The following message was written in August 2005 after returning from a visit to Africa. It’s a good reminder of the need for relational ministry, especially as our family is preparing to travel on a type of missionary journey within our own country.
My daughter and I returned home from Kenya late Saturday night. During our two weeks in Kenya I preached nearly every day and often several times a day. We also had MANY opportunities to minister in smaller groups through prayer and fellowship. Everywhere we went, the children flocked to my daughter as she shared the love of Jesus in such a beautiful and natural way – I’m VERY proud of her! (The pictures are still posted on our web site.)
I spoke to many different groups, but it was clear that the Lord planned for me to primarily minister to pastors and ministry leaders. It amazes me how many doors have been opened! I spoke to several hundred pastors throughout Kenya. This is a real blessing because when we can encourage or help train a pastor we can then reach many, many more as they minister into their own community. I see this as my primary work in countries outside the USA.
One of my lasting blessings came as I ministered in a five acre refugee camp which contained 51 small mud-walled homes and over five hundred people. The food was scarce, medical almost nonexistent, and sanitation….well, not good! The conditions were so bad that several children were buried every month. And yet, when I gathered with about one hundred adults, they were praising God and sincerely thanking Him for His love, mercy, and grace. They had a faith which had been refined to the point of absolute purity. I tried to give them a message of encouragement and hope, but I pray the message they taught me will last the rest of my days.
Another lesson was more based on the entire culture rather than a single event or group. Cultures outside of our madly fast paced western societies are much more relational. Meals are NEVER hurried, and it’s impossible to stop in to say hello without having a cup of tea and an extended time of prayer and fellowship.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
The first “missionaries” shared the beauty of God’s love by truly loving, and they communicated His desire for an intimate Heavenly relationship through the intimacy of their earthly relationships. During this trip, God gave me some clear direction regarding how I can more effectively share the Gospel around world, but He also taught me another very important lesson about ministering by simply sharing life.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries