How God Transforms Me Inside Out
How God Transforms Me Inside Out
“As a victim of an abusive culture that uses violence to get children perform at school, Alicia spent 8 years holding bitterness in her heart. The TransformNation program changed her into a whole new person. Now she is a teacher with a big heart, teaching children with love, in a remote village where bullying and violence are normal.
“It's supposed to be a happy day for me…”, Alicia choked up while she wiped her tears. “I was watching my favorite cartoon when my dad arrived, suddenly he pulled my hair, hit me and bashed my head against the door. He threw my small body against the wall.”
Alicia was suddenly aware that there must be something really wrong about her school report. Her guess was right. She didn’t get any rank that semester. Throughout her life, from the first grade until the eighth grade, she was always the top one or two in her class. But that second semester was different. Her grades dropped dramatically.
“I screamed and plead for forgiveness but he kept hitting me and saying harsh words, like I was useless and embarrassing him. When my mom came home I thought she would stand up for me, but instead she took a knife and put it on my neck. My sibling came to my rescue. I was so shocked. I felt a deep pain in my heart, hurt… so hurtful…” she gasps.
Harsh physical punishment is often experienced by children in rural areas. In hopes that their children will succeed, parents and teachers tend to use strict discipline, verbally and physically. “It’s a culture that keeps on circling. Their parents and teachers did that to them. They think it’s a good way to make your children stronger. But it’s not. It left deep wounds for years causing me to shut my heart off from people,” Alicia said.
It was one teacher who came to her and explained that, though our parents and loved ones may disappoint us there is one person who will never disappoint us and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. She told Alicia that in God’s eyes she was precious. Simple words but they really touched her, and she began to cry. “This teacher came near me and began to pray. During that prayer, I felt so comfortable, and there was a voice inside my heart that said: Alicia, I love you and you are very valuable to me.”
Now being a teacher herself, she commits to breaking the cycle. “TransformNation trained me not only to be professional in teaching, but really transformed my life inside and out. My character was honed. I decided to forgive my parents and start to open up to people. My heart was shaped to be full of love while teaching children.”
Alicia applies methods that go against the “normal culture” in the village where she teaches. She uses a rewards system to motivate students instead of verbal or physical punishment. “Bullying is never going to motivate students. They need to know that they are accepted and loved no matter what. They are precious and valuable in their uniqueness.” Alicia urges parents and teachers not to hastily jump to a conclusion that their children are “academically stupid,” but first to accept that every child is different and alternatively find creative ways to motivate them to learn.
“Being in the TransformNation program and receiving an education was the greatest gift from God to me,” Alicia smiles. “Now I will continue to spread this seed. My biggest dream is to teach children who are abandoned by their parents. I will hug them and tell them that hope exists.”
Code names are used to provide privacy.