Back to school! (Day 4)
We spent all day at Vincentia High School today and got a good glimpse of ministry to non-Christian high-schoolers in the area. We met them at recess where we had “Chips and a chat”, where Jack ran some games, James shared a short devotion and we talked with them about their life. After recess we had a special ed class, where Ryan tried to share about Jesus the King from Mark 1:1-11. However, we were not prepared for a class that had some students with additional intellectual learning needs, and others who had behavioural needs. It was a fairly difficult class to manage, but we plodded along, and they enjoyed doing a wordfind based on the passage and colouring-in exercise.
We did two other lessons with Y7 students, and one with Y8s, all with a consistent structure. Jack would run an ice-breaker for them to get to know us, James would share his testimony, Mellisa would speak from Luke 3, and we would all run discussion groups for the last ten minutes. Everyone did a great job adapting to the kids as we got to know them and understand their culture better, and Mellisa increased in creativity each subsequent lesson that she spoke at!
We spent some time during the lunch break between classes and afterwards reflecting a bit on the school. We noticed a really negative response when we mentioned going to university in one of the classes because this is not something the kids value. We were told that many didn’t really have dreams or aspirations and were just getting through high school. If some of these kids finished Y12, they would be the first in their families to finish high school. Their engagement with the material was also more muted compared to the excited focus we received from the primary school the previous day. We grieved for their lack of desire in schooling, but were thankful to God for the opportunity to speak the gospel into their life, and even more thankful for the Scripture teacher who has been faithfully teaching kids here for the last 14 years. The discussion groups were always the highlights of the lessons, because we could see the kids really appreciated the genuine interest that older people took in their lives. James, who comes from Melbourne, helped us remember the privilege of entering classes in NSW to teach Scripture, since this is banned in Victoria. This was a really helpful part of our mission experience, even if it didn’t feel like a roaring success! Our evening dinner was with two ex-teachers who are faithfully doing primary school Scripture (despite significant health and family issues), and they helped reinforce the opportunity of doing this as part of our ministries after College.
For Your Prayers:
- Praise God for the freedom to go into primary schools and high schools and teach kids about Jesus!
- Praise God for the faithful service of God’s people going out and relating to kids each week, and helping them know Jesus when they would have little/no access otherwise.
- Pray for the high schoolers at Vincentia High, that God would call them to himself, and give them joy and purpose in Jesus.