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Treasure in a field

In addition to VBS, the other thing we do is teach English/have Bible studies. The slash is there because we teach English by using the Bible so that any English lesson is by nature, also a Bible study.  But first let me say a little more about the English part.

I suppose the Romanians would be as good of an example as any of how English has become the global language.  They teach it in the school s here and those students who want to get on the fast track pursue it as students in America would go after math and science.   They understand that learning English will open the door to lots of opportunities.  This is why Christian and Florian are here.

Christian is in his early forties and Florian is in his early fifties.  Christian is an IT guy while Florian is a chemist who lost his job when his plant outsourced its work to Asia (that sounds familiar, doesn't it?).  Christian wants to work somewhere in the EU, while Florian would just like to work.  Both of them understand that becoming fluent in English will greatly enhance their opportunities.
But it is speaking the language that is so important.  Reading and writing are fine, but in the global economy you must be able to talk to your customers so the higher skills of reading (and ultimately thinking) in English are what is needed.  Christian told me that he was interviewing for a job in Bulgaria and his technical skills were great but he failed his telephone interview, which was in English.

So I have two men who both read and write English well, but want to learn to converse in our language.  Religiously speaking, they are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church.  This is by far the dominant religion in Romania.  Like the Catholic Church, they have a priesthood and are highly steeped in tradition, one of which is infant baptism.  Both Christian and Florian were sprinkled as babies and though both have learned that baptism is by immersion and for adults --- neither has shown any interest in applying this to their own life.  That’s not to say it won’t happen some day, only that right now they see no need. 

It’s a curious thing when someone understands some aspect of the kingdom of God but sees no need to embrace it.  We're not sure why this happens or how people could be this way. Well, that is, until this attitude shows up in our lives.  Then there is nothing mysterious about it --- there are always several “good” reasons why we’re not speaking to her, haven’t forgiven him, or have bitterness over a particular issue.  God understands why our situation is different from everyone else’s.  He knows we are the exception to the rule. 

I have no desire to judge Christian or Florian --- there is Someone who is eminently qualified to do that and it is not me.  But I can and should, to the best of my ability, judge myself. As I do, I see that I need to be more like the man Jesus talked about who found a treasure in a field and sold everything he had in order to possess it (Matthew 13:44)     
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