It came as no surprise that my students preferred playing a good basketball game to learning first aid. But as a teacher at Delap Seventh-day Adventist School in the Marshall Islands, I had been tasked with teaching physical education and first aid. And I was determined that they learn both.
I’m not a first aid instructor, but I had been required to take a first aid class to serve as a college assistant dean of women. I’d never needed my skills until now.
A few weeks into the school year, the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society held a high school first aid competition. Two students in each school were chosen to be trained by the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society. Then these two students would teach the other students in their class. The teacher could not do the teaching. My responsibility was to provide things the students might need to practice for the competition. We were given only two weeks to prepare!
A trainer had been appointed to help us, but he came only once because he lived so far from the school. He had left mannequins for the students to practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a 346-page Red Cross Society First Aid book, six strips of cloth, three long pieces of wood, and three tablecloths. The rest was up to my two students and me.
I prayed for guidance. Then I photocopied the theory section of the book and handed the sheets out to my students to study for their test. I left the practical part to my two student trainers. I asked God to help us practice and study the things that would be included in the competition. I worried because I didn’t have a program guide for the competition and had no idea what to expect.
Before we left for the competition, we had our morning worship, which was about Gideon and his 300 men. We prayed and left all our anxieties before the Lord, claiming Joshua 1:9, which says, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Then the 15 students and I went to the competition with the materials we had been given and a lot of faith and prayer.
When we arrived at the competition site, one of my students was given the day’s program by one of her friends from another school. She turned to me and said, “Miss, take a picture of this. I have to return it to her.” I took a picture of the program and sent a prayer of thanks to God.
One of my students then noticed that the other schools had come equipped with their gear for the competition. He turned to me and said, “Miss, they came prepared, and we're going to lose.”
I could see he was discouraged because we hadn’t brought much equipment compared to what the other schools brought with them. I looked at him and said, “Win or lose, remember we came here to learn. Don’t worry about what the other schools have. We will improvise with what we have. We’ve already told God what we need, and He will provide. Have faith. Remember the story of Gideon.”
He smiled and said, “OK, miss.” I praised God for the wisdom that He gave me to speak to my students.
During the event, my students and I improvised with the first aid materials we had, plus extra shirts, socks, hair bands, and scarves to participate in every session of the competition.
By the end of the first aid competition, Delap Seventh-day Adventist School was first in the First Aid Theory questionnaire and second overall in the Marshall Islands First Aid High School competition!
I praised God for answering our prayers and using me as a witness to my students. It was a perfect opportunity for my students to see God answering their prayers before their very eyes. One of my students whispered to me, “Miss, now I know what it feels like to have God fight and provide for you and also answer your prayers. It’s a happy, good feeling.”
This experience reminded me that God, the Creator of the universe, sees the end from the beginning, so in every trial, be it minor or major, I must trust Him fully with everything.