As a way of reflecting & evaluating our missional endeavors here in Taiwan, I will be reposting some earlier posts for the next few weeks. I hope they will be a challenge & encouragement to you.
The following post is from December 9, 2013.
“Last Sunday our church had a missionary from Dominican Republic visit us, and it was truly a time where our understanding of God & faith in God were stretched. And because Dominican Republic & Haiti are part of the same island, he does a lot of work in Haiti as well.
We only had 2 sessions with the missionary, but the stories he shared from his life helped me to rediscover how amazingly powerful & gracious our God is.
The story that really captured my heart was about another missionary in Haiti. This missionary went to Haiti just before the earthquake in 2010 that took the lives of over 200,000 people.
There are 2 words to describe Haiti. They are violence & poverty.
But this is where this missionary makes his dwelling, living in a city that has the highest crime & death in Haiti. His home away from home is also a place where gunfire is heard almost every night, and where getting robbed is a norm. But because of the love of God, he has chosen to eat, sleep & live among criminals, swindlers & cheats, so that the eyes of their hearts will be opened to “treasures in heaven”.
But you will not be able to hear his stories because this missionary rejects all invitations for speaking engagements. He is not interested because if he is not there facing violence & poverty with those he loves, he is not doing what he is called to do.
The true work for God’s glory brings us no glory.
This is a problem for us because we desire recognition, approval & praise of men. I have to confess that oftentimes I desire the same.
There’s a tug-of-war going on in our hearts between seeking God’s glory & seeking self glory.
But biblically this is a no brainer.
Jesus explains in Matthew 6:1-4.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I am certain that at the end when we see God face to face, the people who will be exalted highest will be people that we have never heard of, we never have imagined and from places no one wants to be.
They will not be pastors or spiritual leaders who seem to move the world because more times than not we have received our praises & admiration here.
I take Jesus’ command to deny yourself to mean that we get lost in the crowd or in the midst of the people we are loving & serving, so that only CHRIST can be seen.
When Christians fellowship with us & when the world observes us, who do they see?”