Friday, March 30, 2012
WE are in-waiting for our next leg. Today will be long. Leaving Siliguri for Bagdogra where we will fly to Delhi. We will be there until 2am Saturday morning at which time Tim and I will take a four hour flight to Bangkok (arriving in our new time zone at 8:30am, where Paul Chong will meet us. It is in Bangkok that we will be exactly 12 hours ahead of Montgomery.)
When I came back from South Africa, I wanted to write ONE more blog with reflections on what I learned during that 6 week sabbatical. Though Jenni Bass was relentless in asking me to finish that. I never did. However, one of the main truths that I gleaned from Africa was that most of the believers (that we met) used their occupation as a means to do what God wanted them to do (ministry). Compare that to, in America, occupation is everything. Ministry, for most, is optional.
While in Siliguri (as well as in Nepal) I have learned that if a believer is NOT ministering (to both God and to people) on an ongoing basis then quickly the sins of Sodom will manifest. Ezekiel 16.48-49 says: Sodom’s sins were as you and your daughters. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony and laziness while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.
The poor and needy are all around everyone of us. We need to pray (like Trudy says) to be FREE TO HEAR what God has to say. During the course of our trip Jeff mentioned that a young Nepali brother and sister were studying at Troy University in Troy, AL. Both were brilliant. The sister became sick and (thru the grapevine) Jeff was called. Jeff helped them get the help they needed thru hospitilzatoiin, etc. Then, when the sister wanted to return to Nepal, Jeff got tickets and escorted them back to their village. Jeff said that the brother mentioned that he had heard so many wonderful stories about America, but all he had seen was the small apartment in Troy, Al.
I quickly thought about all the brilliant students from other countries that are at AUM, Huntingdon, and ASU. We have foreign missions in our back yard. We have the “poor and needy” outside our door. We are so close (we may already be there) to being prideful, gluttonous and lazy just like in Sodom. We HAVE to get outside our “occupations” and realize that our occupations are simply there as a means to enable us to minister to the people right outside our doors.
God HAS ALREADY given us hearts for certain people groups: Children? Teenagers? College students? Singles? Old people? the Sick? Unwed mothers? Russians? Hispanics? Businessmen? Aid’s patients? Babies? Foreign exchange students? Widows? Sport-fanatics? Orphans? Which group are we pulled towards. I am asking God to give me the freedom to hear what He is saying to me. I am encouraging everyone to ask God to give you the freedom to HEAR what HE HAS TO SAY!. He is speaking. There is no middle ground. We are merely lukewarm pew warmers if we are not hearing Him and obeying him. His heart is always the very people that He has created, not our comfort and safety.
God is changing the way I am praying for my church, my family and for myself. I am grieved that too often the number one prayer I pray is for safety. God, give me the freedom to HEAR and then the courage to obey.by