It Happened at Public School: A Life Changed for Eternity
Editor's note: The author is a graduate of the Bible Teaching program at Columbia International University. She teaches Bible in a public school in the United States. But because of opposition from some in our culture who actively oppose any religious discussion in public schools, the writer wishes to remain anonymous. The name of the student has been changed. Learn more about CIU's Bible Teaching program.
When he entered my classroom on the first day of school I had to do a double take. He was dressed all in black. He had the word "suicide" written in permanent ink on both arms. Hate was written on each knuckle on the top of his hand. The clincher was the strange jewelry he wore all around his neck. He flopped into a desk.
"I did not sign up for this class and I do not want to be here," he said. "I worship Satan and I serve him."
With this statement he put his head down on the desk. This was met with stunned silence from the rest of the class. The class is Bible and I teach in the public school as an elective.
And so it began. I was a bit shaken up but I responded with, "You are welcome to change classes. You can take drama, or art or P.E. but if you stay in this class you will listen and you will keep your head up!" I fully expected to never see him again but he returned the next day and the next. He did keep his head up and he did listen and slowly I began to see God at work. I requested prayer for him from godly people that I knew would pray. I asked God to give me a love for him and He did. Teenagers know if you love them and David began to know that there was something different about this class and something different about me.
Since the class is an elective, students must choose to take it. It was strange that David said he did not choose the class. I now know God chose David and put him in Bible class.
I was teaching the life of Jesus from all four gospels. As we worked through the life of Jesus, David began to change. The words written on his arms and hands began to go. Next the jewelry was gone. The first day he wore a normal t-shirt to class I gave him a high five.
"I knew you would notice," he smiled.
David asked questions. He read his Bible. He participated in class. Then on October 10 he gave me a letter. It read, "No longer do I worship Satan. I worship Jesus and want to serve Him only."
The Word of God changes lives. I do not preach or evangelize. I love teenagers and I teach the Bible to classes full of students at the middle school and the high school in my community. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God. Isaiah 55:11 is the promise I cling to with every semester and every new group of students:
"... so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
That is a promise from God and I claim it as I teach Bible in the public school every day. I have seen enough to know this to be true and even when I do not see it I believe it - God's Word will not return void. It will accomplish His purpose!