September 28, 2011
I got you on that title, huh? Well, tonight I thought I might become one. Today, after delivering my lesson to a class full of 5th and 6th graders at the public school in town, the teacher pulled me outside with an, "I need to talk with you." I got that feeling like I'd been called into the principal's office. The classes we teach in the public school are always very basic Gospel messages, focusing on God and Jesus and how we can have a relationship with them and why we'd want to and well, you know what I mean. I am super-duper careful to keep it non-denominational and only to focus on the Gospel, not on doctrines of any religion. With most children here having a base knowledge of God due to their catechism classes, it sometimes feels like my job is just to teach them to put the puzzle pieces together.
So when the teacher called me outside, I quickly went over what I'd just taught, and whether I could have crossed a line somewhere and offended her faith. She went the long way around finally inviting me to a special meeting tonight, but the details were sketchy. Something about women getting together and talking about stuff. Not one to turn down an invitation, I figured I at least had to see what was going on. Ken said he'd leave his phone on in case they decided to tie me to a table or something. I didn't really think I was walking into a coven, but one never knows... :)
It turned out to be quite an impressive little meeting. About 15 women gathered around pizza at a small sidewalk cafe near the plaza, and one lady shared the story of how her life used to be a disaster but changed radically after coming to know Jesus. She then invited us to repeat a basic sinner's prayer after her, which all the ladies did. After that, each wrote her prayer requests on a piece of paper, passed them to the Prayer Lady, and she said a lovely prayer over the folded-up requests. As they explained about this group, which meets weekly, I realized they were a part of an international, interdenominational organization that gets together to lift each other up in the faith. They are encouraged to bring their non-believing friends (which may explain why everyone was so excited to see me, a first-timer!) so that they can hear the testimony and the invitation to know the Lord. Impressive. Each week a different person shares a testimony, usually someone from a neighboring town. They didn't talk about where they each congregate, but I learned through the pizza conversation that some are Protestants, some Catholics, some kinda in between. What a joy to find ladies who are focusing on encouragement and evangelism, and even better to find out they didn't want to sacrifice me on some altar!! ;)