“What great love the Father has given us, that we should be called His children! What great love.”
As I looked around at the students, some participating and some stubbornly sitting in their seats, it hit me that this is what we are standing for. Those very words we were singing, signs we were making with our hands, they were not just a group activity. They were narrating the greatest story of history to a room full of boys and girls in Puerto Escondido, thousands of miles away from where that story took place approximately two thousand years ago.
At that moment, as I stood singing with the children, I stopped focusing so much on getting the hand motions correct and realized the power of the words being sung. And suddenly, I wasn’t just singing, I was worshipping in the midst of the children, singing the very words which are the reason for our every breath. They are why I came to Mexico in the first place and they are why the Manantial staff pours into their students every day. They are why all of our stories are being interwoven in a tapestry of His grace as we live in the joy of that truth.
During my time at Manantial, I have been reminded of how God relatesd to us as a father to His children. As it says in Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” I think of this verse as I picture the students joyfully running through the school gate greeting teachers along the way. Part of our role as teachers is not only welcoming them in but ushering them into the embrace of their True Teacher and Father.
Ironically, as I reflect on our work here, I realize that the above verse is one from a song I memorized during my own childhood! I am struck by the importance which this stage of life bears on each individual student. These years are the springboard for adulthood and we have the privilege of equipping them with and caring for their mental and spiritual state. Manantial is not just a place where these students will learn to read or write, it is a place they will learn to forgive and be reconciled with their friends; a place where they will regularly be reminded of a God who chose to come into the world as a child. They will learn that this child, Jesus, grew into a man and forever changed the world by His sacrifice and great love. And for THAT reason, we can have joy like a child’s joy, with confidence in our Father’s love for us.
So sing with joy my friends! We have every reason to.
Mallory Beckett, GEM Volunteer