Additional "From Further Afield" Articles


Published: 3/12/2013 4:21:58 PM


Recently, I've begun attending an exercise class, and though I haven't attended one in many, many years, I've found myself instinctively knowing what to do. Point my toes here. Bend my back a certain way there. Position my hands one way, my legs another, and my head just so. After the first couple classes, I began to wonder why. Why do I know how to do these things? Why is this knowledge part of me? And then it hit me: I learned to do these things when I was young. I trained as a gymnast from the time I was six until 5th grade. I was surprised, however, to discover that although I hadn't used this knowledge since then, it came back to me quite quickly. I suppose that what you learn as a child sticks with you throughout your life.

I also notice this fact in my 2nd and 3rd graders that I currently teach. They seem to have super recall and can remember little facts and information that happened in the beginning of the year or before. Although they can't see how the things that they learn now affect them, looking back on my own life, I notice them, as do the people around me who have known me for that long.

Now that we only live a couple countries away from each other, my best friend and I (pictured above) had a chance to meet up this weekend. We've been friends since 3rd grade, and told many hilarious and wonderful stories about the times we had back then. We also made observations about how the things that we experienced and learned then still affect us now.

Thankfully, both of us were raised in Christian homes where we were taught about Jesus and the Gospel from forever. Now that we are older, we still haven't departed from the faith that was in us from such an early age. Our relationship with Jesus began at our baptism and has been shaped by what we have learned from our parents and other Christians. We can remember parts of the Bible like they are our own stories, and surely, they impacted us in this way as well.

We read in Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Very practically, this verse reflects the truth that what we learn as children will have a huge impact on the rest of our lives. This can play out in many ways, like learning how to catch a ball or point our toes. The most important way, however, is in our faith lives. Those of us who are parents or teachers or work with children in any capacity are given a tremendous responsibility. For what a child learns when he is young is of the utmost importance.

Unfortunately, too often here in Hungary I meet children and students who were not brought up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. They may believe that there is a God by sheer reason, but the knowledge of Christ or of the Bible is just not there. Things of faith have never been in the forefront of their minds because they were not taught them growing up. Perhaps you have met people like this too. Obviously, I can't go back to the time they were children and teach them what they should have known, but now I see them every day. And now I can teach them, now I can proclaim the Gospel to them, now I can talk to them about their problems and why Jesus is important.

When the time comes, I would encourage all of you to train up children in the way they should go. Teach them the stories of faith found in the Bible, the grace of Jesus Christ, what having a relationship with Jesus means, Law and Gospel, and the foundation for life. Secondly, don't be surprised when you meet people who don't have this foundation, but try to meet them where they are.

I pray that the Lord will be with us and give us strength as we endeavor not to turn from the way we should go, but to share this knowledge with others.

Er's v'r a mi Isten'nk,

Contributed by Sarah Berta-Somogyi

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