The Almighty once said through the prophet Malachi that one day the difference between those who serve God and those who don’t will be visible (Mal. 3:18). The implication is that the Lord’s “memorial book” will be opened, and the faithful will be rewarded for the work they did. Those familiar with Hebrew know that serving God is working for him (avodat Elohim).
The life of a true believer is quite unreasonable in many people’s eyes. After a day of work they run to a Bible study, or to visit someone in a hospital, or to meet someone at the airport (hospitality is relevant here in Israel like nowhere else, since the flow of visitors to the Holy Land stays strong).
This should indeed be a distinctive characteristic of those who have experienced a change of mind: before, they used to please just themselves and their family, but now they notice and respond to the needs of total strangers. And I see the power that such a testimony has for those around us. It impresses them.
I have a lot of respect for people who serve others in their congregations, for example by ministering to children. This labor is hard, and attracts few people. Having begun to work at Caspari and to organize seminars for Shabbat school teachers, I started watching the seminar participants. Who are they? Why did they choose this particular area of ministry? How do they manage to succeed in it, being already overloaded at work and in their family? I met Lara, a young woman who has been attending our seminars for many years. I remember being amazed at her serious attitude to participating in the seminars. A single mother, working hard the whole week, she was doing her best to organize her schedule so she could spend her day off at a seminar that would help her grow in her ministry. A bit later I learned her story, and what made her get involved in ministry to children.
In her congregation there was need of a children’s minister, and since by profession Lara is a children’s music teacher, she felt a call to help. I don’t know if she argued with God, telling him about her difficult family situation or her lack of knowledge and experience in this ministry. What we do know is the result: she came and committed herself to working with children. She has been attending our training seminars since 2004. When I first met her, I asked her if she likes the Caspari seminars. “They are just vital!” she answered. “Where else can one see teachers from all over the country, listen to more experienced teachers, and discuss our common struggles? And also, I just like learning.”
Lara told me how the seminars meet her real needs. Two years ago she saw a great lack of materials on working with very young children, and suddenly these themes began to appear at every Caspari seminar. The Lord was not slow in answering. The same happened with the issue of discipline, which is relevant for all teachers. When there is a child in the class who can easily disrupt the lesson, the teacher has to find a solution. It was at Caspari seminars that Lara got tips to help her overcome these difficulties.
Today God’s blessings are visible in Lara’s life and ministry, for the Lord rewards faithfulness. He has blessed her life: she has a wonderful, interesting job and a very good relationship with her daughter. She is still a part of her congregation’s ministry to children, now as its leader, because the Lord is making her grow as a minister. After doing much learning and practicing, she is now able to teach others. At the coming Caspari seminar she will share the experience and knowledge she has acquired over the years. Blessed be the Lord, who does his work in us, calls us to ministry, and does not leave us or forsake us!