Pupils do not only learn historical facts
Normally on Fridays the Peruvian Flag is hoisted at the Colegio Diospi Suyana. To comply with tradition all pupils and students then sing the Peruvian Anthem. But the last event had a small musical twist: to commemorate the German National Day on 3rd October the German pupils sang their own anthem. The above picture bears witness to the fact that not all hearts and emotions joined in the singing. But nevertheless the topic of a divided Germany was discussed.
Walls are and were at all times a brutal reality. 1,000 people died trying to breach the inner German border. That was a long time ago. Fortunately, this sad chapter of history was closed 29 years ago.
Teacher Jonathan Rosenkranz reports that things in the school yard got seriously exciting. Some pupils performed an adaption of Paul White’s “The Great Wall.” In this play the animals are separated from the better part of their habitat by a high wall. They try everything to surmount this obstacle: the kangaroo cannot jump over it, the rhinoceros almost breaks its horn against the wall and the tiger, snake and koala also fail. It makes you go mad.
Dr. Paul Hamilton Hume White (1910 – 1992) was an Australian missionary doctor who worked at a missionary hospital in what today is Tanzania from 1939-1941. Because of his wife’s ill health he had to return home after a mere two years. Whilst travelling back to Australia by boat he wrote his first novel “Jungle Doctor.” The book was soon translated into 80 languages and left a deep impression on young people the world over.
The Australian wrote several more volumes in which he combined African flair with Christian aspects. It goes without saying that “The Great Wall” has a serious background to it: it denotes man’s separation from God.
That is the key assumption of the Christian Faith: our wrongdoing cannot be excused as being simply a trivial offence. It causes separation from God. Mankind feels this distance and wants to bridge it. All religions offer solution models, most of them entail adhering strictly to rules and regulations. The Christian approach is totally different: God becomes a human in Jesus Christ and in our place carried the “sins” of the world on Calvary’s Cross.
We can breathe again. God’s grace lets us live. We are free. In every age this way annoyed the learned people. It does not comply with our natural disposition. We do not want to anything to be bestowed on us; instead we want to climb the ladder to reach God by ourselves. In so doing we rely on our supposed good works. Our efforts leads either to despair or to a cold self-righteousness.
Interestingly enough over the past 2,000 years millions of people have found their peace with God at the foot of Jesus’ cross. That is applied theology tested in practice.