Thursday, October 10, 2013
"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" —Hudson Taylor
To live to bring the Word to those who have never heard it, to live the Word to those who have never seen it lived, to love as Christ loved to people who have never known such love, that is the life of the missionary. Many see our lives as lives of great sacrifice since we live where malaria and AIDS kill millions, where medical facilities are poor and many, many medicines not even available, but we see our lives as lives of joy, of adventure, of pure delight for the changes we have seen in the lives of those around us and around the country. It is really not hard to do without McDonald's and KFC, nearly four billion people do without them. It's not hard to live without Starbucks and 911 at your beck and call if no one around you has access to them either. We have learned to treasure the things that really are treasures. One Sunday morning we drove out into the bush to begin a new church in the village of Kabainja. It was a two-hour drive that involved driving in many places where there were no roads and where we had to use GPS to find the spot, but there it was: a tree surrounded by flat desolate land. The tree had two tarps tied to it and about one hundred adults and children gathered in the shade the tree and the tarps provided. We prayed, we praised, we preached, and we baptized 82 new Christians that morning. There is no concert, famous restaurant, or wonder of the world that had greater meaning and joy than that few hours in the bush in Tanzania. We have watched and helped as nine more churches have been begun. We have celebrated Holy Communion with hundreds who had never experienced the celebration of Christ's life, death, and resurrection as demonstrated by the Eucharist. We have watched as new Christians formed bricks from mud and built their own church building while we still have many others "praying under a tree" or using a schoolroom as a temporary church. When Christ spoke of laying up treasures in heaven, we never really knew what he meant till we came here and found what true treasure is. We are happy here in spite of our bouts with malaria and with what we do without because we have been given the keys to the Kingdom by simply obeying God's call and coming where no one had invited us. We are among the truly blessed and are thankful for all those who support us with their prayers and gifts, but by supporting us, they are obeying the Great Commission from wherever they are. We love God, we love the people we serve, and we love those who support us--as well as those who hate us and try to drive us away. If God is for us, who can be against us?