Last night we had a special baptism and Lord's Supper service at church, and I was able to witness some of my students, both old and new, get baptized. Seeing them go through this ritual of dying to their old selves and being buried with Christ, then raised to new life in Him, made me really think of the changes I have seen in some of them.
One in particular was in my 9th grade class last year. When I took over that class, I didn't really know what his deal was. He seemed lazy and uncaring to me. It was a little annoying, actually. But during those 5 months I taught that class, something changed. I don't know how or why it happened, but one day in a group project for missions day where his group had to research Islam and compare it to Christianity, the kid that never wanted to put in the effort stepped up and appointed himself leader of his group. He started delegating tasks and helping others in the group. I was surprised, but impressed, and made a point of telling him how much I appreciated him stepping up and being a leader.
This year this student is in my class of 10th and 11th grade students who have a lower English level and need some extra help. I also have one student in that class who is new to the school this year and has never had an English class before, so on the first day of class I asked if someone could translate for him. After a few moments of silence, and staring, and crickets chipping, this students I've been writing about volunteered. And he's been helping me out with the new student ever since, working with him on his vocabulary and helping him put sentences together. In English. This is a far cry from the kid I first met who pretty much refused to speak English to me.
Seeing him and these other students take this step of obedience in baptism is so encouraging. These students are growing and learning and teaching others, and I can't wait to see the changes God will continue to bring about in their lives.