Focusing on the Few

 In Community Development, Volunteer, Youth Development Program

By Merlin M. | Volunteer

This year Ciudad Refugio has been working under the mandate to evangelize where God has placed us and to disciple those who God has placed in our path.  Miraculously, the Lord has been opening unbelievable doors for us to accomplish this goal.  One amazing opportunity is to lead an English club at a local high school.  Read our previous post about this (HERE). Volunteers from the foundation go to the school two times per week on Wednesday and Friday afternoons to engage the students and encourage them to speak in English.

This program began in March of this year with a lot of engagement and enthusiasm.  As a volunteer from the foundation, I even wondered if we would be able to manage the number of interested kids! However, as time and the months went on, the number of students who regularly attended began to diminish little by little.  This could be due to a number of factors: Many students have said they forget about the timing of the club.  Others are engaged in so many other projects and activities and find it hard to make time for this.  And most of all, we are talking about teenagers here.  Their interest and attention spans are so limited; so, it may be that they just simply lost interest.

I can speak on behalf of all the volunteers (Special Shout-out to the amazing team: Julia, Maria, Tim, Joshua, Luise, and Yeyson) that we do try each week to make the club as fun, entertaining, and educational as possible.  Initially, as a volunteer it was deeply discouraging to see the number of students drop as the weeks went on. But an amazing thing happened.  I began to notice that as the attendance declined; the students that did come were more engaged and comfortable to speak English. We were able to talk to them on a deeper level as well; more than just the superficial.  We would have discussion on their families, strengths, weaknesses, hopes and dreams.

Last week on Friday we only had two students in the class.  But it was personally one of my favorite sessions of the club.  During the meeting, we were able to discuss about our influences, our dreams, and what happens when we die.  My fellow volunteer and I were able to share about our faith and the hope we have for eternity.  The most miraculous part of all of this for me personally was that I was able to share the Gospel in the language I am most comfortable in-English! Though looking at the number of students might have been a reason for feeling disappointed; the nature of the conversation and how the kids opened up to us, was something that only God could have orchestrated.

The events regarding the English Club reminded me about the story of Gideon from Judges 7 and how God narrowed down the available men to fight until it was the select group He desired.  Therefore, I am learning that the nature of God is more orientated towards quality and not quantity.  So, that means we’ll keep working and reaching out to these students; regardless of the number.  Because building relationships and creating personal connection is the model that Christ has taught us to follow. And if we can speak life and the truth of the Gospel into the heart of one student, that alone would be worth it.   At the end of the day, as it says in I Corinthians 15:58: “ So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  (NLT)

Can I encourage you be fruitful for God where ever He has placed you? Don’t be discouraged playing the numbers game but pray that God provides a fruitful harvest for your efforts!

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