While preparing for my furlough in the States is an exciting experience there is a note of sadness because it calls for me to step aside from my ministries in Melbourne. This afternoon was one of those sad experiences as I taught my last fifth and sixth grade Religious Education class. The Australian Government offers these classes once a week for students whose parents are interested in them receiving classes that teach the Bible and answer questions they may have about God.
Though this class has only been part of my life for a short time (I began teaching in February) it has become one of my favorite ministries, particularly since the student’s questions usually give me opportunities to share the Gospel.
Thankfully a friend from a local Church will take on the teaching responsibilities so I don’t have to worry about them not hearing God’s Word. At the same time there is a burden in my heart for each one of these young people that they would accept Christ and grow in Him. Because of that I would like to ask each one of you to pray for them along with me. Instead of sharing their real names I have chosen to upload a picture of the group (taken with their permission) and give specific prayer requests for each one using other names.
1. James: Knows more about the Bible than anyone else in the class by far. None of the students have accepted Christ as their Savior but I believe James is closer than any of the others since he has a very clear understanding of the Gospel. It’s my prayer that he would continue growing in the knowledge of Scripture and realize his need of the Lord
2. Amy: A sports fanatic who during the first term would always conveniently find a reason for not coming to Religious Education class (and tell others she wasn’t coming anymore) because it was at the same time as Physical Education and she loved playing soccer. It’s been a blessing to see Amy grow to love RE class in the second term and become one of our most enthusiastic students. Pray she would continue attending faithfully
3. Kate: One of two students who I have been able to sit down with and share the Gospel one on one. She claims to be saved but is unable to give a strong testimony of Salvation: according to Kate she told God one day she was sorry for hurting her brother and that meant she is going to Heaven. There is a hunger for God’s Word in her heart (she asks the most questions by far) and is very interested in understanding what the Gospel really means. Pray God would reveal to Kate that acceptance of Christ is necessary for Salvation
4. Joseph: The class clown (you can probably tell from the picture) who has disrupted more than a few classes with his desire for attention. Pray that Joseph would continue learning (he has done much better during the second term) and God would help the new teacher keep him under control
5. Elizabeth: The second student who I was able to personally share the Gospel with, I greatly respect the fact that when I asked if she had accepted Christ Elizabeth was honest and told me no. Attends a local Church so pray that Elizabeth would continue hearing the Gospel and God would bring her to accept Him
6. Adam: Another student who didn’t seem very interested in RE classes at the beginning of the year and was a problem like Joseph but eventually become one of my best students. Adam is always the first one there, able to answer almost any question, and listens attentively even when nobody else does. Pray he would continue being an encouragement to the new teacher.
I am hoping to continue a relationship with these young people through social media such as Facebook and postcards from the States. Pray that even when we are in separate Countries the Lord would allow me to be a Godly influence upon their lives.