Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Visit to St. Paul's Sunday School

This morning I went to visit the Sunday school class for the children at St. Paul’s. I was going to give to the children little “Jesus” bears that children attending Vacation Bible School at FUMC in Round Rock made the summer of 2007. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to me until July of this year, and it has taken this long to arrange with the teachers to come to Sunday school and give the bears to the children. You see, Sunday school isn’t held at the church, it is held in a room at St. Paul’s High School. Between St. Paul’s church and the High School there is St. Paul’s Primary School and the teacher’s cottages where I live. The children sit in a special section in church and after the collection (offering) and before the sermon, the children leave and walk down to the High School. There were 80 children in Sunday school today with three teachers. They all meet together in a big classroom or hall that had no furniture in it. It was a cloudy, misty day so there wasn’t a lot of light in the classroom either. When I arrived at the High School the children were singing “Deep and Wide.” I almost cried. First, I could understand at least part of the words to the song and second there was so much joy and spirit in the voices and on the faces of the children. I told the children how beautiful they were and told them the story of the bears and then left them for the teachers to hand out at the end of class so as not to disturb their lesson. Two of the children who live in the teachers cottages stopped by my house after Sunday school to thank me for the “dolls.” That was so sweet.

This morning, when I got up around 6:30 am, I asked the Lord to tell me what to do. You see, Sundays are the worst day of the week for me. I asked him to tell me if I should: 1) stay at home and read and do one or both of the Beth Moore studies I am doing. 2) Go to the 8:00 service which is small, only an hour long, conducted in 95 – 100% Siswati, but there are a few people I know, mainly Vicki and her husband Louie. 3) Go to the 10:00 service which would probably be conducted entirely in Siswati, is much longer with more responsive reading, but I know more people which I may or may not see, and would definitely know when the children were leaving for Sunday school. 4) Go to an English church service at one of the International churches in Mbabane, which would mean I probably wouldn’t be back in time to go to the Sunday school class. After my little prayer request, I made a cup of coffee and sat down to read a few chapters in a book I am reading and then did a lesson in one of my Beth Moore Studies. I showered and made breakfast somewhere along the way. I finished my lesson at 9:45. Just enough time to get ready and go to the 10:00 service. I can’t say I really wanted to go, but I just started getting ready to go. My request had been answered. As usual, the only thing I understood during the service was the book, chapter and verses of the two scripture readings. But, God gave me a few precious moments that made going to the service worth it. One was Eleanor the woman who was the secretary when I arrived here last August. She lost her daughter about a month or so ago and this was the first time I had seen her since the funeral. We stopped and hugged each other right in the middle of the chaos of everyone making their way to the front of the church to leave their offering. Also, a woman who is in the Tuesday evening bible study I have been attending got up from her seat and came and sat by me to make sure I got the scripture verses and knew what page of the hymn book the service was using. It touched my heart so much. Once again, God confirmed to me that it’s all about connecting with one heart at a time.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Chris, I showed my kids the pictures of the children at St Paul's smiling with those little purple and green bears - it made their day! Thanks for everything you do.

-Steve B.