Recognising The Call Part 1
(From the series:Ministering Through Songs)
Janice Simone Ramkissoon
11th November 2009
On the 5th September 2009, God reminded me of a special day in high school. I recorded the details of that day and in looking back it helped me to refocus and move forward. I now share it with you in the hope that it will help as you continue on your journey with Christ:
In high school, my second year form teacher asked: “What would you like to do when you grow up?” Without hesitation I responded: “I would like to be a teacher, an evangelist and a doctor.” I didn’t know why I said that. I had no understanding of what an evangelist did or what it took to be a teacher or a doctor. I gave this its own name—an acronym—T.E.D which means: Teaching, Evangelizing and Doctoring.
My favourite subjects were English Literature, English Language and Religious Education. I loved reading poems and stories and my English teacher, Mrs. Williams, was also my Literature teacher as well as my favourite teacher in High School. We often had our English Literature class, outside, under the shade of a Guango tree, at the front of the school. Her style of reading made it easy to relate to the characters in the books she read to us: “To Kill A Mocking Bird”, was quite intriguing and I could see myself in the story as she read. As I watched the expressions on her face and listened with admiration while she read to the class, I knew I would enjoy teaching others in this fashion, in the future.
Mrs Williams was gentle and very patient with the class, especially the disobedient children (she displayed the kind of beauty that 1st Peter 3:4 speaks of). Other teachers would argue with these children and sometimes remove them from the class, but not Mrs. Williams—she made them feel part of the class and encouraged them to make the right choice. She would give them several warnings and if they further interrupted the class she would stop what she was doing and share a story with that child (short and simple but proved very effective). They would learn the importance of being obedient, without having to miss the lesson. This reminds me of the story: ‘The Lost Sheep'(1) —It is very important that all the sheep are safely in the pasture. In my travels, so far, I find that not many leaders are willing to go that extra mile to ensure that the lost are found—they are not willing to take the risk of breaking from routine/religious acts to seek and attend to the needs of those who are lost (whether they are sitting in the pews or have stopped meeting with the saints on a regular basis).
Mrs Williams’ gentle display of Proverbs 15:1(2) is a quality I long to see in many teachers/ leaders today. I now realise the similarity with Jesus’ teachings via parables and I want to be more like Him everyday. Therefore, I am drawn to individuals who display the character of Jesus Christ. That’s why, as a young believer, I admired Mrs. Williams, my English Literature teacher in high school.(3)
In my All-Age School, Religious Education (RE) was top of the list for me and I knew that when I grew up I wanted to teach RE to children. So in High School I was very attentive in RE classes—I didn’t want to miss anything that the teacher said. Today, I look back and realise that God has given me the opportunity to teach via Sunday school and youth group within my former and current fellowship. He also placed me within schools with children from foundation stage through to junior level, where I had the opportunity to share His love with these children in many different ways. I was employed in the capacity as a Midday Supervisor at my son’s infant school(4)where I shared God’s love through caring for these children. Sometimes it’s through singing songs with them, to cheer them up or just for fun, while on the playground or in the classroom. At my former community youth project,(5) I was given the opportunity to give back to my community via storytelling sessions as part of a summer programme and thoroughly enjoyed it.
We don’t always realise how God is using us but I’ve learnt that as long as we are walking in His will, being submissive to Him, we are available vessels for Him to use and He can use us in any way. He has given each of us a gift, at the least. That gift is a seed which needs to be released—planted, watered and nurtured—so that it can grow and bear fruit.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s site” (1st Peter 3:3-4)
1)Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7
2)“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
3)St. Joseph’s High School (Kingston, Jamaica)
4)St. Joseph’s Infant School, Gardenia Avenue, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
5)New Initiatives Youth & Community Association