So often we think of a missionary as a lone ranger, going to far-off places, blazing trails where no one has ever been before. Perhaps some pioneer missionaries fit this description, but most of the missionaries I know today are part of a team. That team includes co-workers on the field as well as family and friends providing support from home. I can’t think of any better example of the body of Christ working together for a common goal. In order to make Christ-like disciples of all nations, it requires feet—people who are willing to go to all nations. It requires hands –hands of service and outreach. It requires eyes and ears to observe the felt needs in each community. It requires a mouth to proclaim the good news. But none of these parts could do its work without the backbone –the support that holds every part together and allows the different parts to work in synchrony. The body only functions if we are all connected to the head, Christ, and work together according to his purpose.
Even within the ministry of the hospital, I see the different parts of the body at work.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1Cor 12:4-6). The work of doctors and nurses is crucial to the medical care that takes place at the hospital, but even the best doctor or nurse won’t have as much of an impact without all the support roles: chaplains, pharmacy, laboratory services, X-ray staff, cleaners, and the maintenance team. Every week another piece of equipment seems to break- whether the x-ray machine, the autoclave used to sterilize instruments and dressings, or the ultrasound machines.
Thanks be to God, we have a team who can help address all these needs. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Cor 12: 21-22). At Kudjip, every role is indispensable, because each part of the team is necessary to accomplish the work. Each part of the body—the hands, the feet, and the mouth—has a unique part to play.
In different seasons, it seems my role in the body changes. Sometimes I am the hands, but at the present I am the feet (crisscrossing the USA) and the mouth—proclaiming the marvelous works of God that I have witnessed abroad and encouraging each person to do their part. It has been such a joy to share how God is working and to meet new people who are a part of this work. Thank you to all of you who are the backbone that keeps this body functioning. Additionally, thank you for all your prayers, which move to empower each part to do its work according to the will of Christ the head.