The end of all things is near

February 4, 2018 , In: TEACH

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
1 Peter 4:7

This week I was reminded by Hannah, my sister who adopted me into the Yolŋu family, that our home will be with God in glory. She said to me and the students, as we were all totally captivated by her storytelling, ‘We’re just on a picnic here, our real wäŋa (home) is the one Garray (God) is preparing for us.’

And then today, Cameron and I read the verse above. It is a humbling thing to think about. I find it can also narrow your focus, keeping your eyes on the things that matter.

The end of all things is near.

Sounds very Lord-of-the-Ringsy, third instalment: Return of the King. How appropriate.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7

Our first week of school has been wrapped up in prayer… from the mouths of those who love our little school from afar, from the lips of our precious students, from the hearts of mums and dads, aunts and uncles… from the souls of each staff member.

Every morning, we have gathered as a whole school, sat around a circle and given every one opportunity to pray. How beautiful to hear the students pray, how wonderful for the adults to do the same.

The end of all things is near.

I want to be praising God and honouring Him with every breath. For a season, part of this is the privilege of going back into the classroom full-time. I praise God for the chance to spend the school day with our secondary students. Their class name Damala (sea eagle), reminds me of my dream for them to soar… embraced by Jesus and excelling in who He is shaping them to be.

The end of all things is near.

What a delight to be on the side of the King! This year, I am certain that we will see great and marvelous deeds from God. We already have. I’ve been praying for eyes to see what He is doing and lips that are quick to declare His greatness.

Glory to God for love and support from our community. As part of preparing for the year ahead, young Rach and I sat with community members, asking them what they would like to see the kids being and achieving this year. That short meeting probably deserves another post on its own but I’ll just say that we were encouraged and are grateful.

Praise Jesus for a fun, fruitful opportunity to role play with our teaching team: young Rach and I with our teacher assistants Daphne and Wendy. We acted out lessons and scenarios with ‘hypothetical’ cheeky kids to prepare us for the days ahead. It’s a great way to get our heads around written programs as they come to life. It was also just a good time together. We pray for more opportunities to sharpen each other in this way through the weeks.

Glory to God for students who have been engaged and focused in class. I was wondering why it was taking me awhile to cover all we had planned for the week until I realised it was because they were taking their time, being so meticulous and dedicated to doing their work well.

Praise the Lord for the power of His Living Word. One learning goal for the week was for the students to be able to read and understand the first two verses of Psalm 139. That may seem easy enough but two students could not even remember high frequency words like ‘and’ and ‘when’ at the start of the week. By the end, they could read and explain to you the verses below.

Glory to our Saviour for courage to speak and patience to endure. Thinking it would be a practical oral English exercise, I asked students if they were keen to call Marthakal to convince them to come and fix the power. At that stage, they have had two days of no power. We practiced lines they would say and waited for someone to pick up. When we finally got through, there was silence as the first student who is usually very confident got stage fright. There were more pauses in between students but even our shyest student, got her words out. Wow! The phone call ended in rejoicing as the man in charge said he would send the electrician out on that day. In an ideal world, that would have happened. But the road from town was terrible and the electrician found many other excuses not to come but with more phone calls, he came two days later and power to one house was restored. It is still an ongoing saga and we ask for your prayers.

Praise Jesus for a fun Friday, starting with prayer, a beach clean-up and an entertaining soccer game with mixed teams from both the primary and secondary classes.

Oh there’s more stories to tell but it’d just be me gushing about the students like a proud parent.

The end of all things is near.

Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who holds all things in His hands.




Questions and comments

    • louise
    • February 4, 2018

    I want to hear your stories aboit your student- go on, be a proud ‘parent’! Although going back to full-time classroom teaching will add to your workload I am so thankful to God that another group of young people will be impacted and inspired by your God-glorifying teaching.
    Much love, your ‘Ol teaching buddy Louise xxxx

    • Karen and Steve
    • February 4, 2018

    It is so clear that God has you right where he wants you – in his place, in his timing and for his purposes. Thank you for being so faithful to his calling. 😊

    • Carmelita V. Rojas
    • February 4, 2018

    Beautiful, inspiring! God bless all of you there at Gawa. .. May God’s works in your lives continue to shine and flourish. 🙏🙏❤🙏🙏

Rachel Herweynen

Teaching Principal

Alive because of Jesus. My husband Cameron and I have the privilege of living and working in a remote indigenous community, our home, Gäwa on Elcho Island, Australia. What a joy to not only be principal and teacher but also granddaughter, mother, aunty, child and mother-in-law. Above all, always daughter of the King.

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