Blossoming of a Student on the Mission Field
What makes a student blossom? This question makes me pause to think, because it is the dry season here in Kenya. In spite of the dryness, there are flowers blossoming, including some that have never bloomed in my garden before, like the ones pictured here. Surely, the sun causes them to burst forth in splendor. God’s Call What about students? What makes them blossom? I’m thinking about Aaron’s rod, which not only budded, but also blossomed and produced almonds. In Numbers 17, it was God’s choice, His anointing that caused Aaron’s rod to undergo such remarkable changes. Certainly God’s call is important in causing a student to flourish and the warmth of God’s love is a key factor for growth. Trust In God But, the dryness itself seems to be a factor. There are students who blossom even though they experience difficulties, though the soil seems not to be conducive for flourishing. I remember Marvin, a student at the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries in Manila, Philippines. He never was sure if he would have tuition from one term to the next, yet he graduated. He commented he had noticed that students who had their way completely paid didn’t finish, but he had. He said, “I had to trust God all the way.” And God had not failed him. The Soil Matters. I’ve seen students struggle to survive, because they had sent themselves. There was no supporting community to say, “Yes, we see God’s hand upon this life.” God made sure the whole community saw that Aaron’s rod had blossomed: those alive at that time, and also those who would follow afterwards had seen the rod in the Ark of the Covenant that declared that Aaron was a chosen instrument of the Lord. Watering the Plant Certainly watering is an important factor. When the rains stop, plants still need water. After a period of dryness, grass will revive once water is applied, but other plants will die. I think students are like that. They cannot be ignored. They must be watered well with the Word. An institution must have qualified, God-centered faculty to make sure that happens. Not only are classes important, but also chapel, worship, and prayer times are vital to water the plant. For example, at Discipleship College, one of the people who makes a large difference in the growth of our students is the campus pastor or Dean of Students. He represents students in the administration and takes a personal interest in each student. He looks for their gifting and talents and nurtures them in chapel. We at Discipleship College recognize that mentoring is a key factor in enabling a student to blossom. Community The growing environment is very important. If plants are squeezed together and weeds are allowed to encroach, plants will not produce beautiful blossoms. At Discipleship College, students meet together to discuss important issues in Community of Faith, enjoy sports competitions, and have opportunities to minister at neighboring churches. We believe these contacts with other students and neighboring churches enrich their lives and ministries. Lack of Peace In Africa, one of the destabilizing factors is lack of peace. How can a student flourish when at home friends and family are being killed? Yet, these same countries desperately need to have quality ministers being prepared to communicate the gospel to a war-torn people. They definitely need scholarship help and your prayers to make it possible for them to bloom. Lack of Resource One of the weeds that can choke a student’s ability to blossom is lack of finances. While total reliance on a sponsor is often not healthy, many need a helping hand if they are to reach the goal in terms of education. You can help lighten that load with your giving. Thank you for helping educate young Christian leaders! — Dr. Marcia Anderson spends her time passionately sharing the Living Water that is a fountain in her heart! She serves as a missionary and currently teaches at Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya.