The Life and Experiences of a Layman by Charles Boller

Pages 73 - 77


to return home to his parents and to "stay happily at home with them," I added. "Yes," he responded, "I would willingly return home but I have no more money." I helped him get back to his parents and he learned a lesson which he never forgot, that the world is very seductive and it is also treacherous.

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26. Conditions for the Success of a Sunday School Teacher

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I gathered the following points at a teachers' assembly on November 22, 1907:

First, in order to be successful, he must have learned the golden ABCs in the school of Jesus Christ; that is, he must have learned the basis of the religion of Jesus or have done proper penance for his sins according to God's word, tasted forgiveness and experienced the infiltration of Christ's love in his heart. Then for the first time he is capable of working successfully in his church and Sunday school, and overcoming the difficulties which he may encounter for the sake of Jesus. If one wishes to come to something in the world, he often must work arduously and diligently for it.


Second, in order to be successful, a teacher must pray, be attuned to God, study, in order to be in a position to bring something good, precious and savory to his classes. Pray thoughout the week: "O, Jesus, let me succeed in reaching the hearts of my class next Sunday." However if you think the students do no known whether you pray or whether you study the lessons or not, or if you think that it is studying when you merely read through the lesson page, then you are in great error. No one knows better than students when a teacher is empty and poor and when he cannot make the lesson sufficiently interesting to elicit questions, and when you wait painfully until the clock chimes in order to be rid of this burden. However if you have a warm heart, a heart suffused with the love of Christ, then it also burns in the hearts of the students to a greater or lesser degree. They develop respect and love for you, and you plant your seed in a receptive heart, which blossoms and bears fruit one hundred fold.

Third, such a successful Sunday school teacher is therefore a witness for his Savior and he roams the world outside the Sunday school as is seemly for a true Christian. He does not set himself on a par with the world.


People do not see him coming out of the theater, or out of the dance hall, or off the dance floor; he detests these gateways to hell, which rob the godly life of its Christianity. Indeed it is a fact that if boys or girls of twelve or thirteen years of age find out that a teacher visits such places, it is only a short time before it is known throughout the school. It's not that it may be a great transgression according to the students; rather they consider it primarily to be shameful and inappropriate for a teacher of the Sunday school of the Evangelical Community to visit such places. The result is the teacher decreases his influence and cripples his usefulness. The Lord help us officers and teachers to lead pure and God-blessed lives!

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27. A Noteworthy Experience

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It was the year 1902 that we first found ourselves in California and the last night we were in the Hotel Palm. My beloved wife woke up between three and four and she was greatly perplexed. She created a great deal of noise,


which woke me up. I saw that she had turned on a light, was greatly distressed and was looking for something. "What is it, Ma?" I asked her, to which she responded, "O, think! I can't find my teeth and I am quite certain that I had them in my mouth when I went to sleep. I've looked all over — in the bed and under the bed and I haven't found them; I believe I may have swallowed them in my sleep." She was close to crying. "Can that be possible?" I exclaimed. Sure, I had heard that people swallowed their false teeth in their sleep. "Do you feel anything in your stomach? The denture isn't so small that one couldn't see it from outside and know what it is." "No, I can't see or feel anything," she said. "Oh, what will we do now? I'll get dressed quickly and go to Brother Fischer, (who at the time was our minister in San Francisco,) and ask if he can give me the name of a good doctor. Why did this have to happen to us? We'll have to remain here for at least three months until everything is healed up again." Indeed, for us this was no small matter. Up til now we had been away from home for four months and we wanted to start the trip back home in the morning. In my mind I saw the surgeon


in this white apron and my beloved wife lying on the operating table. Oh, dear God, help us in this difficult circumstance. "Wife, listen to me. We shall search everything again very carefully," I said. "I've already thoroughly searched the bed itself and underneath it twice, " she said. To this I replied "We'll move the bed farther out." She answered, "It's all for nothing, dear husband," and she could say nothing more. But I didn't let that deter me. When the bed was pushed to one side, behold, there lay the searched-for teeth under the bed to our surprise and delight. If someone had sent us a thousand dollars we wouldn't have been happier or more content. How wondrous and mysterious are the workings of God! Indeed he went into hell; that is, through the valley of darkness, and then in an unexplainable way he imperiously came out.

When we returned home, I immediately went to my dentist, who is a very experienced physician and asked him whether in his great practice he had ever encountered someone swallowing their denture. He responded, "Yes, only once in the town of Aurora. A man swallowed his teeth and he had to be brought to the hospital


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Text provided by Lockwood Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, BX8080.B65

Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks