This morning I had the privilege of spending an hour at Sequoyah Elementary School. It’s just down the street from my office, but the second grade students I met this morning made it seem like I was on a mini-mission trip to another country (or actually several).

If you’re not from Oklahoma, the name Sequoyah may not ring a bell. But, since I was a little girl, I remember seeing his portrait hanging in our state capital rotunda–a heroic¬†statesman who brought reading and writing to the Cherokee Indians.

So it seemed only fitting that my task this morning at Sequoyah Elementary was to listen and help children read. I listened to the story of Hansel and Gretel through the voices of Jillian, Brandon and Maddi. I was struck by Brandon’s statement that he was cold this morning and that he didn’t have a jacket. Get this–it’s not that he forgot his jacket. He doesn’t own a jacket. I listened to sweet Maggi struggle through several words and pondered that she probably doesn’t have parents who speak English (or at least it’s definitely not their first language).

As I looked on the faces of Asians, Indians, Caucasions and Hispanics, I was quickly reminded of how teachers in our city are modern day heroes and missionaries. I saw a second grade teacher who loved on these children and praised them at every opportunity. I saw a principal who sees her school as an opportunity to give young children, who mostly live in poverty, a chance to better themselves, learn the English language and grow up in a safe environment.

School is winding down in most of our states and I’m only too sad that today was my first day to volunteer. I’ll be back. I think I found a place to love others to Christ just down the street ¬†from my third floor windowed office. How are you moving outside the walls of your comfort zone?