In the Spirit of Giving thanks.

– Written by Paige Guthrie

Every week I am blessed to tutor english to at least two boys here at Casafé. Sometimes more youth come too, but I always know for sure these two will be here. They bang on the gate at 4pm every Tuesday yelling our names with the biggest grins on their faces. These two are brothers and get along very well with each other and everyone they come into contact with. They are incredibly outgoing and hilarious, brightening up the days of everyone they meet. I love teaching them every week; they bring an excitement for class and are attentive and respectful while I teach. Their patience is greatly appreciated and very important as I am new to this as well and I often need a lot of grace to get through the classes without too much confusion.

This week we started off with the verse Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” As with every other week we start with a bible verse. In my culture this is a month of gratitude. With this in mind I talked to them about being thankful. This idea: We live because of Jesus, we bear his stamp, and we owe him thanks for everything. I talked about the importance of giving thanks in every single circumstance. God is with us in the highs and lows, he is always there, thank him for that. Over time, as we continually point everything back to Christ, we will be a light to others, and they will see Jesus through our relentless gratitude in the face of worst trials or most desirable days.

I wanted to also bring in the flip side of this coin. This isn’t about others, it’s about Jesus, and we should aim to be like him even when no one can see us. It can be easy to sit back and hope the poor decisions we make, the things we do when no one is watching, are overlooked by God. Sometimes we need too be reminded that every actions are seen and meant to reflect Jesus; make them count. We should always be doing things to make God smile, he sees everything we do even when we don’t want him to.

It is encouraging when the boys ask questions and seek to understand verses; they definitely did this week! They were very happy to find that they don’t constantly have to verbally give thanks, as that would be exhausting, and understood what it meant to give thanks and worship through our actions, our prayer, and our thoughts. I gave them the reference to the verse one more time to encourage them to memorize it for a prize next week. After looking at the english version, we continued with the rest of the lesson. This week we reviewed numbers and practiced our conversation skills. We learned new greetings and some questions to ask someone you have never met before. Where are you from? What is your name? How old are you?

After the lesson they visit for another few minutes, then they hop on their bikes and ride off down the street to their home, happily conversing in spanglish. We will see them later this week for Casafé, and I will see them next week for another lesson.

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