by Bethel Jane Ranarez (26th Batch)
“The Lord is God and He has made His light shine upon us.” Psalm 118:27
It was just an ordinary afternoon, my kids are running around after each other. This is their routine before the class starts. This time I have this very particular student that is both a pain in my neck and an apple of my eye. A pain because he is very naughty and an apple of my eye because he diligently comes in our S.E.E. Program (Sabbath English Experience) this is a typical VBS program which our kids sing Children Bible songs and listen to Bible stories and attend to their assigned booths like violin, music and cooking and craft (which my partner and I handle). He always looks forward to our S.E.E. because of the booth activities.
This student’s name is Mike. Even in our church outing he really loves to go with us but he would always murmur, “I’m bored.” “When are we going to finish?” “I want to go home.”
During this time I would always take the chance to divert his attention. I tried to talk to him in Korean. In one particular conversation we had, he asked me, “Teacher, you’re a Filipino. Why are you here?”
I told him, “I’M A MISSIONARY. I came for you to tell Bible stories to children like you. To tell about Jesus’ love for you. So you should always come every Sabbath because that is my biggest work–to tell THE BIBLE STORIES. Sabbath is the most special day to me and Jesus.”
Then one particular afternoon he was really naughty. I already gave him a warning stare but he still continued and his disrespect annoyed me a lot. So I hit the table with my stick and shouted “BE QUIET!”
So everybody stood still and slowly took their seats. I scolded the master mind ‘Mike’. “Why are you so disrespectful today? I don’t want to shout and scold you but are you good today?”
“No,” he answered.
“Mike, who am I? Who am I? Who am I?”
Then he answered, “OUR MISSIONARY TEACHER…”
After He said that phrase all his classmates said this in chorus: “Yes, Teacher is our missionary teacher!”
I was so ashamed of myself. The missionary teacher shouted at them in annoyance of their disrespect.
Even how bad and disrespectful I have become in my life, God had never disciplined me by shouting or terrorizing despite the fact that He has power to do whatever He decides to do with me.
It is the work of Satan to portray that image in us. It is also the enemy that is pushing us to be carried away by some issues of ‘ourselves.’ The enemy is making us value ourselves more and would like us to think we have DEGRADED ourselves if children are doing all these forms of self-respect.
But as I have looked at it, IF JESUS WAS SO INSECURE OF HIS SELF IMAGE as a human, He wouldn’t be able to handle those humiliations with honor. What made Him be so humble was HIS security, founded in His being a son of the KING. No matter what they will do to Him, He remains to be that God who created everything.
As missionaries, let us examine ourselves closely…Are we really being the MISSIONARY TEACHERS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE? or is the enemy taking advantage of the LOVE we have for OURSELVES? It just feels so good to control our kids, to discipline them. But behind that are we trying to correct them or do we just want to establish our self-worth?
After all, it’s not the issue of how you have managed your classes or how you have disciplined them. What matters is, “WHAT IS THE PICTURE OF YOU IN THEIR MINDS?”
Now, Missionary Teacher, what kind of picture are you trying to leave behind?