English classes have been going very well. We have three classes-beginner, intermediate and advanced. The intermediate class is using some bible stories and everyone seems to enjoy it. my advanced class has 4 students and we do only conversation--no grammar. They all have children in the English club downstairs, so they are very regular. I pretty much let them pick the topic of discussion, and 4 out of 6 weeks it has revolved around spiritual things. I am amazed at their openness and curiosity.
Last week I was telling them the true story of Easter. They had brought a traditional lamb-shaped Easter cake and I asked them if they knew why it was in the shape of a lamb. None of them did. We talked about Jesus being the lamb of God. I didn't get through the whole story of Easter because we ran out of time (class was 1 1/2 hours).
At one point, Gabriela stopped me mid-sentence and said, "I have a question... so you're saying that the only way to get to God is through Jesus?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Well, what if I don't know Jesus, then what happens to me?"
"Well, you can't know God unless you come to Him through Jesus," I said.
"No, but, what actually happens to me if I die without knowing Jesus?" she asked.
"Well...you go to Hell," I said reluctantly.
She accepted this, but surprisingly protests came from the other side of the table.
Suzanna is the only one of the group that attends church --Catholic Church-- and she said that Jesus wasn't the only way.
I told her that the Bible said differently. She said the Bible and Jesus were secondary to God and weren't necessary to get to Him.
"I will find my own way to God," she said.
Suzanna believes in Jesus, but also believes in Mohammad and Buddah--and she's the one who goes to church. The others are just as confused.
Suzanna #2 says that her path to God is nature. Ivana was telling her that she saw problems with that when Suzanna asked her what her path to God was.
"I don't have a path to God yet," Ivana said.
So this is where my ladies are spiritually. Please pray for them. I think Ivana and Gabriela are really hungry for truth. The two Suzannas are more ambivalent and skeptical. After class, all said they were looking forward to coming again after Easter to continue our discussion. Please pray for God to speak to their hearts over this holiday celebrating His resurrection.
Preston is gone this week in Budapest. He is teaching a course on Systematic Theology. When I asked him how he was yesterday, he responded, "I'm great, I'm teaching!"
He loves to teach theology and the opportunity to do that this week is a real blessing. His trip to Portugal last month was wonderful. He met with church planters throughout Europe and they shared their successes and struggles. It was a really good time of fellowwhip and learning. The Ebenezer and SC Training conferences that took place before Portugal were very well received. God provided a great learning environment and seemed to be at work in our midst.
Though Preston has been gone a lot, we did manage to sneak away with the family last week to go skiing/snowboarding for a few day. We are so grateful to the Lord for providing for the trip through finances, a great place to stay and even snowy weather (which was surprising since we've had an early Spring!) The family time was so good, even though we were a little sore. You know its been a good trip when your 17-year-old says, "Wow, that was so great--I wish we could spend more time together like that!"