Sunday, I will have a new student in my high school Sunday School class. One of our church members is taking in a foreign exchange student from China. Under the foreign exchange program, they must participate in all family activities, including church. I’m excited! I’m also a little nervous.
When my younger daughter who is in the class, heard the news, she said, “Ho boy. That’s going to change the dynamics of the class!” She is so right. My group of kids isn’t normally very talkative anyway. I’ve just reached the point of getting them to crack a smile once in awhile. With a new student, especially one from a different culture, they’re sure to clam up again.
We’re also in the middle of a study of Galatians – which is a tough book in my estimation. I may need to tailor what I say, not being so hard hitting in the deeper Christian living area and yet, I think what a wonderful opportunity to talk about authentic Christianity. This guy does speak English, but I wonder about the balancing act between simplifying my words for his sake without leaving him in the dust of the other students’ boredom.
At one time in my life, I wanted to be a missionary. I even headed off for seminary with that goal in mind. Meeting Mr. Wonderful and doing a reality check on my motives caused me to change my studies to Christian education, but I’ve still always had a heart for the mission field. Now, the mission field has come to me. Funny how life can come full circle.
How will I handle the changes that will come to our class? The first thing I’m going to do – which I’ve learned so many times before in my teaching – is to pray for God’s guidance. Pray and pray and pray some more. I’m going to pray for wisdom, to know what I should say and how I should say it. I’m going to pray for my other students, that they will be accepting and that actually they will open up even more – contrary to what I expect will happen. And I’ll pray for this young man, that he may see the authentic Christ living in us.
If you have ever had a student from another culture in your class, I’d like to hear the challenges you faced and how you fine tuned your teaching to meet the needs of that students. You can share your thoughts by clicking on the link below that says “Comments.”
Yep. I think I’m excited.