Saturday, January 25, 2014

Get In The Game

Last night we did something that we have not done in a few years.  We watched a football game.  We don’t have television in our home here, and if we did, it would not show American Football.  However, one of my kids has become a football fan (he loves Green Bay of all teams), so he asked us if we could watch a playoff game.  

We hooked up our projector to our computer and took a mirror off the wall to project it on.  Then, although we had to wait about 10% of the time for buffering and occasionally it would suddenly jump ahead, we watched the game.  

As we watched it, my kids started talking about professional sports and how good even the worse player actually is (including Tony Romo, “ouch”) in order to be a professional.  We talked about how much preparation time and energy went into becoming a professional.

As we thought about it, I turned my attention to both the Christian life and to being a missionary.  Many people think that a missionary is really the “Professional” of Christianity.  We are the ones who really have it all together.  We have been highly trained.  We are incredibly talented and gifted. We are uber-motivated.  We are the ones that the rest of you watch and talk about.  That really isn’t true.  

There is a huge difference between serving God and being a professional.  A professional needs ability.  A servant only needs availability.  A professional depends upon his or her own resources to get the job done.  A servant simply believes and trusts in Christ.  A great example of this recently happened to us.  It really drove home how simple it is to impact lives for Jesus Christ.  It is so easy that a little girl can do it….literally.  Here is what happened.

One morning one of my girls came to me and said that last night they had been chatting and praying with the other girls.  They all came together then and asked me how much it would cost to build a church for a poor community.  I told them about $10,000. Without blinking, they replied that God had told them to raise money and build a church.  I, while trying to encourage them, dismissed the idea.  Five girls ages 14 and down, with no job, savings, or allowance simply could not raise $10,000 while living in another country.  It was not going to happen.  

That night my wife, who is almost always more in tune with Christ than I am, asked me if it were possible that God had indeed spoken to them.  If it were, then shouldn’t I encourage them to walk by faith rather than dismiss their efforts?  So, I called them in the next morning and asked them if they were sure that they had heard from God and that He wanted them to build a church.  They were full of faith and confidence.  I actually decided to film it.  Watch this unscripted question and answer and if you are like me, marvel at their faith.

I posted this on YouTube, and mentioned their plans on my Facebook page.  That was the extent of my help.  I really wanted this to be of God and not from me.  Within a few months, they had received about $1,000.  They kept praying.  One day they told me that they were fasting for the church project.  A little more time went by and I forgot about the project.  Then my phone rang.  It was a church in Missouri.  They have never been to Bolivia before, however they saw my post and watched the video.  They showed it to their church and decided to send all the money that was needed and to also send a team to help build it.  Just like that.  Here is a video of me telling the girls.

We will be going to the jungle in May and build a church for a river village where there are only four believers, but a man has a vision to reach the rest of the village.  The vision God gave five little girls will come to pass in a year.

My girls are not professionals.  They are not educated.  They are not trained.  They do not have experience.  They are not specially gifted.  They have absolutely nothing to offer.

They just believe that God wants to reach people for Jesus Christ.  They believe that it is a work of God and not of man.  If it is God, then what does it matter how talented or how weak the human vessel is?  

How about you?  The Christian life is not a spectator sport where 50,000 fans cheer on a few professionals.  It is a walk of faith where every single believer has the Person of God living inside of them and the call of God upon their life.  You, yes you, are the one that God wants to use to change the lives and eternities of others.  How about you get into the game?


Stumbler said...

Great story Joe. I love the faith of your kids. I can't wait to see the pictures of the building work.