Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19, NIV

As I looked over my list of student names for the upcoming school year, one name stood out and caused me to feel a sudden rush of uncertainty…

This would be my first time teaching a student who didn’t speak English. While I had taught students who spoke two languages before, this student had just arrived from Mexico and didn’t know any English at all. And to make it even trickier, I was supposed to teach him English! So, with only a few high school Spanish classes under my belt, I turned to my faith, trusting God to lead me through the challenge.

As I set up my classroom, I labeled things in both English and Spanish, hoping to help him understand and learn along with the rest of the class. When the school year began, I started my usual get-to-know-you activities, but I knew he couldn’t understand the instructions. I took him aside and tried to talk with him, but I soon found out I didn’t know enough Spanish to have a real conversation.

Then, out of the blue, he pointed to his bracelet with the symbol of a local church on it and asked me, “You baptize?”

His broken English reminded me of the important message found in the Great Commission. At that moment, I felt humbled. Here I was, struggling to communicate the basics, while he, despite the language barrier, was asking me about my faith. It was a powerful moment that reminded me of God’s faithfulness. With the help of technology, we shared our testimonies, learning from each other’s experiences.

As the year went on, our bond grew stronger. He taught me Spanish, while I did my best to teach him English. We remained close as he went on to high school. When he graduated, he received a full scholarship to play soccer in college. When he left, I thought our paths would never cross again…

But the following year, he showed up one day at the Good News Club my daughter attends, ready to help translate for Spanish-speaking students. His return was a reminder of God’s plan, showing us that every encounter has a purpose when it comes to spreading His message.

Witnessing his excitement to share the Gospel in Spanish reminded me of the call to action in Matthew 28:19. No matter what barriers we face, whether it’s language or something else, we’re called to spread the message of Christ.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the help You provide for us as we fulfill Your Great Commission even despite earthly boundaries. Please continue to offer us opportunities to share Your Good News with those we encounter each day. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Copyright Morgan Preston.

Morgan is a former middle school language arts and social studies teacher. She is currently Christian Educators’ Marketing and Communications Coordinator and serves her middle school students and teachers through First Priority.

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The Power of His Presence in My Classroom

2 Responses

  1. What a great testimony! I love the part when you were trying to connect with the basics but the student found faith being the common ground to connect with. God is so good and faithful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Julio, yes, God is so good! He always has a plan and a purpose – we just have to let Him use us!

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