Friday, October 1, 2010

Lord, teach us how to Give.

There is an unintended joy in missionary life. It is when the helper becomes the helpee, when the gift taker becomes the gift giver, when the cup that once needed filling overflows into another cup.

We began to see this early on but it has become a pattern now so we felt the need to mention it as a principle that we are seeing emerge in outreach. If you can stabilize someone and if you invest in them love and care, many return the kindness to others.

Jesus tells a story of a woman who had lived a sinful life and found mercy at the feet of Jesus as He forgave her. He said in Luke 7:47 "her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." Jesus explained to us a principle of outreach that frankly has amazed us.

We have a friend named Tony. He came to us last year, homeless. He was sleeping in his car in the cold of winter. He had dug a pretty deep hole financially and we didn't know how to help. He was full of joy and thankful for any help at all. We tried to make him comfortable as he slept in his car. Blankets, food, hot coffee when we came in each morning. But last winter was cold, very cold. And one day Tony came in with numb feet. As our doctors suspected, damage from the cold. Can you imagine how we felt? We let our friend get frostbite right in our own parking lot! You can bet not many of us slept well those days. But then God provided another friend who got him in an apartment she owned. And he began to heal... and slowly and surely began to dig himself out of the hole he was in.

And then the principle kicked in...

Before you know it, over a period of about three months, Tony had found five other homeless guys. He put them up with a smile on his face, never once fussing about the extra mouths he had to feed (on $650/mo) or the many extra burdens they put on him. Three of them have gone on now. One more due to get on his feet in a couple of weeks. I just celebrated Tony paying his last car payment today, you know, the car we found him in. He was rejoicing because now he could help more people.

Friends, I feel like the other guy in Jesus' story... the Pharisee. Would to God that I could give like Tony. There's a great hidden joy in outreach ministries, each day we get to be around the Tonys, people who give much more in return than we ever give them.

Thank you Tony for teaching us how to give.


0 - read/write comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.