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Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Glory of God is Intelligence

The recipient of my service this year is our beloved “Hock”. I am honored to have him, as he is a continual example to us of selfless service year round.

As we were on our mission and involved in service 24/7, I wanted to think of something that would be an extra stretch for me. As the last month became packed with things we needed to do, I decided that I wanted to make time to do my project. I decided to think of what Mike would do with his time. I have had the opportunity to teach a 9 year old sweetheart, Rein, how to read and do some math throughout the past year.

As we neared the end of our mission, I considered telling Rein that our lessons were finished, because I had so much to do. Then when I thought of Hock and the sacrifices that he made for his education, I decided to make teaching Rein a big priority during my last month. I decided to move it up a notch, and dedicate my efforts to Hock.

The Congolese French first reader book was very boring. We had worked on it for months and she had learned the sounds and basic words. However, I wanted to teach her to love reading books. I went to the only bookstore in town and found some cute little French/African storybooks about children.

 I bought them up and took them to read with Rein. We had a wonderful time reading the books together. We loved the book on “Bananas” and then the book on “A New Dress”. We would read them and study the darling paintings, and together we would laugh and squeal with delight. I left one or two books with her at a time, and then traded the next week.

On our last day in the Congo, I took the time to go for one more lesson. When I said goodbye to Rein, I gave her a cute pink blanket to use in her new room and a CTR ring. But I think her favorite gift was the book that she chose about a little girl who grew out of her dress, so she got to choose new fabric for a new dress, African style. Everyone tried to talk the little girl into choosing bright African prints, but she stuck to her favorite fabric and ended up with a darling white dress with red polka-dots.

Rein and I both learned from these lessons. She grew in knowledge and ability and self confidence.
I grew in appreciation of the education that we have been blessed to obtain in our lives.

Thanks, Michael Hock, for being such a great example to our children and grandchildren on the value of education.  You're the best!


  1. Wow, imagine how much this act of service could pay it forward. This cute girl could become a school teacher and teach so many others to love reading! What a joy she will be to her village.

  2. Being able to read and to love reading will open up so many paths for that sweet girl.

    I love her big pink flower headband!