Thursday, May 17, 2012
Bugs, cats, frogs, rain… and kids!
Very close to the large church is a building with no walls – just a roof above a gravel and dirt floor. Two light bulbs illuminate the building as they hang from the ceiling. Dark brown, wooden pews line the building in neat rows. This was the place where the San Jose Church met for worship until their new church was recently completed.
We didn’t mind as every child (even if it’s just a few) should have the opportunity to hear about God’s great love for them! However, after one night of singing, a Bible story and a fun craft, the children who came, went home telling their friends about what was happening every evening.
The next night, more than 50 children came! And the next night, even more! Now we regularly have around 100 children every night crowding into the building to hear God’s Word and learn more about Him! Praise God! These are mostly non-Adventist village children and they are so respectful and quite obedient when spoken to. They are such a joy to work with!
But working for God always has its adventures and we have had plenty of them while teaching the children. Since there are no walls, windows, or screens, the bright lights illuminating the dark night provide a favorite place for hundreds of bugs. Swarming around the light - sometimes falling to the ground, making it an interesting place to be for anyone nearby!
Thankfully these bugs aren’t biting ones (other than a few mosquitoes), or life would be very miserable there! The light in the front is right over where we stand for teaching, and Mom and I just happen to be in the way of many fast-flying bugs! On more than one occasion, I opened my mouth for singing or to say something and in flew a tiny bug and before I could even think about what was happening, down he went! I wasn’t too thrilled with swallowing bugs, but it had happened so fast, I couldn’t do anything about it! So during the meeting, we have a fan blowing on us, which helps to keep the bugs off.
This is the beginning of the rainy season and we have had rain here almost every day. Usually it comes in the afternoon and is over by the evening, but a few nights, it was still pouring rain in the evening. (Here in the Philippines, it doesn’t “rain,” it “pours” – literally!)
So the night we were doing the Law of God, the rain was coming down in torrents. Mom and I made our way to the building with umbrellas and wondered who would show up in the rain. We prayed that the rain wouldn’t keep the interests away. Gradually a few straggled in here and there. Soon an inch or two of water was flowing into our building, on its way to the other side, making everything wet and muddy. The sound of the rain on the roof was so great, I wondered how the children would be able to hear us.
The rain didn’t seem to daunt them, though! They came splashing through the puddles with their flip flops and umbrellas (or just ran through the rain) and came anyways! I marveled at the eagerness of these dear children to hear the gospel – to walk through pouring rain and mud just to come to a program! It was truly amazing!
So despite the adventures and challenges, I wouldn't trade my work for anything! I just love it! Many times, as I stand before these eager children, I am reminded of the quote, which is one of my favorites: “To train the young to become true soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most noble work ever given to man.”