Once again, my classroom ceiling is covered with stars. Spring and stars are now intrinsically linked in my mind. Our modern missions unit involves oral reports, research biographies, a bulletin board and Stars for each missionary researched by a student. This year there are sixteen. Here's what the final board looks like.
Some of the stars are exceptional. Look at this one, which remembers the life of Eric Liddell, a Missionary to China. All the detailed props have been fashioned with clay. I was especially impressed with the spokes of the bicycle and the laces and cleats on the running shoes.
This star--representing Corrie Ten Boom--was made by one of our students in his welding class. Each section of the second triangle was a separate bit of aluminum.
Cameron Townsend spent much of his ministry in Mexico, so his star was made of tamale-wrapping corn husks.
And Betty Green's is pilot's wings.
Florence Young's star, all hand threaded yarn, looks like the jungles on the islands she visited those many years ago.
Jim Elliot's star is made of spear tips, burned and sharpened in the fire.
Jonathan Goforth's is a fan, spread like his years of influence over Northern China.
We just finished reading chapter eleven of Hebrews in our morning teachers' meeting, and a phrase of it always runs through my mind when we do this unit: "of whom the world was not worthy"
36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
I know that passage is talking about Old Testament prophets and heroes, but I feel that these missionaries would qualify for that hall of fame as well. What a wonderful thing that their sacrifices were not for nothing, that this life isn't an end to itself, but a crowded little lobby where we stand before the porthole of the next.
Someday I plan to see these people, and and I know their faces will shine brighter than our clumsy, hand-crafted stars.