Is It Worth Investing in the Lives of Students Cross-culturally?
Cynthia Zimmerman, Missionary, Bolivia
The Call, January-March 2017
Throughout our years at Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center, we have seen the Lord work beautifully in the lives of our students.
- A second grader leading his parents to the Lord
- The mother of a kindergartner coming to Christ as she studied her child’s weekly Bible verses
- A third grader praying persistently for the salvation of her grandparents in China
- Seventh and eighth graders taking a clear stand for Christ and leading worship among the upperclassmen
- High schoolers confessing that nothing satisfies but Jesus
- Former students returning, excitedly sharing their acceptance of the Word of Truth that they first heard at SCCLC
- Alumni—now parents themselves—enrolling their children in SCCLC and thanking God for transforming their lives through His Spirit, at work in and through the school
- Graduates serving Christ literally around the globe; redeemed lives who received a quality education and are now being used by God to transform society
Remembering what God has done makes it easy to affirm that being a part of His work here has been worth it all!
However, sometimes we don’t see how God is moving. In 22 years of teaching in Bolivia, there have been many normal days as well as a few discouraging, bewildering, seemingly fruitless days—days when Satan tempts us to question if it is still worth it.
Just as some days seem more fruitful than others, the “price” also seems to vary in the changing seasons of our lives. There is the sting of rising emotional costs each time one of our children leaves home to attend college in the U.S. Yet, God holds them in His hands and guards us all in His peace that truly is beyond our comprehension. There are times when the costs skyrocket, as they did for me in 2016. My father passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind my mother for whom he had been the sole caregiver in her struggle with Parkinson’s disease. For me, Mom’s only daughter, the emotional cost of teaching math in Bolivia increased exponentially.
Is it still worth it to continue serving Christ in Bolivia? What makes it worth it? Favorable results? A reasonable cost? Simply the fact that it is what God has asked us to do?
It is interesting to consider that God undoubtedly knew that many would never choose to accept His gift of salvation. However, it was still worth it to Him to send His only Son to be the Savior of all who would believe. Likewise, it was worth it to Christ, who knew no sin, to bear the sins of all mankind—even the sins of those whom He knew would never accept the redemption that He provided for them—in His body on the cross. He paid an extravagant price, but it was worth it all because that was the Father’s will.
SCCLC is a field ripe unto harvest. Though not every student will readily turn to Him, Christ came for each of them! It is our privilege to share the great news of the redemption and transformation that He freely offers. God still works mightily in the lives of our students and their families.
In this particular season of my life, when family concerns pull at my heart and the cost of being here is more noticeable than before, I’m realizing that the appropriate question isn’t “Is serving in Bolivia worth it?” but “Is this still what God would have us to do?” We will seek Him and follow Him however He leads. He orchestrates the plan and produces the fruit. He sets the price and provides the joy in paying it. Doing God’s will is always worth it. He is God!