In the chapter I read last night, McCord says this, "When we go to dangerous places, to places where there are few if any Christ followers, we go as Christ's ambassadors, but we don't go alone. We carry the presence of Christ with us, the hope of glory. We love, serve, heal, and help those who are weary and heavy laden. In doing so, we reveal God's love and compassion to a hurting world. Yet we don't just reveal God's love; we reveal His truth as well. We offer His invitation, reconciling others to God."
When I read this, I thought of the Bishop we partner with in Mundri. Just a couple weeks ago, he held peace meetings with South Sudanese soldiers and members of the rebel group. He brought these groups together to work out their differences and reconcile. The agreement they signed might not hold up (there is evidence of this already), however, Bishop's efforts are beautiful to me regardless of the outcome. He is fighting for peace. He is on the front lines of trying to make the gospel relevant for two combatting groups. All-the-while, he's ushering the Spirit with him wherever he goes. He's showing the people in Mundri that they are worth fighting for and that the battle is not over yet. The enemy has not won. There is still work to be done.
|Will with Mary on his August visit to Mundri|
Our God is a God of love. When He calls us to do "crazy" (but the world's standards at least) things like move across the world to remote and difficult places, it is because He deeply loves the people He is sending us to. He wants them to know and experience His love and His comfort. He wants them to know they are not forgotten and they are worth fighting for.
This doesn't just apply to being called as a missionary overseas. God calls us to love His people wherever He has placed us. When we serve our neighbor or follow God's prompting to speak truth into a weary friend's life, we are ushering His presence. We are touching hands He can't physically touch and wiping tears in His love. With each act of compassion, we are revealing God's love in a hurting world.
When my heart feels tired and hesitant to go back into our lifestyle of unknowns and uncertainty, I'm reminded of how much God loves the people He is sending us to. He longs to show them love and mercy and I am privileged to get to be an avenue through which He does that. The beautiful thing is as we show mercy, we also receive mercy. As we usher God's love, we get to see evidence over and over again of His great love. In all of it, it is His love which compels us to love others and His love which ministers to our heart as well.