Technology can at times get a bad rap as it is being polluted with pornography and other inappropriate sites; however, it makes my heart swell when I see it being used to attack Satan and his schemes. That being said, I have to begin today by giving a quick shout out to my Christian brothers and sisters following in South Africa. Yes, you heard me right. South Africa! I was pleasantly shocked to see that my “Heart of Leadership” blog had 25 hits the day it was posted, and 17 of them were from South Africa. Then my jaw dropped even more when I saw 20 out of 22 hits came from the Philippines two days ago. I find it hard to fathom that here I am writing in the heart of America, and someone halfway around the world on a completely different continent is following me. How awesome is that?
The theme of this blog is not, however, about how many people follow my blog or where people are reading from. Today I want to write about someone who is weighing heavy on my heart, and I am going to ask a favor of you. Would you please lift her up? Even if it is just for a minute, pray for this former student turned first-year teacher friend of mine. Her name shall remain anonymous for now, but God knows who she is. She is trying so hard to do something beautiful, to make a stamp on her first year of teaching. Pray that God might use her to accomplish amazing things in her school this year, including starting a prayer group with her staff members. Pray that her principal will work with her and see what an amazing outreach she is attempting to provide. Just pray.
This story actually began last spring when my Christian brother and leader of our small group were grabbing coffee at Starbuck’s for an accountability meeting. And there she was. My old student all grown up. I recognized her in a heartbeat, and we quickly caught up and exchanged e-mails. That night I forwarded her my blog since she was looking for a teaching job. Well, she got it! I was enthralled when she e-mailed me, letting me know that she was terrified that God was whispering to her to start up a prayer group in her building. She drafted an e-mail to her principal. I checked it over and told her to go with it. Then, when the ball seemed to be rolling just fine, she came to an abrupt halt yesterday.
The e-mail came in the middle of our afternoon staff meeting. She asked for immediate prayers because her principal asked her to meet with her face to face to discuss the prayer group. I shot her a short response, encouraging her through my life verse, Philippians 4:13, which states, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” And then right there in the middle of our meeting, I ducked my head in prayer. Tears welled in my eyes for what she must have been going through at that moment. There she was, a first-year teacher, probably never having spoken to her principal on an intimate level, and she was being called in to the office. I prayed for God to give her strength. Somehow, someway I knew God was listening.
An hour passed. I was in a new room, new meeting, but my mind was not on Google Classroom like it was supposed to be. My heart was with my friend, wondering how her meeting went. And then her e-mail hit me like a ton of bricks toward the end of the day. Her principal was open to the idea of her beginning a group; however, the principal pulled a card I have never seen pulled on a Christian teacher. She told my friend that if the group became more than four, she might have to go through facilities to rent her room out before school hours and possibly have to pay to pray. I was shocked and immediately sought wisdom through a veteran Christian teacher in my own building. I’m still waiting to hear back from her.
This is where you all come in. Would you please pray for my friend? She could sure use the prayers, and it would be awesome if some of you would reply here below with either a scripture or prayer that might shed light on what this bold first-year teacher should do. If only all of us could be as courageous as she is! I am astounded by her confidence in trying to get a prayer group started in her building, and I fully believe in the power of prayer. Do you? Lift up my friend today. Pray for courage, for assurance, for wisdom. Pray for her relationship with her building principal. Pray that other believers will support her and stand up for what she is trying to do. Just pray.
(As for my friend, I know you are reading this, and I want to encourage you with God’s Word. Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God has a plan for you. Listen to the lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Something Beautiful” because you are beginning a ripple that will soon morph into a tidal wave of God’s love, and that wave is more beautiful that you could ever imagine.)