I cannot remember the first time I heard the story of The Mountain Schoolhouse, but I can remember who told it. I have heard Mrs. Jane Varn tell this story dozens of times in my life. It is hard for me to express what Mrs. Jane has meant to me. I have known her practically my entire life. I say “practically” to be on the safe side, but I honestly don’t remember ever not knowing her. Our families went to church together, went to school together, fellowshipped together, and even owned a vacation home together. Mrs. Jane taught me (and my youth group) the book of Revelation when I was 13 years old. As a result, I became a lifelong student of God’s Word. She was someone I respected, admired, and sought to emulate. Anyone who has ever met Mrs. Jane will tell you that she was a warrior for Jesus. What a blessing to know that she entered His presence when she received her ultimate healing from cancer and went home to heaven several years ago. Someone at her funeral said that they wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t knock a few people down to get to Jesus. However, I’m not so sure that He didn’t knock a few people down to greet His faithful servant and cherished child.
A couple of days after her funeral, I was cleaning out some things and came across a cd of Mrs. Jane telling the story of The Mountain Schoolhouse. I immediately popped it into my computer and listened as tears streamed down my face not only from the touching story but also from the sound of her strong and beloved voice. Before sharing it with you, I wanted to find out something about where the story came from. As many times as I have heard it, I didn’t know who wrote it, where Mrs. Jane first heard it, or how she came to tell it so many times. So I contacted her family. Her son Luke responded:
Mom always said that her brother, Tom, told her the story when she was 7 and it made an impact on her. He however, doesn’t remember telling her the story so the origins are unknown at this point. Mom first told the story when her church pastor indicated that they needed someone to teach the adult ladies Bible class. No one indicated that they would teach it, so mom stepped forward to do it, BUT get this … she was in the 7th grade at the time, when she started teaching the adult class. It really doesn’t surprise me, however. Anyway, one of her first stories to this adult class was of the mountain school house. She said it had an impact on them at that time, and she never forgot it. She began telling it more and more, and was always amazed at it’s effectiveness.
A few months ago I had the privilege of going to South Asia and meeting many precious brothers and sisters in Christ. One Sunday we visited a small church in a village and were asked to share a brief testimony. I wrestled with what God would have me share and felt compelled to share the story of The Mountain Schoolhouse. I am certain that I did not deliver it as well as Mrs. Jane would have, but I couldn’t help thinking how happy she would be to know that even after she went home to be with the Lord she is still preaching the gospel – even in South Asia!
I hope that you will be blessed by the telling of The Mountain Schoolhouse by Mrs. Jane Varn. Click here to listen. Listen and let me know how this powerful story impacts you.