Monday, October 12, 2015

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  ―  Leo Buscaglia

Doing the blog late today because we had a friend from the United States drop by.  She is here continuing mission work she started several years ago and comes almost once a year to keep it going.  She also always brings things for us like hand sanitizer, electronic stuff for John, and pretty lady things for Karen.  She, like us, loves to speak English when she can, and she doesn’t get many chances here.  She is also here today because there is a large political rally by an opposition party taking place in the field just outside where she is staying—discretion being the better part of valor, she thought this would be a good time not to be as visible as an American would be in the middle of a political rally.   In addition to the gifts she brings us, she always has stories about the work she is doing and the incredible things God’s been up to in and around her visits.  She is always a delight to have over, even though we only see her for a few hours every other year or so.  We know lots of people in the U.S. who have been wrestling with the idea of doing foreign mission for years without actually doing any.  She just lost her job a few months ago, giving her a very good reason not to have come this year, but she follows her heart and here she is.  She is always good for us and not because of the gifts but because she knows how hard mission work is here in our area and how rewarding it can be and how to measure success in inches rather than miles, so she always brings us encouragement, fresh inspiration to do more, and has lots of stories that will probable make themselves into blogs later.  I’m not writing this to tell you how wonderful she is.  I’m writing this to tell you how wonderful you are.  Every single one of you can give the same kind of gifts she gives us, if you will take the time to go see those you admire, respect, and from whom you have learned how to be a better Christian, a better person.  I’m writing this to tell you that the good feelings she give us are not special gifts only bestowed upon her, but gifts that each of us has.  The gifts of listening, of understanding, of bringing thanks for the good things in our lives that have been the direct result of things others have done.  Christ told us and taught us to love one another and this is a very good way to do just that.  I’m giving you a little challenge:  take a moment and think of someone you would like to tell how much you like who they are and what they are doing.  Find someone who has inspired you or been a role model or has just helped you through a tough time by being there for you.  Every single one of you has more than one of these kinds of people in your life.  Give them the gift of Christ’s love by just giving them your physical presence in their lives.  Send them an email, share a Facebook post, call them on the phone (they can be used for other than just texting), or go by and see them and spend a little time in that wonderful old thing called conversation between friends.  There is no one in the world who cannot benefit from knowing that another person thinks that they are nice, special, a real friend.  Do something today that your future self will be proud of (it will make Christ smile).  We gave the man in the picture at the right a bicycle, five Bibles, but most importantly, we told him we were proud of him and loved him.  He has started and is still pastoring three churches in three remote villages where the church he started is the only one in the village.  You can change the world with a kind word.  We were blessed by a visit today which included many kind words, bless someone else with a little kindness from you today.  You will be blessed as well, and you can take that to the bank.

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