When we went to Thailand 2 weeks ago for the 150th anniversary OMF conference, we got to stay one extra day to visit a special friend of mine, Pastor Dan. He & I went to the same church when we were younger, then later ended up at the same seminary about the same time. It had been about 17 years since I last saw him, but the fact that we shared the younger years of our lives together & that we share the same passion for the Lord, it took almost no time to reconnect to where we left off. Our time together felt comfortable & comforting. It was extremely encouraging to see him & his family being so fruitful on the mission field.
Before I share about my friend’s ministry in Thailand, let me mention that in the Old Testament more than we realize are numerous passages that call God’s people to defend & provide for the fatherless & the widows.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow (Isaiah 1:17).
This is exactly what Pastor Dan & his wife are doing in Thailand. They run & oversee a children’s home/orphanage where young lives are being changed by the love & truth of God every day. If not for this home, the children would’ve ended up working on the field starting at very young ages or somewhere worse that I don’t even want to imagine, mistreated and abused. Instead they are playing, studying, laughing joyfully & growing securely – true indications of Jesus’ work & healing in their lives. In other words, they could freely be what they are meant to be… children, nothing more or nothing less. It was so wonderful to see hope, love & safety being granted.
Pastor Dan & his wife left the comforts of their home in the U.S., listened to God’s voice, dared to dream big & take major steps of faith trusting in God’s goodness & power. God has blessed their obedience. Currently they also have two more locations in Vietnam. I think many Christians are guilty of dreaming too small. We are too easily satisfied with achieving things that are limited to this world, things that will surely pass away like a mist. I want to urge you not to be satisfied with having your own dream come true in your life, but having God’s dream/vision becoming reality & echoing throughout eternity.
I doubt that Pastor Dan & his wife are sacrificially serving, so that these children can have just a nice life here on earth. No, it is so that they may enjoy the fullness of God’s love & glory now & forever. They are dreaming big on behalf of these young lives.
What are we dreaming about right now? If it does not go beyond our own well-being, our retirement & even success of own our children, I’m going to argue that we are not going far enough & that we are not eternally ambitious enough. The greatest “treasures in heaven” that we can strive for now are relationships that we have won for Jesus Christ.
It was truly inspiring to see Pastor Dan & his wife giving much more than food, shelter & education to these children. Please check out their amazing ministry at http://elijahfoundation.org/.