The NEA is a volatile environment, to say the least. The Word of God says we are engaged in spiritual warfare on this earth, as “the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). So far, this year at the NEA has been no different. There are many battles taking place for the hearts and minds of those here and the enemy is taking every opportunity to thwart our efforts in this vital ministry. As you read these few examples of this war, please think about ways in which you can be praying for us.
The National Education Association (the public school union), has now proposed an amendment to their standing rule, specifically Rule 13. Currently, this rule guarantees freedom for caucuses, delegates, and affiliates to promote ideas contrary to NEA policy, while disallowing external groups from doing so. The proposed amendment would remove this line of distinction and censor our ability to promote the idea that God is the Creator. Last year they tried to stop us from promoting the creation message by marking all of our materials with an advisory label. (Thank you to our volunteers Beck P., Paxson P., Jared P., Jesse S., Emily F, and Bev J. for graciously taking the time to place on the materials.) Apparently, this was not enough for some people, as this tactic of total censorship to any contrary opinion has been proposed. This sounds extremely intolerant coming from those who would have us believe they stand for tolerance.
In a related issue, we have faced intolerance from yet another group of so called "tolerants." Our neighboring booth of Navajos expressed opposition to us due to Dan Breeding's ball python. In response to their religious views, we extended the olive branch of peace and graciously put away the offending reptile. However, our compliance was not enough to appease the tolerant group. They went to the leaders of the event and requested that we be moved because our attractions were hindering the ability for them to sell their wares. We are now moving our exhibit across the aisle to appease this group. Pray for these people that our efforts to make peace would allow an open door to share the Gospel of Christ.
Take heart Christians. It is not all darkness. God will always preserve a remnant, and so far He has encouraged us with this truth. We have had so many words of encouragement and thanks for our efforts for our presence here. I spoke with one man who works for the NEA in administration. He expressed to me that he has been born again, and relayed to me an incredible example of God's people standing in the gap. Two years ago there was another vote to silence us from our presence here. During this time, our brother told me that he and a group of believers gathered together to seek God's face on behalf of our struggle. He said that the oppostion was long and loud. However, when it was all said and done, the vote was overwhelmingly supportive of allowing us to continue to proclaim God's Word. Thank you God for this great opportunity.
We have yet another example of how we are encouraging others to boldly stand on God's Word. This year, the pro-life caucus, Teachers Saving Children, has followed our lead of displaying scripture to combat cultural views. They boldly are standing on Psalm 139 and proclaiming that it is God who has made man and Scripture is the authority on when life begins. We will be blogging again on this group, and how we have been able to encourage them to trust in the truths of scripture.
We covet all your prayers for our ministry here. “The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Thank you brothers and sisters.