Why go to the Philippines? Why spend $1500 when your family just barely squeaks by week by week? Why leave your family and fly 20 hours away to serve people you don’t even know when you can serve right here? All very valid questions that probably all start with the basis of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” I can’t tell you how many years I have been praying that God would teach me to be still and really know Him. But He’s been teaching me that part of being still is learning to wait on Him no
matter how long it takes. Since I first came to know the Lord, I have had a heart for foreign missions but either my life wasn’t in sync with God or that door has not opened for me until this past year. Times are hard for many of us financially; we thank God for providing enough week by week, day by day. But through the necessity to streamline, God has really put on my heart the poor widow who threw her two mites into the treasury outside the temple. For too long, I have not given much because I have thought I don’t have much to give because we struggle. But this woman gave all of what she “didn’t have.” This woman is remembered for all eternity in God’s Word? Isn’t that true faith? How much does it really mean for me to give what’s easy to give? How does that show faith for me? How does that show
dependence upon God for my provision? Isn’t that just me taking care of myself? So I layed the mission trip before God and told him I could provide $500 dollars but I didn’t have the means for the rest. If this was His will for me, only He could get me there. I didn’t want to go if it wasn’t where He wanted me no matter how much I desired it in my heart. I needed it to be His will and I needed Him to confirm that by His provision. And so I waited. And God blessed that waiting and my heart’s desire just as in Psalm 37 by providing an uncle who donated $1000 dollars out of the blue, provision for substitutes in my tutoring position, provision of 25 new hearing aids donated by Beltone, and a supportive family.
But God is not finished with the lesson on waiting and giving. In the Philippines, I met two dental missionaries named Jessica and Gemma. Well, think of the faith of Joe and Millie Dawson and how we feel about them, and then you will understand how dear and precious Jessica and Gemma are to me. Like Joe and Millie, they live
according to faith. Their dental clinics in Manilla are on a pay as you can basis, no regular income. They minister in dental missions all over the islands of the
Philippines to the poor and the Muslim islands every couple of weeks. They live totally on the Lord’s provision and God raises up people to support them. Yet they don’t go out and ask for support. They give everything and we see and the love they have infects us and our hearts go out to them because they have the heart of God and the heart of God is with them. I want to have the heart of God. I want His love to flow from me like rivers of living water out to others like it does from Jessica and Gemma and Millie and Joe.
But none of us can do this alone. It takes the family of God to love like this. I saw the family of God working together on this mission trip and across the world. I see God using Catholics and Protestants and even drawing in non-believers to help but then using that influence of love on them to draw them to Him. When Jesus is all, people see. I am learning, ever so slowly, but sometimes in leaps and bounds, what it is to deny myself, take up my cross daily, and follow Him. It is so much clearer when the Lord places in our path, those who are living that out in their lives for others. It’s infectious.
2 Corinthians 9 says, But this I say, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. This was God’s journey for me. I took the risk of obeying. God granted me sufficiency in things I had never done or hadn’t done in 20-25 years. The more I look for God to do great things, God things, the more He does. I don’t want to sow sparingly any more. I figure, if I’m doing things I could do without His help, it’s just me. He’s not glorified: I have nothing to exalt Him with. But if I step out into the
unknown, outside of my ability and finances and totally rely on Him, He gives me a testimony. I become small and He becomes The God He Has Always Been, I just become a window to Him so other people can see. So, I went on this mission trip to love and minister to others, but most of all I just wanted to love God and give Him back His place as God. I have decided to live life taking Him at His Word. I will ask, and expect Him to answer. I will seek, and expect to find. I will knock, incessantly, and expect Him to open the doors. I will take Him at His Word because He has never changed. I will let God be God.