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Loaves and Fishes

Eighteen years ago I stood at a crossroads in my life. I was tired, sick and broken. The fire in my gut that had fueled my passion for God and the ministry had died into embers. I had been deeply wounded by the church, by life and I thought even God. I realize now looking back that I was suffering from post traumatic shock syndrome, we had been through so much trauma, so many years of isolation, loneliness and constant battles with Satan had taken a terrible toll on my life. I had only returned to Guatemala because Queno was committed to building the hospital. The millennium came and went and things seemed to get worse. [Read more below…]

We had one more year before the hospital was finished. I was determined that I was finished, I wanted nothing more but to return to the safety and security of family and friends and live a normal life. Then our mission board asked me to take over the tiny educational project called “Escuela Agape”. A preschool literacy class for children in the village. This project had never prospered and constantly functioned with a deficit. The teachers were just young girls who volunteered with no formal education or training, the classroom was a long narrow building with lattice windows and the benches and tables had seen better days in the Sunday School classrooms at church. But they insisted and I wrote up a plan, an ambitious “impossible” plan. To my surprise and somewhat dismay the board accepted my plan and instructed me to start. We bought beige and green paint, it was the cheap paint, and painted the dirty walls and benches and tables and Morning Glory was born. Reluctantly obedient I brought my broken pieces to the table and like the young boy in Mark, laid them before the Father and said here I am, tired, broken and hurt, but if you think you can still use me take all I have it´s yours. God took my broken heart, the scattered pieces of what I was and using the unconditional love and faith of little children healed me, put me back together and fanned the dying embers of the passion in my soul into a roaring fire. Not only did He heal my heart and glue the broken pieces, He took that “impossible” plan and did that and even more. Within two year Morning Glory was a fully certified private Christian School with three hundred children.

Eighteen years have come and gone, I have never ceased to be amazed that God could use me, my broken pieces, to love, educate and teach what is now thousands of children. Morning Glory has grown beyond imagination. From three teachers and a table on the porch for an office, we now have a staff of almost fifty employees, four administrative offices, twenty-three classrooms, two computer labs, a library and a Bible/music classroom, four playgrounds, and a mini sports field. From stuffing children into our Izuzu trouper like tiny rabbits we now lease nine full size busses that bring the children to school. Each year over 650 students receive quality private school education with emphasis in Christian values and principles. We not only teach the Bible in weekly chapel sessions for each grade but Biblical principles are taught daily in the classrooms, in the science, math, social studies, language arts and values classes. Biblical principles are woven into the discipline; into the way we do everything and this year into how we start our day, every day with scripture and prayer.

Yet so often I sit in my office overwhelmed and yes a bit frightened. Our budget is “impossibly” enormous. I try to economize and squeeze every penny, I prioritize, pray, beg, sweat, pray, push numbers, write checks, wince every time something breaks, pray, cry a bit, and at the end of the day I look at my hands and feel so insufficient for the task before me. I watch the waves of children walk by my office window on their way home. Every once in a while a little one escapes from the carefully guarded line behind their teacher, wanders in to look at the fishes or giggle at the screens as they watch their classmates walk by on “TV”. They will stand beside my desk waiting for a hug then rush off to catch up with their class. As the older kids go off to lunch quiet seems to take over for a minute and I wonder, “Lord can I do this? Can I lead those who must lead these children to you?” How can I mend so many hurting hearts? How can I glue together so many broken children? How much love do I have left to give? Sometime I am so tired that I feel like I could define exhaustion with my life, we bounce from crisis to crisis, from battle to battle.

And now once again I face a short budget, once again I will have to rob Peter to pay Paul and pray that I can figure out how to pay Peter back again before it is time to pay Paul again. I battle with delegating jobs that don´t get done, with deadlines, endless bureaucratic hassles with our government and ministry of education, students who don´t want to do their homework, with broken water pipes and endless other day to day problems. There are days when I wish I could just fly a white flag outside my office just for a few hours, when I could tell Satan to go away and leave us alone, just for a little while.

Then there are days of refreshing. Moment of glory when the veil between earth and heaven grows thin and transparent and God allows me to see into glory. Moments when the children praise, when they sing with all their hearts, moments when a two year old toddler strives to follow the motions and you can see him singing with the big kids, Lord I need you. Moments when the secondary students kneel before God and sing about the reckless, unconditional love of God and tears roll down their perfect faces. Moments when they laugh and dance and rejoice in the Lord, these are the moments I live for.

There is so much before me right now, we have started construction on the chapel, we have end of the year ministry paperwork coming up, the summer blahs and back to school blues have once again hit our incoming budget, giving is down and we don´t know if we make budget this month. I have been fighting recurring infections that seem to just keep coming back; we had an incredibly busy crazy summer with fourteen different interns, two short-term Morning Glory groups and several Casas groups visiting the school for a day. Compass Christian built a new office, Peace church and FCC Laramie built thirteen new teachers desks. Many other groups shared with the children in Bible class and visited our campus for a day. Elizabeth Stephens came to join Morning Glory for a year, Elizabeth Mason decided to stay to the end of this school year and teach primary prep in exchange for macaroni and cheese and a place to stay. May, June, July and now half of August have flashed by in a second, it what seems like a moment yet my exhausted body tells me it was much more than a moment.

Each Sunday morning, we have English church in my living room. Each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. we stream church. We sing with the computer, pray and our spirits and souls are fed by the word. Last Sunday Drew Sherman spoke to my heart. As he preached on grace, he reminded me that the grace of God is sufficient, that it is by His grace we stand and by His grace we walk forward. Pastor Drew spoke of the young boy in the gospel of Mark, an insignificant adolescent who brought two little fishes and five loaves of bread to place in the Master´s hands.

That´s me, an insignificant, insufficient woman, broken and flawed, standing before the Master with two little fishes and five little loaves of bread. I have never lived in a mansion, never walked among kings, yet the Master has taken those two fishes and five loaves to feed a multitude.

The tears ran down my face as Pastor Drew read these words: “Two little’s fishes and five loaves of bread in hand of the Master can Change the world.” —Dr. Indu Lall

Yesterday as discouragement and hopelessness fought to overwhelm my soul. The fifth grade girls were fighting and being “mean girls.” The secondary students had done mediocre work on an essential academic project. Our graduating diversified students had not finished their graduating seminar, which is due in ten days. I had entrusted this to a teacher who had not set deadlines. It had slipped my mind to be checking up on the teacher. A bill that I had instructed to be paid came across my desk unpaid. By noon I was in tears, tempted to bolt the gates and run away and hide. I closed my door held my Bible in my hands and read once again the familiar story of a young boy and his lunch. I prayed once again, Lord take my loaves and fishes, it´s all I have.

Today I ask you? Is Morning Glory important to you? Have you been touched by the children and hope for the future. What are you bringing to the Lord´s table? Are you willing to bring your loaves and fishes to the Master? Will you let Him use all you have to bless the nations and multitudes? Are you willing to share from your need? Or, are you hiding your lunch for a rainy day, for tomorrow? Are you building a kingdom of stuff or a legacy of love that will live on long after you are gone. Morning Glory needs you! In order to feed the five thousand the young boy had to give his lunch. Two thousand years later every Sunday School child knows the story. We give our lives, we have left home and family, we give our hearts, our time. We pour into the lives of those we teach and serve. But we can´t do this alone. We need you.

What about you? Will you bring your fish, bring your bread and let the Master multiply? Will you trust the Master? Will you be part of the Morning Glory Story?