I was laying in bed reading my Bible last night and a passage popped into my head from 1 Samuel…
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
I couldn’t find the exact passage (1 Samuel 17:45-47) last night but it was still on my mind this morning. I googled it and realized I was in the wrong book of the Bible… by a long shot! Nonetheless, I love these verses. This was our battle cry on the mission field growing up in Beach Student Ministries. I couldn’t get this verse our of my head because God knew I would need it today.
Andrew and I are starting a new program for the older kids here on campus who are no longer attending school. Maybe they have failed the year already and have stopped going, maybe they had to get a job and can’t go anymore, maybe life got in the way. There are a variety of reasons, as Andrew and I have quickly discovered. This morning, I was in Jessica’s office where she told me about another teenage guy who is falling by the wayside. I was surprised at who it was as I know he is smart enough to succeed. But I also know his home situation is extremely rocky. He doesn’t have a father living at home which is par for the course here in Bajo. But his mother has psychotic episodes where they have to call an ambulance and she spends a fair amount of time in the psyche ward. There are five siblings that I know of. This is the kind of family that you look at and it becomes a abundantly clear that these kids are the only shot at breaking the cycle of poverty for this family. They are good kids.
After speaking with Jessica and reviewing his report card, Andrew and I decided to talk to him and potentially put him in our program. The conversation started lighted-hearted where he was telling us about some of his absences and the age old “the teacher doesn’t like me” bit. We had Henry translating the conversation for us. A few minutes in, Henry turns to me and says that the boy looks like he is about to cry. We moved to a more private place to finish the conversation. Fighting hard to hold back the tears, he explained that he couldn’t afford special books for one of his language classes so he stopped going. His failing grades in some of his elective courses were due to the fact that they were primarily project oriented and he could not afford the supplies and materials to do any of the projects. I asked him if he had told anyone at the center about this. He of course said no. He feels like he already receives so much help from the mission that he could not possibly ask for more. I had Henry tell him that he needs to come to me or Andrew if ever he needs help like this again. We cannot help him if we have no idea he needs it and all we want to do is help. It will only ever be between us. Everyone was trying not to let the tears slip at this point so what I said next probably didn’t help the cause but it had to be said. I told him that he was very smart… too smart to fail. I gave him a strong hug and told him I would not let him fail.
When that conversation was over, I had to go sit upstairs for a few minutes to compose myself. Sometimes the giants feel too big and too strong. But the battle is the Lord’s. The ways of this world may come against these kids with sword and spear and javelin, but we will always go to bat for them… and we’re coming at those giants in the name of the Lord Almighty.