The Most Important Thing

Friday, November 21st, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized

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Serving in ministry can, at times, be tough.  Serving in ministry in a different culture can, at times, be really tough.  Serving in ministry in a different culture, when you are confronted so often with such tremendous physical needs that you can do nothing to fix, can at times be downright overwhelming.

I used to sit in the comfort of a temperature-controlled sanctuary and hear stories of suffering and with a sincere, albeit naïve, heart say, “we just need to pray.”  How different that phrase feels when you are sitting in a 6’x12’ house, holding the unmoving hand of a man with a severed spinal cord, while his wife and 3 young children surround you looking to you for answers and you look back and say, “we just need to pray.”

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here.  I am not saying that we don’t need to pray, nor am I saying that our prayers are in vain or don’t matter.  What I am saying is, in that moment, when a man has been sent home from a hospital to die because he has no money or documentation and he is suffering and his family doesn’t know what to do and neither do you, it can feel like a hollow comfort to offer up.

One of the most difficult things about serving as a missionary, in a country where physical needs are all around you, is that much of the time there is nothing you can do about it.  Your heart is broken so often that it wears on you and you can lose sight of what is most important.  Yes, it even happens to those of us that are usually the ones warning others about it.   I was reminded however by one of our awesome volunteers what was most important when she said that she needed to remove her nursing hat and put on her missionary hat.

You see, we have to remind ourselves that what we are to be most concerned about is so much bigger and more important than the temporary suffering of this world.  Now, that does not mean that we are not to be concerned with physical needs as well.  The Bible is very clear as to what our response to physical needs ought to be as James points out in the second half of James chapter 2.  There are many other scriptures that talk about meeting physical needs as well.  However, it is also clear that we are never to lose sight that the most important thing that we can ever do for someone is to introduce them to Christ.  Nothing can be more important than sharing the beautiful and wonderful news of the Gospel with them.

When you sit and hold a man’s hand that has a very real chance of not being on this earth much longer and in front of his wife and children ask him if he knows who Jesus Christ is and he says, “yes.”  And then you ask him if he knows Jesus Christ as his savior and he says, “yes.”  There is a peace that comes with that that is beyond explanation.  You still grieve for his family and you still go home and cry, but you do so knowing that you put that missionary hat on and made sure that the most important thing remained the most important thing.

Yes serving as a missionary in a foreign country can be difficult, but there is nothing else that I would rather be doing.  Thank you God for the opportunity to serve You and to serve others.

– Chantz

Go MAD!