Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Little Is Much When God Is In It

Working on the MK school
       For the past week, a short-term team from West Texas has been helping out around station in innumerable ways. Their main project was assisting in the renovations of the MK elementary school, but God used all their special gifts and talents: including painting wooden puzzles for the pediatric ward, teaching Sunday school, and providing professional haircuts to the long-term missionaries.

Barbara shared her
amazing painting skills 
      On Sunday, I took 4 of our visitors to Kopsip Nazarene Church, just up the road from station. The congregation there was thrilled to learn that two of the visitors come from the same home church that sent Sidney and Wanda Knox, the very first Nazarene missionaries to PNG in 1955. The first Papua New Guinean Nazarene church that was started by the Knoxes continues to this day and is the mother church of more than 500 Nazarene churches spread across PNG. Sidney and Wanda Knox have become missionary legends here among the Nazarenes in PNG and our national brothers and sisters were more than excited to share this connection with our visitors.

Pastor Benny with Susan and Sam,
who prayed for him at General
     Pastor Benny then shared the following story: In 2005, he was supposed to be a delegate to the Nazarene General Assembly in Indianapolis, but he only got as far as Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. He was not allowed to travel on to the US because his visa had expired the previous day. He was extremely discouraged until he received a message from the secretary of the General Assembly saying that his predicament had been shared at the assembly and thousands of his brothers and sisters from around the world were praying for him by name. He felt very overwhelmed and grateful that God had blessed him with the prayers of his global family. During the duration of the General Assembly, he remained in Port Moresby and a new church was birthed that week! The other two visitors who were with me had been at that General Assembly in 2005 and remembered praying for Pastor Benny. God has an amazing way of connecting his people around the globe.
     The sermon on Sunday was from John 6, the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. It still amazes me how a story that I have heard so often will take on new meaning when I hear it in a different language amidst a different cultural context. The story came alive to me again as the preacher described what the disciples must have felt seeing the great need and not having anywhere near the resources to meet it. They started giving excuses and other suggestions instead of trusting in the one who had performed countless miracles before their own eyes. Then there was the boy. Was he on the way home from the market with food to feed his family, or were the loaves and fish a little snack his mom had packed for him? Either way it was a huge sacrifice for him to offer his food up to Jesus. Then consider Andrew: “how far will [5 loaves and 2 fish] go among so many?” The small amount of food was truly a drop in the ocean when there were 5,000 hungry men present. But Jesus “already had in mind what he was going to do” (John 6:6), and he turned that drop into an overabundance. The boy may have worried about losing his lunch, or the food he was taking home to his family, but he likely ended up eating his fill and taking home more than he had started with. Whatever little we have, when placed in God’s hands, can become much, much more and have an impact beyond our wildest imaginations. When that boy started out with his little meal that day, I doubt he thought he would feed 5,000 people. But Jesus changes everything. What do you have? What do I have? What talents and resources have God blessed us with that we can place back in his hands and see multiplied to benefit many more people?
I am reminded of the song, “Little Is Much When God Is In It.” The chorus goes:

Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

      On several of the short-term trips I’ve been on, I’ve been struck by the enormity of the need and I wonder what difference we made. How does painting a building or handing out a few pills really change people for eternity? But this Sunday, seeing how God orchestrated several special connections between people who live worlds apart reminded me that He has in his mind what he is going to do. Instead of doubting him or offering alternative solutions, we simply need to offer our 5 loaves and 2 fish and watch Him feed the multitudes.

Kopsip Church

No comments:

Post a Comment