Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sharing others sorrow

It has been a pretty full two weeks. We've had friends from the states in and out of our house. I finally got some time to go visit some of my friends around the city. One of them is a man who works at a restaurant. We became friends because I always go there on my break from teaching English. His five month old son died. Apparently he got tangled up in his blankets and suffocated. I was shocked. I have a two month old myself. He made the comment, "My boy is in Heaven." I told him that I would pray pray for him. We talked about that when things like this happen everything else loses its importance. Later I thought, "He has the assurance that his son is in heaven, but he doesn't know if God will accept him." How sad! This was another reminder to me what a privilege it is to be accepted by God. The people we meet our lost souls. They are not just something to put in a prayer letter. They are not our projects. I think about some of the ministry that I have done and how reckless I've been. It is not right to barge into someones life so that you can make a friend or so that they can come to church or ride a bus etc... and not be there when they are hurting. If we truly care for their souls we will be there when it really matters. Many times God chooses to use those difficult circumstances in peoples life to give us an opportunity to show the love of Christ to them. Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide me as I continue to talk with this man.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Who are you fooling?

This is just a note for anyone who reads this and is afraid of working in what some call closed countries. Many people are afraid that people in the country they work will find out that they are a Christian worker(missionary). They go to extravagant measures to be sure to look like a true business man or something else. Even if you are a legitimate business man they will still not believe you. The fact is people already assume what you are. Everyone is a missionary for some cause or another, and every major religion(Islam, Buddhism, etc...) has missionaries. I am pretty open with people that I know. So I was at work today and my boss who is Turkish told one of my students while we were in class that I was a 'misyoner.' Now the only thing that I have ever told my boss was that I want to teach the Bible to Turkish people. Now I don't use the term because people don't associate it with a person that loves God and wants to proclaim his message to others. My boss did use the term. I told him that I don't use that term, but that I want to tell people about what the Bible teaches. The people in what some call closed countries need to see that people who love God and want to preach His message are not threats. The more open you are the better. Of course there are times when you don't tell just anyone everything. Jesus did this many times. If you remember the Pharisees asked by what authority He performed his works. He told them that if they answered his question he would tell them. So he asked them if John's baptism was from heaven or of men. They didn't answer Jesus and He didn't answer them(Matthew 21:23-27).We don't waste our words with people who aren't interested. With those who are interested we show them our hearts.