A story from a few years ago in South Asia ❤
Near the end of the first term of classes at our English Center, I sat quietly at the back of Daniel’s classroom.
Glowing with pride, Norhun was standing at the front, showing slides to explain the history of his people group and his family’s leadership role in their village—all in English. His grammar had improved significantly over the past few months and his Powerpoint™ was flawless. As he finished, the class asked questions then offered heartfelt applause. The next student began her presentation, detailing how she descended from the original inhabitants of the region. All the students displayed a deep respect for one another’s history. There was laughter, thought provoking discussion, and a sense of camaraderie that had developed over months. Friendship. Real relationships. Community. What a blessing to have watched it grow and to have been part of it.
In the center of all this was Daniel, quietly sitting beside the projector, helping with the tech side of things as presentations began. Someone observing his classroom only on that day would not have seen previous weeks of Daniel teaching students to use Powerpoint™. Or the time spent tweaking curriculum to meet his classes’ specific needs and giving individual attention as often as possible. Or the effort to integrate what he was learning from his Master’s program into each class for the benefit of the students.
I loved when he invited students to spend time with our family. We had meals together at local restaurants, working on problem areas in English or simply sharing moments of life together over good food. A few times we helped students prepare for important business meetings or were invited to celebrations happening within their communities and families. Daniel was asked to speak at several events about the impact of education on various aspects of community life, such as health. He cared about every area of his students’ lives, because he saw them as fellow image bearers of God. And it showed. Inside and outside of the classroom, when he was sharing life with students, he was in his most natural element for making disciples.
It was beautiful to see God developing the hearts of people through my husband. I deeply appreciated him and could see evidence of his life bringing glory to God. I had seen it for years, but this new area of teaching English was something we knew we were supposed to pursue as a family.
On the day I watched his English class give culture presentations, I felt my devotion and love for God and Daniel stirred. Again, I silently committed to walk through life by his side and help him. Regardless of how our life would change in the future, I wanted to love him for who he was and celebrate the ongoing changes God was working in him.
Last week we enjoyed our anniversary.
Fifteen years ago, I stood in a room praying just before our wedding began, unaware of what the future held, but sure I was choosing a life of service to God alongside Daniel. I was choosing to love him no matter what. Many years later, we’ve both changed so much. I’m not sure whether we’re different people, or whether God is using us to help each other live more fully as ourselves. Probably both.
We’ve made each other better. We’ve hurt each other deeply. We’re continually learning to choose God and each other, even though our refining process hasn’t been easy. I’m sure it will never be easy, but I’ve seen how it can be good.
Knowing full well what our lives have been up to this point— seeing Daniel’s growth, compassion, faith, and love for others, I continue to choose a life with him, feeling the potential for joy and love I never thought possible.
©2018 Chrissy Winslow – All Rights Reserved
Thanks for Reading!
To read my stories of Motherhood, Miscarriage, Changing Expectations, and flying on an airplane in labor, check out my book, Flying in Labor, on Amazon.com. My stories are set in the beautiful countries and cultures of the Himalayas. Available in Paperback & Kindle.