You Have a Story Worth Telling: The Day the Holy Spirit Took Over my Classroom in Cambodia
I didn’t want to teach that class. It was the last week of ministry in Cambodia at the seminary where we had been teaching. I wanted to teach Bible memorization, the easy class I taught most frequently, but two of my teammates had already signed up to teach it. The only class left on the signup sheet was a writing class. “I don’t know anything about writing, Jesus, but help me through it!” I prayed. Actually, that’s been my prayer many days on the race.
About an hour before the class, with the help of a friend, I jotted out a quick outline of what I could teach. The art of storytelling - that’s something I know a little about. I can throw in a few nuggets of wisdom from my career and experience in sharing stories, I thought.
Then the class began, and something weird happened. Words I didn’t know were in my head were on my lips. All of a sudden, I was on fire with a speech about how everyone has a story worth telling, and how everyone should tell their stories. I had bullet points and Bible verses to back my speech up. I told the students how their stories are powerful, how it can encourage and inspire others. How it can show God’s love, the depth of His grace for us, how it can reveal more of who God is. I told them how to tell their stories - how to first pray and ask God to reveal the parts of their stories he wanted them to tell. How they should be bold and courageous and lastly, that they should be vulnerable because others may share their same struggles.
The lesson I taught the students was great - but there was just one problem. These were not thoughts I’d had before the class. These were thoughts and words that were spontaneously popping into my heart and mind as I said them. I was shocked and amazed at the turn the class had taken that day - I truly believe that day I was strictly a conduit for letting the Holy Spirit move in that classroom.
Then something incredible happened. Three students stood up and shared their stories, their testimonies, with the rest of the classroom. Most of the students were first generation Christians - almost all had grown up in Buddhist households and becoming Christians had been a huge step out in faith. I encouraged them to share their stories with their families and I asked them if they wanted to pray for their families and we stood up and prayed one of the most powerful prayers I’ve ever been a part of. The World Race teaches you how to “warrior prayer” which is when everyone prays out loud at once - and Cambodians know how to warrior pray like I’ve never seen. Each student was boldly asking God to change the hearts of their parents, sisters, and brothers. At one point I looked around at the students and saw that several of them, including the men, were wiping tears from their eyes.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for allowing me to be the message bearer on that day for your children in Cambodia.