Erik and I met Christy when she was a student... and then got to know her better when she stayed on staff as the Bible school registrar. Christy was Erik's co-worker, but she was a friend to us all. She's now nannying in California. That's Christy, there in the middle, reading a Bible story to our kids before bed... and her man Bobby beside her. Here's how Christy's depending on the Lord at this stage in her life:
Well, as you know, I'm nannying right now for a family who aren't Christians. Lovely people! They are upright and honest and great employers. Also, the kids are a lot of fun and very dear to me.
While in this job, it was pretty easy sometimes to think, "Oh, I'm not really doing much right now as far as furthering the Kingdom goes..." which looked true from a quick glance. I don't hang out with many people who aren't Christians, I am not actually involved in my church beyond Sunday attendance, etc. BUT, God always quickly reminded me that HE placed me here in San Jose with all these people around me! I see people every day who don't know Him, and just because I am not preaching the Gospel verbally doesn't mean it isn't being preached through my life and actions. So I've had to depend on Him to present Himself to people I see in His way - not mine.
Apparently, being involved in church isn't the only way to build up the body and preach Christ. :) God has given me the opportunity to have a Bible study with my sister, as well as to spiritually encourage Bobby. I am still growing, and I depend on God to grow me through HIS plan - not mine.
Also, working as a nanny has pushed me into deeper dependence on God. I realized very early on that as much as this is a great job for me, I am VERY inadequate. I must depend on Christ for the wisdom I need in working with the children, as well as patience and self-control. And I depend on Him to show Himself to these children the way that He has planned. I have had peace that the work Christ is doing through me with these kids is to be simple groundwork. I want to provide something for them to look back on when they are older that will turn their hearts towards Christ. Of course, I wasn't really sure how to do this in the early months. But God really provided a way.
Tai (the oldest) and I one day got into a conversation about planes and pilots, and somehow got onto the subject of missionaries. When I explained what a missionary was, he thought it sounded boring (he originally thought a missionary was a person who went on war missions).
"It's not boring at all!" I answered. "There were once five men who went to Ecuador..." and I proceeded to tell him the story of Jim Elliot and the missionaries with him who were killed by natives, and whose families went to those same natives and taught them about Jesus and new way of life.
When I finished, Tai asked, "Do you know anymore missionary stories? Can you tell me more?"
Since then, that has been an amazing source of interest to the boys. They frequently ask for new stories, and when I am out of new ones, they request to hear their favorites again. I have been able to present the Gospel many times, and along with modern missionary stories, I often share stories of the early Christians from Acts. The stories really hold the boys' attention, and they have not tired of talking about and hearing them. I told the parents right away about these conversations, out of respect for them (not wanting to overstep my bounds). But they were in favor of me sharing my viewpoint with the kids, so long as I made it clear that these were MY beliefs.
Anyway, how cool is that? I prayed from the beginning that God would soften the hearts of this family and use me as a light, and I walked in dependence on Him to do those things. And He is! It is really exciting to be part of this!
The mother of the family is about to switch to part-time, so I am now looking for a new job (and would be really happy if I could use your family as a reference again!), but I have peace about leaving at this time. I know that God is working in the hearts of the children and parents, and that my time with them is exactly what He planned. Also, I think the children need to see their parents more, so I am happy that the family is taking this step.