By Word and Deed
The elderly man, “White Hair”, down the street, with a simple greeting and asking what he’s thankful to God for today is set off complaining about the problems with his son, the unfairness of God in making some rich and some poor, even about the fact that I am wasting money buying 4 liters of milk for my family. Contrast this with “Joyful Heart”, who soon after starting work as a clinic guard joined in on a day of prayer for some issues at the clinic and asking God to bless the officials involved in the issue. After that experience, he wanted to read the Word together. By the time we got to Isaiah 53 on the 7th week, he was ready to ask God for forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ , and was soon declaring he wanted to know the Bible better so he can teach others, and was sharing with his friends immediate family, and coworkers.
There are many reasons for the difference. Father, of course, was working in “Joyful Heart” preparing him for the Word, but another difference is that “White Hair” heard words without having a chance to see gospel lived out. “Joyful Heart” saw Biblical core values lived out among coworkers and with patients at the clinic daily. He saw us loving our enemies and praying for those who persecuted us. He saw dying to self as believing employees put other’s needs first day by day. He saw seeking God and trusting Him in the context of a stressful clinic days and business challenges. He saw integrity – the consistent whole (though by no means perfect) of love, service, action, and speech. Clinic work, business, village outreaches all give a chance for integral mission. “Joyful Heart” isn’t alone. This wholeness has drawn “Beautiful” to read Creation to Christ stories with two women coworkers weekly. It has made Dr. “Sunshine” eager for every Thursday staff Word and prayer time – always the first to read and answer questions in our study. Each of these exposures to spoken and written truth are integral extensions of service, respect, encouragement, and compassion that they see lived out through the week.
Throughout the world, some sort of ministry that meets needs – whether business, health, education, or other mercy ministries – is a key aspect to most movements of disciple multiplication by demonstrating love and providing access and integrity when sharing gospel truth. Besides co-workers mentioned above, we have seen Father open many doors to share with people through the clinic in many directions: patients whose homes we have visited and who we have prayed with in the clinic, young physicians coming regularly for training which includes both medical training and training in the core values of the clinic, government officials who inspect and oversee, and even other business people. All these people aren’t just being taught truth, they are being impacted and discipled as they see the consistency between word and action of integral mission.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18 (ESV)
By: Worker, Serving in Central Asia