A girl named Emma and a teacher named Joseph

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Yesterday, I was invited to speak at a Christian Club at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. When I accepted this invitation, I did NOT know what to expect, but I was anxious to speak to a group of students standing for Christ in the midst of a secular environment.

When I arrived, it was such a powerful lesson of Shepherd’s influence here in the valley. Sometimes when you preach week after week, you fail to realize how much a difference the Lord is making in people’s lives.

Emma is a high school senior who helps to spearhead the Christian Club at Burroughs High School. She had invited me to come speak to their group. This group of 20 to 25 students meet once a week over the lunch hour, and they usually have a guest speaker. Emma is a member of our Church and had also gone with us to Japan several years ago on our missions trip. I just wasn’t aware of the fact that this young lady is making this kind of difference in her school.

How many high school students do YOU know here in L.A. that are leading a Christian Bible study at a public high school? I was rather impressed with Emma’s leadership and commitment as she lead this gathering. How pleased God must be that Emma would be willing to lead and organize a Christian Club in the midst of 2700 students in a public school environment!!!

I was soooooooooooooooooo blessed when I walked in and was actually able to preach God’s word in a public high school.

I did not know that in order to have a Christian Club in a public high school, there must be a teacher who is willing to host this club. Surprise!!! When I walked into this particular classroom, GUESS WHO the teacher is that is willing to host this class?
Lo and behold, it is a man by the name of Joseph Hadaya. And GUESS what church Mr. Joseph Hadaya attends? Yep, you guessed correctly… Shepherd of the Hills Church.

I have seen Joseph many times in church (he is an USHER on Saturday nights), but I never knew what he did for a living. I didn’t know he was a Math teacher in a public school.

Let me tell you… I went to that school thinking I wouldn’t know a soul, and as I walked the halls and went into the classrooms, there were several students who came up to me and said, “Hello Pastor Dudley.” One boy named Aaron actually had me sign his yearbook! I’m sitting at this desk, signing a year book and REJOICING at how God is using Shepherd to make a difference in so many lives…. And then I started thinking that this is just ONE high school. We probably have teachers and students in EVERY school in this valley that love the Lord and have joined us in making a difference for Jesus in this Valley…

So… I just want to thank Emma and Joseph for standing up for Christ, and I want to thank ALL OF YOU who do the same each and every day. May God continue to bless and anoint HIS church so that the world might believe.

In love,




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