This week we are honored to be hosting a couple from southern India who are Brethren Missionaries there. We met them for the first time yesterday. They arrived last evening just before supper and we plan to take them to their next destination on Friday. This morning they both spoke to our local congregation and shared the work of the Lord in India. It was such a blessing to hear how prayer is changing the hearts and lives of people there, many in very desperate situations.
They showed us a DVD depiction of a young boy who was once a rag picker, and is now a Pastor to a small village church. All I could think about as we watched him pick through heaps of refuse to find filthy rags to sell were our own children. What if that was our son or daughter, starving to death in the garbage dump? My mother's heart just broke. Currently, the Brethren orphanage is home to 80 such children, boys and girls who are in need of forever families. The need is so great.
I often wonder about the heart of God. If my heart is so compelled by the needs of a sweet group of children, what must the heart of God feel when faced with the needs of the whole world? For me, it is utterly overwhelming. I want to do more - in truth, I would love to bring them all home and fill up our house with their happy voices. We do help with these ministries financially, but it saddens me to think how little our bit of help actually does. In my heart of hearts, I cry 'more, more, more - we need to do more!'. Yet we are compelled to continue to help as God has called us - and not to give up hope. We should never throw up our hands in despair and declare that it will never be enough. God will take our small offering of mercy and multiply it for His glory. He does it all the time.
God is not overwhelmed by the needs of His creation. Our resources are limited, but God's resources are vast and unmeasurable! His goodness and compassion are perfect, whereas, I am only touched briefly by the faces of the children. Other things will cloud my vision, will distract me from my desire to help, and will demand my immediate attention. God's desire that all would be saved, and none be lost, is from all eternity. At creation, He knew the hearts of man, and made provision for our salvation through His Son. He knew that all creation would groan because of the effects of the sin of mankind. He knew the desperate wickedness, the wars, and the poverty. He knew about the little boy rag picker, saved from starvation by His mercy, and brought to a place of safety and love, where he was shown the Good News and given the opportunity to accept the gift of salvation. He weeps over the child who dies despite the best intentions of those who have so much.
I am glad that He is God and I am not.
The other day our Storyteller asked me an interesting question.
"Mommy, what if God made a mistake?"
"He wouldn't Chum - He is God."
"I know Mommy, but what if He did - just one little mistake?"
"Then He wouldn't be God, Chum."
He paused to think about that for a while - I could almost see the thoughts he was thinking. After a look of horror and then shear terror, he jumped up and proclaimed,
"Mommy - I am SO GLAD that God is GOD and that He never makes a mistake - we'd be in SO MUCH trouble without God. We wouldn't last a second!"
"Amen, Son, amen."
I want to encourage you to open your home to missionaries when you have opportunity. It is a blessing, and so encouraging. We had some interesting comments from some of our fellow churchgoers who seemed to think that we are doing something unusual. Should it really be so uncommon? Where did we get away from practicing Biblical hospitality? I'll admit that I was a little nervous about feeding them things that they might not like to eat, but my Mum, my good friends, and my husband all encouraged me to make the things our family likes, and just trust that would suffice. So far they seem to be very appreciative, even though our meals are somewhat plain.
Our home is a gift from God, and we want to use it for His glory - while opening your home to others might be a bit uncomfortable at first, practicing hospitality is always a double blessing.
Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers in the brotherhood--being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously, for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.