A good and faithful servant!

The man, the myth, the legend!
Today I had the honor of meeting Dr. Nabil Costa (the man who opened the doors to the Middle East and beckoned Dennis to walk through them) and he was everything I thought he would be.
Gentle, sincere, compassionate, and filled with an unquenchable passion to serve students with special needs and learning needs.
I attended a luncheon on Dennis' behalf (while he serves in Cambodia) to celebrate the publication of a book written specifically for teachers in the Middle East.
Professors from Biola University, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal Poly Pomona who authored/co-authored a chapter of the book were in attendance, and the energy and excitement in the room was unmistakable.

Everyone was so warm and personable that it did not occur to me until halfway through the luncheon that I was surrounded by experts in the field of Special Education. Not only experts - but advocates. And as a mother of children who have to fight hard to succeed in school, I was moved to gentle tears as I listened to these experts share their specific areas of focus and why they do what they do.
'Grateful' is too weak a word to describe my feelings for their efforts, and their hearts.

Dr. Costa was asked to share some thoughts with our small group prior to his public lecture that was to follow. He spoke only five minutes, but when he was done he could have given an altar call to a room of a thousand people and half of them would have followed him to the mission field, an orphanage, a Special Education school, or to sell popsicles in the Arctic! He speaks straight from the heart, and that heart has clearly been shaped and softened by the God who has fearfully and wonderfully made us. I was not prepared for his challenge, and yet when he finished speaking I wanted to jump out of my seat and shout, "Amen, brother! AAAAAA-men!"

As soon as I returned home I sent a text to Dennis describing the event and expressed my awe/enthusiasm/conviction/gratefulness for what Dr. Costa shared with us, and this was his response: Nabil is a mover. He has the ability to mobilize with words and passion. He knows the target and goes straight for the center. 
Dennis considers Dr. Costa a spiritual and professional mentor, and now I know why. I had the privilege to witness his mind and heart in action this afternoon and I left wanting much, much more! Thank you, Nabil!

Because I didn't have pen and paper available to capture all of Dr. Costa's words, this summary will not be perfect, but I think I caught enough to accurately communicate his point.

He began with this parable from Scripture:
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’
And he who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’
He who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ Matthew 25:14-19

-The guy who did the least is the one who talked the most.
(the first two men said 14 words, the last one said 42)
-The lazy person lists every reason why he did not do something - instead of using that energy to actually complete the task.
-Instead of DOING, the lazy man TALKS.

-Jesus kept His apostles busy.
He trained them to work. To minister. To serve.
He did not train them to be lazy, apathetic, or selfish.
He is the model. The apostles were His protégés.
As Christians, we must follow Christ's example and do the work of the Father.
No excuses.

-When God calls us, we must answer the call and get to work!
He has gifted each of us in unique ways and we must use those gifts to serve and bless others.

And for Dr. Costa and the dozens of men and women who serve in Lebanon and Jordan and other pockets of the Middle East, the work God has called them to do is to Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8, 9
Because they do it well, I am confident they will hear the Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" Matthew 5:23

This is the book they collaboratively wrote and published!
Strategies for Inclusive Education for Children
For Better Community
Smart but Different (words next to the yellow bulb)

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