a brush with the Sheriff’s Department. It was a story that I lived through but have never discussed it publicly. I chose to discuss it tonight to help the young people understand that after age a lot of ways to go, and some of them are not good decisions. My goal was to get to the point where I was leaving home and going to a place to live to earn miles away. On that trip I knew I had to decide if God was going to be part of my life. If he was, I knew at the age of 19 that I must attend every service from the first day I arrived in this new town. I wanted to start a good habit. That’s exactly what idea did six months before I got married. From that day until now I have never willfully missed the service of the Lord’s church that was back in February 1967.
They’re very quiet and listened. My hope was that they got something out of it, but I realize they may think of it for little while but they probably will soon forget it. But perhaps someone in that group of 15 teenagers might in the next 10 years reflect on the time when some gringo helped him to make a decision when he leaves home. If that happens I will have done my job.
After I finished the talk, I noticed that a lot of the teenagers mostly girls, where wearing crocs shoes just like I was tonight. So once the devotional was over I asked all of those who are wearing different colored crocs to come up and stand by me and we would take a picture of our feet. It was fun to do that and I think they enjoyed it.
As I left the children’s home, the house parent Luis Betancourt, accompanied back to my dormitory rooms. We had a good talk along the way I commended him and his wife on their dedication. What family with three children of their own, want a teenager, would be willing to move into a children’s home house with 15 other teenagers boys and girls? That’s exactly what this family did. I can tell you that I have seen a marked improvement at the home since Luis and his family have become a part of it. In our walk to the dorm room Luis described what he found when he got there such as: young people who had no Bibles, young people who are not praying at meal times, and various other like things. He immediately made changes in those areas, as well as having a regular nightly devotional with all the kids together. I was impressed by what he was telling me.
Luis and his family are in the middle of his first year after graduating from our school last December. It is my prayer that Luis and his family will continue to be the great example that they are right now with these children for many years to come.
Please pray for this school and all of our students that are currently in training here, as well as pray for the children home and both house parents who are working diligently to help these young people.
Thanks for taking your time to read this blog. Please keep me in your prayers will him away from my wife Nancy. And please keep Nancy year in your prayers as she waits for my return.