Monday, May 24, 2010

Reponse to Too Small to Ignore by Wess Stafford

 "When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Mark 10:14 NIV)

In his book Too Small to Ignore Wess Stafford gives a fascinating account of this life growing up as an MK in a village in Cote D’Ivore and then later boarding school. He talks about life in the village in almost in an nostalgic way, but never giving into writing that everything was perfect in that village.  Children, including him, growing up in that village were completely integrated into society and played an important role in the economy.  Stafford’s boarding school experience was a stark contrast. Almost daily Stafford suffered abuse from the mission staff who were meant to protect and nurture him.
After giving the background to some of the reasons why his thinks that children are so important Stafford then goes on to talk about how Jesus feels about children, how God used children in the Bible and is still using them today.  Throughout the book Stafford sends the message that children should not be ignored or swept away until they reach adulthood.  Jesus thought children were so important that he became ‘indigent’ when the disciples tried to keep them away for them (Mark 10:14 NIV). Children are for today and each time we interact with a child we have a chance to shape their life positively.
As a librarian at an International Christian School this book has challenged me to think about how important the children I work with really are to the kingdom of God.  Every time I teach a child a new skill, encourage them or even just spend a few minutes listening to them I am showing them that they are valued and important.  Often times I struggle with how to integrate Biblical principles into my lessons and how to share Christ with my students.  Even though I need to continue working on this, perhaps I have already modeled Christ more than I thought by making the library an inviting and kid friendly place.
I highly recommend that everyone, especially people who work with children, read this book.  It will give you a greater appreciation of children and how precious they are in Jesus’ sight.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blessings from Budapest: Update May 2010

The school year is winding up at International Christian School of Budapest (ICSB) and with that comes the busyness year end activities. Students are going on their final field trips, year end concerts are being performed, tears will be shed at the goodbye chapels and finally the graduates will be sent off into the world. Our students will be scattered throughout the globe for the summer. Some will be coming back to ICSB next year while others will move to new places.

Throughout the year I have watched the students change and grow. I am amazed at what the Lord had done in their lives and proud of them for all their hard work. At the last high school chapel of the year I was able to hear some of the students’ testimonies of what the Lord has done it their lives. One student stood up and talked about how last year in his home country he made some bad choices and was influenced negatively by this non-Christian ‘friends.’ He was crushed when he found out he was moving to Hungary, but was surprised to find love and acceptance from our students. It is great to know that the love of Christ is infiltrating ICSB through the student body. I would ask that you would join me and the other staff members in praising the Lord for what he is doing in the students’ lives at ICSB.

Personally, I will be experiencing the transition of moving to a new apartment in Budapest at the end of June. Currently, I live in the village of Diosd where ICSB is located. I am excited to be moving to the city where I will room with a lady who works with Youth with a Mission. Please pray that my new home will be a place where Jesus is first and that it will be a warm and inviting.

Specific praise and prayer requests
• Praise for the near completion of another good school year and that several of the students came to know the Lord
• Pray for the students not returning to ICSB (graduates and others) that they will transition well in their new situations
• Pray that the teachers and staff at ICSB will be sensitive to the needs of our students and will find opportunities to share the gospel with the students
• Pray for myself as I continue to wrestle with how to teach the students library skills from a Biblical perspective.
Thank you for your partnership in sharing the love of Christ with the students at ICSB!