“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” --Isaiah 25:4
“If you do away with the yolk of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light withal rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” --Isaiah 58:9-10
A lovely thing happened at my house the other day. Really, it was a God-thing, a gift. It was a gift that was about 45 years in the making. My husband Skyped with a childhood friend that he had not seen in over 40 years. They had exchanged emails, but they had not seen each other or spoken in person. They hadn’t lived on the same continent in that long. Not even the same hemisphere. But God. He orchestrates some pretty amazing stories. Some are really long. And while this story is quite long, I have a feeling that we are not even close to the end…
My husband was a little one, about three years old, when his family moved to Indonesia in the late 1960’s. When they moved back to the United States, he was 11. As you can imagine, a lot has happened in the years since then. One of those things is that he has returned to Indonesia to continue/renew/grow a work that started long ago by his father, and another gentleman. Interestingly, his childhood friend has also returned and worked with some of the same people. They had been exchanging emails for some time, and then decided to set up a time to talk to one another online via Skype, so that they could converse “face to face”— thanks to modern technology, because they are still living on different continents! They discussed how they will work together to bring hope to the people of Nias, Indonesia.
My husband, Scott, was not only encouraged by the reconnection with an old friend, but also the shared love of the Lord, and the people that He has charged us to care for. We are not alone in this effort. We, as the body of Christ, are charged with a responsibility to care for those who have less than we do, therefore being the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing light and love into a dark world. But, isn’t it just like a loving God to give us some encouragement along the way? When we do these things, He is pleased, and we are blessed. So, this blessing today is that Scott and Benny have been able to be back in touch with one another after many years. While they work to minister to those in Nias, it is interesting to note that their families worshipped together In Jakarta, Indonesia many years ago. Did I mention that we live in Nebraska and Benny and his family are in Australia? About a year ago, our daughter went on a mission trip with a church group from Singapore…they travelled to serve in Cambodia. As God would have it, two of Benny’s kids were also on that trip, and Bailey, our daughter, and Tim and Faith, Benny’s children, became good friends. And though they live thousands of miles away, they remain a special part of our family because of shared faith and shared heritage. No matter where you are from, no matter what the political atmosphere where you live, what your opinions might be on any current affairs, what remains most important is sharing the love that the Father has lavished upon us. We are so grateful that God’s love is for all, regardless of citizenship or location. We will continue to work to share that love, and appreciate your partnership in doing so!