“Praise be to the God and Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God”
It is a blessing to share our lives with people we care for. As a missionary, I started to understand how beautiful it is to witness them grow in Christ.
Today, teacher Wendy came with teary eyes and wanted to consult with Jung. I have to admit her reactions to whatever she is going through have gotten much better. She doesn’t sob uncontrollably as she used to and she doesn’t faint and lie down for hours as she used to. I was overwhelmed as it is and she constantly brought something to add on every week, no, almost every day. I used to get really depressed in the first year swamped in Wendy’s problems. When my husband did his best for Wendy’s family with their problems, all I could do to help was not to interfere. Since I was constantly in my own crisis, I didn’t have any room to help others.
It has been five years since we opened the Montessori ministry. The ministry has grown a lot and God has granted us a land to build the township preschool as well. Since last year, in partnership with missionary Jaemin Kim, we started Montessori training with teachers in Khayelitsha preschools. The building of the township preschool, where Wendy will be guiding children, is being delayed beyond our control, but the training in Khayelitsha gave me new insights and helped me realize what God has been doing in me through the ministry. God used the 5 years I had spent working with Wendy as a strong foundation to open my heart towards the Khayelitsha teachers with confidence. Xhosa people are twice as big as I am and often rigid faced with loud voices. I had gone through numerous trials and errors working with Wendy and Pinky, and many times I felt like giving up. I blamed God and my life more often than I’d like to admit. However, He comforted me every single time in the right ways and blessed me with wisdom and renewed hope. It slowly changed me to confess that He is the lord of my life and surrendered myself into the simple idea that the life of a missionary is the life in Christ.
When challenges came, we sat around and opened the Bible together. We simply shared the presence of God and laid down our burdens before Him like a bride awaits for the groom. We practiced together.
Once again, Wendy brought us news that burdened our hearts. Her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her denial and refusal to get it checked out made the condition very dangerous. Her father passed away with lung cancer last year and her daughter, Lisa, battles with critical asthma attacks and gets hospitalized almost every other week. Since her father passed away, Wendy is the breadwinner of the family of 8. These days she doesn’t faint, get drunk and disappear, nor fight with people every time something bad happens as she used to. She just comes to school as a loving and kind teacher serving children and living the life God has given her.
When I wanted to break down and cry, she encouraged me by saying, “Thank you Ms. Helen, we are nothing without you. Because of you, we can do nice and meaningful work.” Today, I want to encourage Wendy in the same way that I am nothing without her and I can do so much in God because of her.
For the past five years, I have received God’s comfort and realized that He is commanding me to share His comfort with others who are hurting and struggling.