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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: Encourager
By Anthony David
10/31/06


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ENCOURAGER

Shivering slightly, she stood up. It was in the English class. Ann was not very sure of her grammar. She was an unassuming girl. She dreaded to be in the lime light. Their English teacher
Ms. McGregor was a martinet. She bulldozed into her students every day. She chose a new victim for every class. Today it was Ann.

Ann was petrified. She stammered, “M..M..Ma’am, I ..I ..d.d.d.d.on’t know..”

“What? You miserable girl!” Ms. McGregor blasted, “You have the audacity to stand in front of me and say ‘I don’t know’? Why on earth are you studying then? Why don’t you lot take up some housemaid’s jobs?” Her neck veins bulged as she glared at Ann.

Ann was cowering. She flinched as she stood hesitantly. Ms. McGregor continued unconcerned, “I think you lot are not worth anything. I don’t know why I need to waste my time teaching louts like you. You are never, never going to come up in life.” She wagged her forefinger menacingly at Ann.

Ann’s eyes were brimming with tears. She was thoroughly upset.
***************************

Ann sat alone at a corner table in the cafeteria. She was toying with her food. Her friend Ruth came to her table and put her plate on it. “Hello Ann” she said, “Can I join you?”

“Please, please leave me alone…” sobbed Ann as she hid her face with her hands. She was about to cry. Ruth understood. She quietly took her plate and walked away.

Ann continued to sob. She thought, “Why do I need to live this life? Am I worth anything?”

Suddenly she felt someone’s arm around her shoulder. Startled, she looked up to see her Science teacher Sarah. Sarah was one teacher who could relate to all of them. The students loved her and shared freely with her.

“My, my, are we feeling low now?” said Sarah as she hugged Ann. She settled down beside her and asked, “What’s wrong Ann?”

“What isn’t Sarah” exclaimed Ann as she began the recital of her troubles, “I couldn’t answer Ms. McGregor in the Grammar class this morning. She shouted at me in front of the entire class. I felt humiliated. I wonder if I am worth living?”

Tears began to swirl at the corners of her eyes. They overflowed and trickled down her cheeks and on to her thick curls.

Sarah moved closer. She said, “Well Ann, life is not only English Grammar. Even if you don’t know good English Grammar, you can live. But why don’t you take it as a challenge and work hard till you master grammar. I think you will excel. I have confidence in your ability.”

“Really Sarah,” blabbered Ann, “Do you think I can make it?” “Why not Ann,” replied Sarah, “with God’s help you can.” Replied Sarah confidently. A smile began to hover around Ann’s lips, “With your help I think I can do something”

“Our Lord God will help you do well Ann” said Sarah as she opened her bag. Taking her well-worn Bible from inside, she read, “ In James 1:5 it is written, ‘ If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him’ Do you believe in God’s word Ann?”

“I do Sarah” replied Ann her eyes glistening. “Can you pray for me now?”

Right there, in a corner of the now deserted cafeteria they both knelt down. Sarah prayed, “Our heavenly Father! I thank you for giving us the privilege to come to you so freely. I now place your daughter Ann into your hands. She needs your wisdom, especially in learning English grammar, Lord. As she puts in hard work, bless her efforts and let them blossom O Lord. I thank you Lord for you are a prayer answering Lord. In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.”
A special light seemed to gleam in Ann’s eyes as they got up to leave the cafeteria. “Thank you Sarah,” she bubbled, “You saved me from deep despair. I am sure God sent you to me. You are such a good encourager. God bless you.”

*************************


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