After Christmas break, I had the joy of meeting Faith. Her family came to YWAM Tyler to participate in a discipleship school, and Faith became part of my 9th & 10th grade English Literature and Bible classes.
In literature, we were just beginning the story Oliver Twist, which I soon realized was one of her all time favorites. Faith was noticeably different than most of the students I’ve taught. She adored classic literature! 😃 It’s rare to encounter a Gen Z’er who actually loves Dickens! Not long after entering my classroom, she eyed several vintage novels on the shelf that I had and asked to borrow them to read in her free time. This love for the classics no doubt had made an impression on her. I quickly began to notice how their influence played out in her life. Her style, proper mannerisms, and even her handwriting all seemed right out of one of those classic stories.
Faith was quiet most of the time, but her smile and occasional chuckle at one of the other student’s silliness always warmed my heart. I especially loved having her in Bible class. She’d read out loud from her KJV Bible, and I was mesmerized by the poetic sound coming forth. With keen insight into Scriptures, I found myself learning from her.
Sadly, Faith left last Friday. I hadn’t much time to process her departure either, for she told me on Wednesday that her family was returning to Hawaii. I was sad to hear the news, but I could tell she was happy about this decision. I think her heart in many ways was still there, which I could understand. I really wanted to commemorate our short time together, so I asked the Lord to show me what to do.
When my grandmother died many years ago, I received some precious handkerchiefs of hers. I love my family heirlooms, and these have been special treasures reminding me of my beautiful Mamaw. God prompted me to give Faith one of these treasures. As I pulled the dainty, old-fashioned handkerchiefs out and examined each closely, I immediately knew the one I was give. It had a beautiful pink rose stitched on it. In the book Oliver Twist, one of the most endearing characters of the book is named Rose. Dickens does such a wonderful job depicting her character as a young woman with a deep affection for humanity and for God. As I looked at this handkerchief with the rose, I thought of Faith and knew God wanted her to have it.
As a class we gathered around Faith on Friday, and each student prayed a beautiful blessing over her. It was quite meaningful. Faith even had a tear in her eye when we finished. She was so grateful for the handkerchief too and said it really meant a lot to her. I have a feeling she will cherish it for years to come. Though her time here was short (not even two months), I believe it was purposeful in her life as well as in mine! ❤️
I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to teach precious young women like Faith. My students are all quite special to me! The moments we have with each other are short. Sometimes shorter than we want them to be. It’s so important to make the most of the time we have.
I’ll miss her.
“I think the best thing we can do is to let people know that each one of them is precious.”
– Mr. Rogers
Do you really believe in divine appointments? You know … that moment you realize this couldn’t have just randomly happened; God must have been involved!
After morning prayer in our office, one of my team members sat down at her desk and dialed a phone number of someone who had shown interest in our training program. Within days, an application popped up in my notifications and I was drawn to a section on the application. I’ve posted it here for you to read too —
Coincidence? No way.
In Brazil, a young lady was getting ready to post a selfie. With thumbs hovering about to whip up a caption, a number appeared on her screen. It was not a normal number, so she swiped to answer. It was us. Our bilingual school leader was reaching out to Brazilians who showed interest in our training programs after The Send. After an awesome conversation, both parties hung up. With the empty space for her Instagram now staring at her, a new inspiration swept through her heart. God had spoken about new direction and calling in her life, and she shared that with the world as you can see in the post below . . .
Random chance? Not possible.
And there’s more….actually there’s too many stories to tell here. Would you pray with our team? Would you pray for more connected discipling moments for us? This week we launched a brand new exciting campaign on the subject of Gap Year. All across the world young people are searching for purpose before heading to college or starting a career. We believe a DTS is a great way to experience a Gap Year which will impact a life forever.
Here’s a link to the video blog Is a Gap Year Right for You. There’s even a cameo appearance from our very own Emily in the video. 😉
Know someone interested in a Gap Year? Share this resource with them. It could change the course of their life forever.
Thank you for praying. It’s important.