This semester, I have had the privilege of being a co-facilitator for the Beginner Conversation class at BEACON, the adult literacy program. At times, it can be challenging. Imaging having a conversation with a group of students, many of who known very few words of English. After all, my students are at the foundation level. But, it is my favorite class. I am biased of course!
Just a few days ago, I have been granted the biggest compliment. “Christina, would you mind being my teacher forever”, one of the brightest of my students said. Others echoed him. This was toward the end of class, after I had shared with them my own experience as an immigrant; coming to a country where I did not known anybody, I did not even understand the language, and I left all that was familiar to me behind… Although I spoke in English, they understood.
As I reflect upon that day, I came to understand that as human, we want to be understood. We deeply crave for someone to understand our pain, our burden, our memories and to say “I know, I have been there, I understand what you are going through”…
As Christians, we have been thought to love our neighbors as ourselves. We feel responsible to care for those who are less fortunate, “the needy.” Yet, I find that we often distance ourselves from those we are helping. We rarely share ourselves with those we are caring for.
I could not promise my students that I will remain their teacher for the rest of their time at BEACON. However, for the duration of my time with them, I hope to form true relationship. I know that my time with them will shape and transform my life as I am continuing to learn more from them. And I hope that they will know that I honor and respect them for their courage, their perseverance, and their strength.
Caring for one another, helping each other reach their full potential should be more than an idea or a responsibility. At the end of my day, I often ask myself in what way did I see God today? Whether through my work at BEACON, the BARN, or in community, I often see God through my relationship with others. Those that I encounter have blessed me. Now, my question is, in what ways do I want others to see God in me?