An Unexpected Gift

by | Dec 15, 2021

By Paul Richardson

Like most little boys, all I wanted for Christmas was toys. I recall excitedly tearing open a package, finding a pair of socks, and trying to hide my disappointment. But eventually little boys grow up and we gain new priorities.


Today I got the most beautiful gift. I opened my gadget and there was a message written by Jessica who recently graduated from Mustard Seed’s TransformNation (TfN) teacher-training program. Jessica is in her first year of teaching in the Papuan Highlands and wanted to share about what God is teaching her. She wrote,

I heard one of my students praying. He thanked God for loving him and everyone else. He expressed gratitude for the death of Christ on the cross for the whole world. Then he asked for forgiveness on behalf of himself and all the others in the class. He said, “If any of us has been angry, wanting revenge, feeling insulted, or lazy, please Lord forgive us.” He invited the presence of God to fill his whole life and prayed the same for all of us. He went on to pray by name for all of his teachers and his friends, praying that we would live to please God.

Sometimes when I pray with my students, we cry together. We feel so desperate for God to lead us. I was sent here to teach these children but it seems as if they were the ones sent by God to teach me. I am required to regularly communicate with their parents. This makes me nervous, and I’m not sure what to say but before these meetings, I always pray for God to silence the anxiety in my heart. I ask for humility and wisdom to say whatever He tells me. I hope my words will bless others and be pleasing to God. I’m not much of a communicator, but I sense courage from God to speak. I praise God for all He is doing in my life. I’m reminded that, “He who calls us is a Faithful Father.” Yes, He is our Father who has chosen us from the beginning, and He is with us to the end. Although it is sometimes so hard for me, I am committed to be faithful to the end. Everything I do is to please God.

Well, can you imagine getting a better gift than knowing that people like Jessica are out there in Indonesian villages teaching and making disciples of Indonesia’s next generation? May her words be as encouraging to you as they have been for me!

Merry Christmas!