Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Becoming the hands and feet of Christ (5)

I consider myself as a fairly down-to-earth Christian, living day-by-day as a child of God, having from time-to-time wonderful experiences with the Lord but without being dependent on these “exceptional” experiences to be able to function as Christian. I consider these experiences as “nice to haves” but not essential. But during the first few months after starting with our home-based caring project, we experienced so many things that could not be described in any other way than miracles, that we really felt that God was spoiling us. Probably these things were necessary at that time, as we were starting to walk a road that would not always be easy. After I committed myself to arrange for the training of a group of people as home-based caregivers, I afterwards realised with a shock that we had no money with which to feed the group who would be trained. Training would last for a week and we would have to supply tea and lunch. The people who were to be trained had no money to contribute towards this as they themselves are extremely poor. In any case, we were expecting them to do this work without any salary and therefore we could not ask them to pay for their training.
Two days after we made the decision to train these people, a cheque arrived at my home from someone that I have never met. In a short note he wrote that he had heard that we were involved with an AIDS project and he would like to contribute something. Another two days later an amount was paid into our church account and next to the amount was written “AIDS project”. On the morning that we started with the training someone slipped some cash into my hand and told me that she and her husband felt that they would like to contribute something towards the training of these people.
Receiving all these amounts were a miracle in itself, as we used the money to buy food. But the greatest miracle happened at the end. When the training was over and all accounts had been paid, we were left with only 20 Emalangeni (the Swazi currency) – this is less than $3. What we realised through this was that God would take care of us and our needs and that we had to learn to trust Him for everything.
I will share a few more stories of some of our experiences, but this was probably the most difficult thing for me to learn – and the learning process is still continuing. Sometimes I still want to jump in and do things myself instead of trusting God. And then I also struggle to know what our responsibility is and what we have to leave entirely to God. The line is not always clear. I have made a decision not to ask people for financial support. But then sometimes something comes up where an offer is made for which we have to apply and then I struggle with the question: Should I apply or not? And I know all the normal answers about taking up our own responsibility and that God helps those who help themselves. But in our unique circumstances: What does God want us to do? The answer today may not be the same tomorrow.
Ultimately we have to learn to trust the Lord fully and to walk this road with Him.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - Posted by | HIV & AIDS, Mission

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