Saturday, April 25, 2009


Dear faithful readers,

I've written about 6 half-posts but I wasn't satisfied with any of them enough to post them. Apologies aside though, I have big news. Huge huge news....

Victor, who has been my student here since September, finally passed his math exam to get his high school diploma! This is incredible. He has taken the exam and failed upwards of 7 times, enough that people stopped counting. He was the main person Brian and I both had in mind when we decided to come down for this year to teach math. He is our "project" if you will.

Some background: Not having your GED here is a huge roadblock on life. A person can't get a decent-paying job, can't go on to college, and usually can't get a visa to visit other countries, namely the U.S. Without a U.S. visa it's really difficult even to travel to places like Europe, Asia, or Africa because so many flights pass through the U.S. Basically people are stuck between high school and the rest of life, already having finished high school classes but having failed the government exams needed to officially get their diploma.

A bit about the exam: This is a comprehensive exam covering high school math, much of which is not "life-skills math". Algebra, Functions, Logarithms, Geometry, and Trigonometry are covered. How many of you remember how to find the volume of a sphere? How many of you know the domain of the tangent function? How many can find the equation of a line given one point and the equation of a perpendicular line? These are all test questions and things which are not easy to teach yourself at home from a book. People here aren't unintelligent, but they are in desperate need of instruction if they're going to pass this exam.

Now a little bit about Victor. He makes an impression on everyone who meets him. I bet almost every volunteer who has come down to the project to serve even for just a few days remembers him. He is one of the most talented people I've ever met and has an unforgettable personality and passion for Christ. He wants to study theatre and possibly business in college and one day hopes to have his own theatre company. He has huge dreams to do theatre, dance, and other arts performances worldwide to share Jesus' love with peope wherever he goes. He's had invitations to attend theatre academies in other countries and been invited to do internships with different ministries in the United States. Before this week, all of those opportunities were blocked off by one thing - the high school math exam that he had yet to pass.

Now I want to tell you all how victory on this exam was a miracle from God. The test is like any other standardized test, with a test booklet and a separate scantron answer sheet - you know, use a #2 pencil to fill in the bubbles. Anyways, for the government exam they let the test-takers leave with their test booklet, containing all of the questions, answer choices, and scratch work. Victor worked through the test booklet, indicating his answers, and at the end he filled in the corresponding bubbles on the answer sheet to turn in. After the exam he brought his test booklet to Brian and me to see how he'd done. We corrected his exam and gave him at best a score in the high 50's when a 70 is needed to pass. We were disappointed, but I remained optimistic, refusing to tell anyone that he'd failed. I just said I'm still optimistic and waiting for God to do a miracle. I said "Maybe God confused him between his question sheet and his answer sheet and he accidentally filled in some correct answers." After all, we're at the Abraham Project, where God has provided everything from the beginning and continues to take care of everyone on a daily basis. Why should we doubt him in something as small as a math test when he's provided construction materials and money, and even miraculous healing at all the right times?

As it turns out, God did do the miracle in helping Victor pass his exam. And the best part about it is, God didn't leave any room for doubt that He was the one who accomplished this feat. If we had concluded from Victor's question sheet that he had passed, we could feel good about ourselves as teachers and Victor could feel proud as a student. As it is though, we can boast in nothing but Christ who gave all of us great victory over death and Hell and who answered our prayers to give us this small earthly victory over a math test.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Laura Ann. said...

Praise God!! He is so good!

Parker said...

Awesome! On an unrelated note, what is the domain of the tangent function?

Carol said...

Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing. I love to hear how God works in all things. (Is Victor the deaf boy?)

Jonathan said...

Congrats to Victor, Brian, and you, and praise to God for all miracles! Victor has so much potential and God lights a path wherever Victor is.