by Rachel Sawyer
Living in another culture is a tricky life in many ways. The fish bowl effect is in full force most of the time - not because we are spectacular, but because despite our best efforts most of us walk around with a strange unusualness, despite our best efforts to acclimate to our host culture and establish a "normalcy" within it. And living set apart - IN not OF the world - remains a challenge for all staff here, whether we are living in our passport country, like our Makarios National Staff, or outside of it, like the Makarios American missionaries.
In a real sense, all the staff at Makarios are missionaries, whether in or out of home country, wether raising funds or receiving a salary. Both groups have sacrificed, feel called to share the gospel, live to increase the kingdom and change the impoverished landscape by bringing the riches of a personal walk with Jesus front and center. Some days we do well at this, and some days we fail miserably - but every day our hearts beat with the sense that this world is not our home, with the urgency to share the goodnews with all these little faces and their families whom we adore that we've been entrusted with to walk alongside at Makarios.
Our amazing Art Teacher, Kelly Case, has a very significant tattoo on her calf, created from her mother's handwriting, after her mother unexpectedly left the earth for heaven back in April 2010. Permanently inked on her phyiscal body this reminder made real by her mother's death, has actually given Kelly multiple opportunities to speak to Makarios students and other locals about a heavenly home that awaits those who call Jesus their Savior.
Let Kelly's account of a recent special moment inked in time resonate in your spirit:
"I have one particularly curious student in my fifth grade art class and his curiosity developed over time. It started with, "Profe, what does your leg say?" and last Thursday developed into, "Were you sad when your mom died? How did she die?" Last Thursday that curious student played a very important role in a life changing, come to Jesus moment for his fellow classmate, Luigi. That student's question led to an honest response and a Spirit led opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel in a very personal way. The next thing I knew, Luigi was sobbing and we were praying in the supply closet. I am so thankful to have been able to witness such a powerful moment, and give all glory and praise to God. You never know when or how He will use a piece of your own testimony to share the hope of Jesus with another person."
At the request of inquisitive minds and hearts, Kelly met childlike questions carrying the weight of eternity with Christ like confidence in being able to share the reason for the hope that she has - which is the shared goal for all of the Makarios staff; that our lives, actions and conversations would ultimately lead our students to find that same hope in Christ Jesus.
Last week, through tears and hashing out of truth, Kelly was able to lead Luigi to his Savior, and now this world is not his home either! Hallelujah!
"14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come.15 With Jesus' help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. 16 Don't forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God." ~ Hebrews 13: 14 - 16