The ESL class (also known as ECS) is one of my absolute favorite things to be a part of in Tulear. Made up of mainly high school & college age students - they are some of the most brilliant folks I have ever met. Their drive and determination towards learning as much as they can is inspiring. Most of the them are not simply working on English but are fluent in French, Spanish, and Chinese. All of the language study is on top of their normal class work load - seriously, they rock.
I often wonder as I'm teaching, if their work ethic is why some of them struggle with the truth that God's salvation is a gift...something that can not be earned. Nothing here comes for free. I know that's the case in most places in the world but here it seems even more so. Gifts are not taken lightly - the geneorsity behind them and the sacrifice required is not taken for granted.
Their struggle has become my struggle but in a different way. Do I take time to consider the generosity of God? Am I thankful for the sacrifice that it required for Him to offer me eternal salvation as a free gift? And at the same time, don't we fall into the same traps of thinking that there is no way His gift can truly be free? We strive to do the right thing, to be a "good girl/boy", to have a strong Christian resume full of committees, teaching positions, and faithful chuch attendance and tithing. Somewhere along the line, we bought into the lie that we need to earn His favor, His grace, His mercy, His love, and His forgiveness.
It's always humbling to be teaching and to be so desperately passionate that people "get it" and realize that there is still so much for me to "get" myself.
His salvation is a gift.
His salvation is free to anyone who believes.
His salvation was not free to God - He sacrificed His one and only Son.
He is the One who paid the Cost.
Glory to Him.