Jan 4, 2017
Before we leave 2016, I want to share a few things I learned from the global church this past year.
Caring for the poor serves the entire community. It was an incredible sight to be welcomed by 150 people at a Maasai village in June simply because two girls from the same family are being supported in school. Three months later, the girls’ father was given ten goats as a kickstart to provide for his family. The entire community has one less family now to care for. This family contributes to the community overall and two of their own girls are in a better position to contribute in the future as they become more educated.
Refugees are, first of all, people. This is what we learned from our partner Paul in Turkey, when he shared the small Turkish churches were caring for those who had been uprooted by war. Giving food, water and shelter in the name of Jesus made a profound impact on those trying to rebuild their lives.
Simple letters keep hope and joy alive. Two schoolgirls in Swaziland showed me last March the letters they had received from their sponsors. Proudly displayed in their simple home, there was a constant reminder that someone cared for them and prayed for them. The power and hope of child sponsorship was evident in their smiles. The two clips below will tell you more on the impact of sponsoring a child…
My visit to in our Care Point in Swaziland…
Cinthya and Chris Brown tell their story to Connie. Cinthya was a sponsored child. What a heartwarming story…
Follow up on the raised hand. An evangelist came to Paraguay and at the end of his message asked people to raise their hand who wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior or for further counseling. Bruce and Luis followed up with several Ayore to ask why they raised their hand. Turns out they wanted the little booklet being given to new believers! The salvation message was not clear to everyone, but raising the hand was well understood. This illustrates the need for follow-up and ongoing local ministry so new believers and church leaders are well grounded by trusted leaders in Christ and the scriptures.
The common thread among all of these observations is relationships of trust.
- The Maasai trusted those who helped with school fees and helped the father. Church attendance has gone up.
- Refugees trusted those who helped them with basic needs and they are more open to hearing about Jesus as they see Him being lived out.
- Sponsored children find hope in people who sponsor them, trusting the words of encouragement they receive in letters and the Christian teaching they receive at school.
The church is growing in many parts of the world as followers of Christ step into the opportunities before them and faithfully demonstrate Christ in word and deed. We can learn from their example. What opportunities are in front of us at home and abroad that we can step into this coming year?
Remember to pray for the team going to Indochina Sunday, January 8. Signups are here.