What an amazing week! The team from Anderson University (see previous post) saw 12 students accept Christ as their savior this week when they were out in the public schools! Though Jamaica is a “churched” and religious culture, many of the students had never heard that God desires a personal relationship with them. Some more good conversations were started, and Billy, a local missionary and native Jamaican, will be following up with some of those students.
One of the students here at Montego Bay’s CCCD campus also made a commitment to Christ this past Thursday. I was getting ready that morning, planning to go into the school to see how I could help that day. They normally have class devotions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and I was thinking in the back of my head, “I bet when I show up to the classroom that I’ll end up leading the devotion, even though it’s not my responsibility.” I thought up a rough outline on the topic of grace that I could talk about if needed. As I had anticipated, I ended up being asked to lead the devotion for that class. I’ll be honest, I did not have a very positive attitude that morning. Some of the cultural differences here, including last minute requests or schedule changes, have been a little rough getting used to. As Americans we just love being informed and prepared! I’ve had to let go of a lot of that and try and trust God more and have more grace on others myself!
Anyway, I opened the discussion by writing the word “grace” on the board. None of them knew what the word or the sign meant. At that point I realized how important this discussion could be. I was shocked how Derval, one of the most troublesome and inattentive students, would not take his eyes off of me. He was focused for one of the first times I’ve seen! God was definitely working in his heart. At the end of the devotion, Derval told me that he “want save.” After the other students left, he and I sat down, talked about what it meant to follow Christ, and he prayed for God to save and forgive him. When he was finished praying, he asked to talk to the chaplain, Sheldon, about baptism. Wow.
This was such a good reminder to me that, if we just make ourselves available, God can do mighty things through us. God had prepared Derval’s heart, and he used my selfish self and unorganized devotion to lead him to Himself. It was also a good reminder of why Ben and I are here! This boy could not have understood the concept of grace without the language that he had learned through the staff at CCCD. What a blessing to work with this ministry. I hope this encourages you today to always be prepared to give an answer for your faith!