How Great Is Our God
Ever since I began my story of my experience in Egypt, the Lord has opened my eyes to things that happened on that trip that I didn’t realize while I was there. It is kind of like reading a very good book, you learn something new every time you reread it. In the last chapter, I discussed the importance of being on mission for God. Let’s see what God will reveal in this segment.
Divisions in the Church
Today was the last day of visiting the villages. Unlike the other places we visited (which were predominately Muslim in their beliefs) the majority of the population were mostly Christian. One would think that this would make our visit go smoothly.
Unfortunately, word of our coming had rubbed some of the other churches in the village the wrong way. They were jealous of the church that invited us in because they were the smallest in the community. As a result we were not allowed to photograph the village nor give greetings to people who we would pass by.
It amazes me how envy among believers knows no language barriers. It is also a little saddening that such things would cause hindrances to the fellowship of believers in God’s kingdom. Even in churches in America are not immune to such jealousies. I have even heard stories of churches breaking apart over the type of worship music being played! What kind of witness are we showing to non-believers when we argue over such petty things?
Working with God’s Servants
For these last home visits, I was partnered up with Ken, who was one of our team pastors. Just the way he interacted with families in each home showed to me that he truly had a servant’s heart. As I listened to his conversations with the people, it inspired me to have a similar heart for God’s people. Ken must have suspected this because he gave me a chance to take the lead in some of the interactions with the families. My translator again was Anna and she was truly a blessing to me on this mission. Since that trip, I connected with Anna on social media and we have had frequent dialogues through online chatting; she is indeed like a sister to me.
Heart Wrenching Stories
In one house we visited, the father passed away recently and when we wanted to take pictures of the family, the mother refused. In that culture a widow wasn’t allowed to have her picture taken during her time of mourning. Fortunately, Anna assured her that only those in America would see the photograph and she gave her consent.
In another home there was a boy named Antony. He had a mental condition that was so severe that he didn’t even know his age or what grade he was in school. In that culture there is a huge stigma toward the mentally ill and as a result, there was no support for him in the village.
The last home I visited was Nate’s family. A while ago, his mother got burned in a fire and her right arm was fused together at the elbow; this prevented her from doing most of the work she did around the house. However through the generosity of those in my church, she was able to receive three surgeries which made it possible for her arm to work again. It just comes to show when the body of Christ isn’t divided, it can do wonders.
During dinner, we had a time of reflection with Pastor Ken and Luigi. Their comments were encouraging and added yet more pin pricks to my already pin pricked heart. One of the comments (which came from Luigi) was that at the beginning of every day on this trip, when the translators would receive their assigned teams, they would ask Luigi, if it were possible that they could work with me that day. Luigi also noted that even though I was very reserved and quiet by nature; he knew that I had it in me to be more open and talkative. I took his words of encouragement to heart and since that trip, I have been more open and even more encouraging to those around me.
To be concluded….