From Hopeless to Hope

Do you ever feel alone in your life story with no hope? Christ showed us on this trip he is always watching over us, even when things don’t make sense.

Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Morning devotion often leads me to try and reconcile how blessed we are in America compared to where the Lord takes me with Teach to TransformMatthew 5:14: You are the light of the world…

An internally displaced people camp where Christ invited Teach To Transform to be His hands and feet.

I began to reflect on the places the Lord has taken us around the world where there is no health care, no hope and no Jesus. I am asked many times why we go when it seems hopeless. We go at the invitation of those who know Jesus to teach so they can transform with the power and love and introduce hope through Jesus Christ.

We followed Christ into an internally displaced people camp of mostly women and children as the men had been killed in the war. The persecution of Christians was evident and if caught in possession of a Bible you could be arrested and jailed.

On our site visit we were unaware of this law and had carried Bibles in our luggage. As we stood in line our partner, on the other side of security, waved to get our attention. He gestured for us to remove our Bibles from the luggage and hold them. As we nervously stood in line with our bibles in hand, they searched our luggage thoroughly, but never looked in our hands. Christ closed their eyes so others might see.

We were not alone, Christ was already there and he never says, “I didn’t see that coming.”

Jesus Christ changes everything. Do you Know Him?

The site visit went well and after much prayer we decided to train the few who knew Jesus to care for those in the camp. The timing of the trip coincided with Ramadan and it was essential to respect the cultural fasting.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Paul teaches us to respect the culture and become all things to all people so that I might save one.

We fasted and dressed accordingly. Karen was completely covered and wore a hijab, which was a challenge as the temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. I wore my white jacket as we were told it carried the symbol of a death shroud that implied I was dead to my emotions and feelings allowing me to examine patients.

The question became how do we show Christ where we couldn’t openly speak about the good news. We treated everyone we saw as a “Divine Appointment” and silently prayed that their hearts would open to feel the presence of Christ.

When we were about to close the medical tent, the women became agitated. They were nervous about not being seen as many had sick children with no access to care. Can you Imagine?

These mothers were the voice of the sick children who were innocent victims of the war. Matthew 19:14: Jesus said, Let the little children come to me. Jesus changes everything. Do you know Him?

The Imam at the clinic asked my wife Karen to calm the women. Karen looked at me and said what should we do? We had already explained we had trained people who could continue to care for their children. They were not satisfied, but the Holy Spirit spoke through Karen. When they heard her sweet voice, they felt her love for them, as she began to try and speak their language. Within minutes she had them smiling and hugging her.

Ephesians 6:19: Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

I saw Christ in my precious wife as she reached out with love. How blessed I am that she knows Christ. Do You Know Him?

After leaving, our partner reported a significant underground movement for Christ. We may never know how many were touched, but Christ knows. In fact, one of the believers we worked with saw Christ in a dream and is now a passionate follower of Christ.

Matthew 25:35-40: For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in, I needed clothes, and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The end of a hard but rewarding trip.

Unfortunately, in the following months the situation became more dangerous and many had to leave, but not before they gave them a glimpse of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven.

For His Glory,
Tom

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