Every time I come home from a mission trip I notice a change in me. This time however, it was a different kind of change. This time I didn’t just glance across the surface. I wasn’t distracted by all things new- culture, food, cuteness of the children and beautiful smiles of the people. Like a knife cutting through the flesh, it went deeper and I saw “real life” in Kenya. Coming back to visit this familiar place for the 2nd time, was good for my soul. Aw the value of consistency-it is good! I recognized people and many remembered me! I saw the progress of their hard work between visits (four years earlier). I saw their love for the Lord Jesus and recognized spiritual growth in both the older children and the adults. Washing clothes in a bucket, wearing shoes with toes cut out, eating the same thing out of the same bowl every day, waking up to the beat of a drum at 5:00am, going to worship the Lord before walking up the hill to school….this is their life- and they are joyful and content! How they serve. How they smile. How they love. How they respect their elders. How they are so grateful for what they have. How they don’t complain about the fly on their forehead. How cow poop on the trail is no big deal! How they depend on the crow of the rooster instead of being annoyed with it. How they don’t live by a “to do list” that controls their every waking minute but instead take each day at a time. How they can be content by leaning on the side of their house, made of mud, for however long and never think, “I’m so bored!” How they greet EVERYONE they pass by. How they don’t complain about walking 2 hours (in the rain), to hear someone talk about Jesus-but are grateful for the opportunity! How they live on Kenya time and enjoy the simple life. How knowing Jesus has changed them-this is what I noticed.
Before Jesus ascension, His words were plain to the disciples and now to us. “You will receive power and will tell people everywhere-Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8.
On June 9th, 2013, I left home burdened for the people of Kenya …my Samaria, to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On June 21st, 2013, I came home burdened for the people in Cypress, Texas…my Jerusalem- my neighbors, my family, my Cypress, my Houston, and my Texas-to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If I can stand in a market place in Kenya and participate in a skit that shares the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God-shouldn’t I share the same message in the market place here, in my Jerusalem(?); just a thought. One thing’s for sure; I want people to recognize the unconditional love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ- in me. (and you!)I want people who are hopeless, to have hope in Jesus Christ. I want people who are lonely, to know they have a friend in Jesus Christ. People who are broke, to understand they can be rich in Jesus Christ. I want people who need healing, to find it in Jesus Christ. I want Christians to believe what they read in the Word of God is TRUTH. I want them to live it and share it.
This past Sunday morning, I introduced my Bible study message by carrying a globe in a plastic bag over my shoulder. The analogy; God did not create us to carry the weight of the world, but He did create us to love the people who live here.
Today, look past the surface; look deeper into the lives of those around you. Get to know your neighbor by name. Pray for you Jerusalem (the place where you live), that when people see your love, they will come to know His love for them.
“For God so loved the World, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." -John 3:16-17
God loves you! God loves your neighbor! God loves your enemy! God loves your relatives.
God loves…THE Whole WORLD! Tell someone that God loves them-TODAY!