February 23, 2009
I spent the last week or so back in Memphis, Tennessee attending a conference for the leaders of an amazing mission organization known as NICS (The Network of International Christian Schools). With twenty some schools scattered around the world, this organization establishes international schools in settings where foreign businessmen, diplomats and missionaries (and occasionally some nationals) need English education for their children. The amazing part of their operational strategy is that people pay them to present the gospel to their children!
I heard a story that I would like to share…it involves a little girl from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The director of that school explained that Sarah had been moved around a great deal as a child. In her frustration and fear, she just stopped talking. When she came to the Christian school in Rio, the staff made a concerted effort to just love this child. They patiently and graciously introduced her to the kindness that comes with the gospel of Jesus Christ. With that kindness came the right to speak into her life. And after a while, Sarah began to speak back. Finally comfortable in their love and understanding, she reengaged with the world around her.
After she had only been in the school for a short time however, the parents announced they were going to move on again. The staff was very concerned about Sarah. They were afraid that another move without some careful explanations would jolt Sarah back into a silent world. With the parent’s permission, the director sat Sarah down and began to gently explain what was about to happen.
As I understand the story, the little girl stopped the director with words like these…”You do not need to be afraid for me. I have come to know the peace that can only come from the God you describe. I will never have that fear in my life again.”
What a powerful statement from the lips of a little Brazilian girl! Her comments mirror the truth given in Psalm 4:8 “…for thou alone, O Lord, dost make me dwell in safety.”
There are a lot of Sarah’s in our world. Folks all around us are shutting down consumed with all kinds of fear. The message from the 6 o’clock news is dire. So, look around this week and keep an eye out for a Sarah in your neighborhood or work place. If fear and frustration has caused them to “clam up,” go ahead and speak powerful words of grace into their life. Amazing things may happen. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of true peace. Share it!
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools