It’s a new school year at Manna Christian School and things are off to wonderful start. As most of you know, we made the decision this past summer to add another freshmen class. So this year, we have a freshmen and a sophomore class! It’s pretty exciting having new students here, but as I’m sure you all can imagine, there is a stark difference between the freshmen students as opposed to the sophomore students. Sometimes it’s hard to see how much improvement our kids are making, but seeing the kids from last year right along side the new group of kids has really helped us see how much those sophomore kids have grown and matured.
Like any teacher, I love all of my students, but there are always those few that you just REALLY love. Well for me, one of those kids is Ibelca. She was the only full-time student I had as one of my disciples last year so naturally we got to be pretty close. In our discipling time last year, we spent about half of the year building our relationship and the other half of the year doing various studies from the Bible. It was a really good year, and I definitely feel like it was well-spent laying the groundwork for our discipling relationship.
However, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the growth that I’ve noticed in Ibelca the past few weeks. At school with the new group of freshmen girls, she (along with Graisy and Jailinne, two of our other sophomore girls) has gone above and beyond to make the new girls feel welcome and included. She is excelling in every single one of her classes. She is branching out and forming new relationships and friendships with other students at the school. But the thing I am most proud of is her spiritual growth.
During one of our discipling times this past week Ibelca and I were talking about heaven and what we thought it would be like. In the course of this conversation we started talking about baptism. It was so exciting to get to hear her perspectives and thoughts about this incredibly important issue. I was able to tell her my story of how and why I was baptized and she even asked me a few questions. I told her if she wanted to talk about it more or ever had any questions she could always come to me and she said she would.
That was probably the best day I’ve ever had with Ibelca. Sure, we’ve done a lot of fun things together, played a lot of games, been a lot of places, laughed a lot. But to hear her talk so openly about decisions that are so vital for her eternal life made me love her more than I ever have before. My hope and prayer for her is that she will continue to think about her spiritual life and that I can be the guide and mentor that she needs me to be as she continues to grow. Please keep her and all of our students in your prayers as we continue along with our second year of school!