5 February 2019
“Teacher, may I come to visit you. I want to talk to you.” It was one of my former students on the phone. I had taught her two years earlier. Of course I said ‘yes’ and we made a time that was convenient to both of us.
This young lady was at a private university, established by an elderly Chinese from Taiwan. During the civil war he and his family had fled to Taiwan and now he had set up this university to use his wealth for his birthplace, or as the Chinese would say, his hometown.
This university had some ties with the top university in the nearby capital city, but the Degrees that it gave students were of a much lower value. Much of this was because the faculty was mainly their own graduates, and teachers and professors who moonlighted from other universities. Most of the students came to this university because they had not obtained a place in a government university. This was their last hope of some more education.
She arrived at my flat and soon I heard the whole sad story. “Teacher, we are so worried. We will graduate at the end of this year. Our Degree won’t have a high status and we fear not being able to get a job. Some girls can’t even sleep. We are so frightened.”
I could see the stress on her face and hear it in her voice. She wasn’t crying, but her heart was broken. Many of these students were from poor farming families and often the whole village would have put in money to pay the fees. These young people had an obligation to repay all that. I sat there and was praying under my breath while listening. These young people needed Good News, they needed help.
Then it came very clearly, ‘Jeremiah 29:11.’ I wasn’t sure how that would fit into the picture. I asked her to let me just get a book. It was my bi-lingual Bible. I found the passage I needed and asked her to read it in her own language, Chinese. She read, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ As she finished she exclaimed, “Oh, there is a plan.” Her countenance changed and there was hope in her eyes.
It was my privilege to then explain where that hope lay and how to access it. She gladly accepted and came back until she had finished the foundation booklet. God’s word always gives hope.