She was the monitor in this class. Therefore she collected the communication books. The books I asked students to write in once a week. My way of finding out what they would never say.
Reading the monitor’s book’s entry, I became quite unsettled. She outlined the difficulties she had getting along with her classmates. It was the last sentence that really knocked me. “Maybe I should just go to a high mountain and live there all alone.”It was not uncommon for students in tertiary institutions to succumb to the pressure of obligation, and thus suicide. I feared that this young lady was on the road of despair. Could I possibly ignore this cry for help?
I wrote an invitation for her to come and see me and talk about what she had written. I included my phone number. She rang and made an appointment. It was then that I learned her life-long struggle to fit in. To get on with people. To just feel comfortable.
I was stressed out. It was so sad to hear this lovely young lady being so distressed. But what could I do. I was a foreigner in her country. I needed to help her. While listening I talked to Jesus and asked his help.
Against all regulations, I introduced her to the reality of living following Jesus. She listened, and then just had ONE question. “Can Jesus change my relationship with other people?” I replied “Yes,” and she asked “How?” I admitted that I did not know.
Other than in class, I did not see her again, except a few times in church on the Sundays. Then the winter holidays were due, and I asked her to come and see me. I asked how she was, and did realise that she was much more motivated. I simply asked, “Did Jesus change your relationship with other people?” This time she replied, “Yes.” Now I asked, “How?” and she replied that she did not know.
To see the change in this lady and to see her positive outlook after the depressive attitude of the past, was such a joy. Now my question, “Was it worth breaking the rules for?” Foreign teachers were not permitted to introduce people to Jesus. Should I just have left her to find any way out?
Should I have obeyed the authorities, or was I right to help a young lady in distress? Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. She was just as entitled to that rest as you and I are. She went on well the rest of the time I knew her at that tertiary institution.
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