At 9:30 pm on a Monday night, I walk into our Institute building. The building is dark except for a stream of light escaping from one classroom window. As I approach the room, I hear laughter echoing down the long hallway. Though I try to slip in as discretely as possible, my presence is quickly recognized along with the camera hanging around my neck. I hear murmurs of “mom bun,” “sweatpants” and “If I had known she was taking photos today…” as the room of women quickly straighten their posture and smooth down their hair before I begin snapping photos. Despite the quiet protests, I can sense a certain giddiness in the air. Every single woman in the room (except me) is a mom and this is their weekly opportunity to study the Word together. There’s an excitement of not only being kid-free for a few hours, but spending those hours learning the Word with a group of all your mom friends.
This was one of two classes our Institute offered for mothers this semester. The timing of the class was chosen specifically so that mothers could attend while children would typically be asleep. One mom testified to such, “Every week, I was able to tuck my son into bed and then spend the rest of the evening learning God's Word among a classroom of women that I love and respect, being taught by one of my best friends, no less!"
One of our values as a community is that we are all “life-long learners,” meaning that there’s no end date or graduation stamp on learning the Bible. Whatever stage of life a person finds themselves in - learning the bible is a worthy and necessary pursuit. Liz Kagay, mother of three, echoed this sentiment, “As a mom it can sometimes feel like such a victory just to get to class; meaning to find childcare, get the kids set up for success and just getting there can seem challenging. However the benefit of setting aside the time to learn and making time to learn is ALWAYS beneficial; it makes me a better mom, wife, friend, and daughter.”
Deborah Nava, mother of two, recognized the unique opportunity to formally study the bible as a mom, “It's such a privilege to continue to have Bible classes available to me that are designed to meet our needs for this season of life. As mothers, we share similar concerns and thoughts about our role and how we can continue to be sharpened by God's Word. The lectures and dialogue were rich with these considerations. I look forward to the next 'moms' class."
I’m not a mother, but I think it’s pretty wonderful that our Bible school doesn’t only cater to college students, but provides a venue for many different demographics of people to learn the Bible. There's way more happening in that room each week than I could grab in the few clicks of my camera. They're being sustained with the bread of life, and it's infiltrating their daily tasks with a clearer picture of the Lord and what he wants from us. Even as a mere witness to the occurrence, I'm thankful.