This past Sunday, I had the joy of seeing my 5th grade Sunday School teachers, and the privilege of speaking at the church they pastor in Waller, Texas, Fellowship at Field Store. I was first introduced to Mr. & Mrs. Chivvis when they taught me for about half a year in 1992-1993. It was during my time in their class that our family first moved to Ukraine. They had a little farewell party in Sunday School my last week, and then I was gone. I never expected what followed. Regular letters, including photos, and even an occasional box of goodies would arrive in Ukraine from Mr. & Mrs. Chivvis. Knowing that I was not forgotten, hearing about what was going on in their lives, getting those special treats from the States – it all meant so much to me. Through the years, I have enjoyed seeing them every time I’m in the Houston area. This time, seeing them caused a lot of reflection on my part. I was struck that this couple, who isn’t related to me and didn’t even know me until I showed up in their class, has now been a part of my life for over 20 years, simply because they chose to go beyond (far beyond!) what they were responsible to do as Sunday School teachers, and invest in the life of a child God brought in their life. It made me pause and think about how I respond when God brings people in my life. When I know God is leading me to invest in someone’s life, do I do the bare minimum, try my best, or really give it my all and go far beyond anything that might be expected of me? God has used Mr. & Mrs. Chivvis so greatly in my life, and they have often been a source of comfort and encouragement. Last Sunday, I was blessed to see, and hear about, the young people that they continue to invest in, as God brings them into their lives. Their example challenges and encourages me to go the extra mile in the relationships God brings into my life. I hope it does the same for you.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” -Matthew 6:19-20