‘What our children needed’
CARACAS, Venezuela – Mike Bennett sat calmly in the parents’ assembly, facing a battle he knew he might not win.
Bennett, an International Mission Board missionary in Caracas, had been hosting talks in local high schools on values. Each talk included a Gospel presentation, and the mother sitting across from him wasn’t happy about it.
“My family is very devoted to the Virgin [Mary],” she said. “I know that you people are evangelicals, and you’re coming to this school to try and convert my kid. I’m pretty suspicious about you.”
“I understand what you’re saying,” Bennett responded. “All I’m asking you to do is give me one shot, and you can come and listen. If you think that it’s inappropriate or we’ve done something to damage your child, I won’t ask to come back again.”
The mother agreed.
The following week, a visiting volunteer working with Bennett gave a talk on self-esteem for the students. The discussion focused on one’s identity in Christ, and the speaker clearly laid out the plan of salvation. Afterward, Bennett braced himself for the mother’s anger.
He was surprised when she hugged him instead.
“I can’t thank you enough,” she said. “This is one of the best things I’ve ever heard, and that’s exactly what our children needed to hear. You’re welcome here any time you want to come.”
PHOTO: “Venezuelan students walk to class in Caracas.”
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