We’ve seen many of the kids open up over the summer, especially the girls. One girl who was always angry has started interacting with the others much better in a more loving way. She seems much happier also and sings all the time, when before she barely said anything. Another little girl hated to be touched. She refused all physical contact. Now each day before bed she will run up to the two girls on my team and give them big hugs. God’s love works in amazing ways. I have seen proof that it can break down barriers in our lives.
I think we try to make ministry this big hard thing that requires so much from us, when really it’s simple. It starts with simply loving people the way God loves us. One girl on my team said she thought ministry was just sharing the gospel, but she’s seen this summer that ministry can also be and it starts with loving people. All it took was two girls to spend time and love on the kids at the orphanage to change their attitudes and interactions with others. Maybe loving others is so difficult because we rarely experience God’s love ourselves. We don’t spend time with Him like we should and we don’t seek Him regularly so we can’t understand what His love looks like. If we don’t understand it, then it is hard to share it. It may be hard because we don’t have time to love others. We are so busy doing things for ourselves. Our schedules are full of too much “stuff” we do to try and make our lives mean something.
Think of what we could allow God to accomplish through us if we received His love to the fullest each day, then shared it with others. What if we couldn’t help overflowing with His love? That everyone we came in contact with we had compassion for and we wanted to serve them by simple acts of love, because that is how God loves us. And what if we spent some of our time sharing and learning with other people, really getting to know others? What if we invited people over to dinner, or took someone to Walmart with us, or go see the person who is lonely or hurting? What if other people mattered more than our appointment or our meeting or our activity?
It’s heartbreaking that we have to “go on mission trips” to minister (or be in full time ministry). Not that mission trips are negative in anyway, that’s not at all what I’m saying. I encourage everyone to go. What I’m getting at is that missions and ministry shouldn’t be a thing that we do once or twice a year or what we do if we are a pastor, it should be who we are each day of the year. It shouldn’t take us going to a different country to get us to love other people and clear our schedules for others. Isn’t that what we are called to do all the time right where we are, not just pastors or missionaries, but all those who choose to follow Christ?
I encourage you to start loving other people around you. Make small sacrifices for them. Take time every day to experience God’s love then share it. This stuff is life changing! If we want meaning and purpose, if we want to do things that will matter for all eternity, I believe with all my heart this is where it starts!