Have you even been in one of those gatherings when the Holy Spirit just filled the room? That is the only way to describe our final class session with the students today. We began with prayer and singing (I just learned today that the class next door sometimes had a difficult time hearing their teacher this week because of the singing coming from our class!) as the students lifted their hands in praise. They were all very excited because this was the day they got to each have 5 minutes to present what they have discovered in the Word over these two weeks. They graciously listened, encouraged, and applauded at the end of each of the 25 presentations today. Many of them dressed up again today and were so proud to stand before the group to share from God’s Word. Each and every presentation was excellent. Most of all, it was exciting to see the passion in their hearts for Jesus and the gospel as they spoke.
The end of class was one of the most touching experiences I have ever had. I shared from my heart for a few minutes about what the class had meant to me, and admonished them to continue in what they have learned --- that my prayer was that this would be more than a course, but would become a lifestyle for them. I urged them to stay in the Word, to continue to seek Jesus, to disciple others, and to bring those people to heaven with them. I shared that we are brothers and sisters in this journey, and that we are now running this race together. I told them that if I did not see them again until heaven, I would look forward to rejoicing with them there for all Jesus did in our lives and others. As we prepared to close this last class, some students spontaneously and passionately stood to tell what this class had meant to them. One of them then said that it was their turn to gather around Simeon and me to pray for us. We joined hands in a circle and sang a song of praise (in Creole) that rang out loudly throughout the building and outside (I saw our door crack open a few times as other people we peeking in to see what was taking place). After this the students all prayed with loud voices, just as in the book of Acts, and then took turns embracing us as we went our ways. My eyes were full of tears as we experienced the reality of Jesus together in these powerful moments.
Grades are all turned in, and we had a final supper tonight with the missionaries, who have so graciously served and blessed us in the Spirit of Christ. What a great fellowship we have had together with them and the other visiting professors. I head home tomorrow, but will forever take the students with me in my heart. I have been greatly affected by this time with them and feel that it will shape the rest of my life. I thank the Lord for this gift. Thank you for praying and being a part of what He has done here, which will matter for eternity. As my fellow professor, Bob Petruccio says, let's continue "to make much to do [or ado] about Jesus."
Evangelist, Teacher, Writer,
Husband, and Father