Putting Feet to the Faith
The other day I was watching one of the ladies bible studies online from MSC (which by the way is a huge blessing to be able to do that), and something was said that really jumped out at me.
I thought about how that applies to me since I actually have the job description as a missionary. The first place I went to, actually, was the past, when we still lived in Bonners Ferry. I thought about the missed opportunities to be salt and light where I was.
Now that I do reside in a foreign country I realize nothing has changed even though my place of residence and job title have. The choice is the same: am I going to be salt and light to those who come across my path? I remember being at Harvest church and heard Greg Laurie speak on the Beatitudes saying they are “the attitudes that should be”. They should be a daily part of our walk as a Christ follower.
It really is no different than when I lived “back home” in Idaho. My choices are the same. Am I going to be salt and light to those around me? I am going to be an ambassador for Christ to those God brings across my path today. I realized the only thing that has changed for me is my location not what God is calling me to do. I will say I do lament over all the times I chose not to be salt and light for a variety of reasons. When I chose my own comfort over someone else needing to hear about Jesus. Choosing not to offend instead of offering the reason for the hope I have. I cannot live in my regrets but I can use that to move me forward as God directs. God has a purpose for me as well as for you today, now, not later.
Some of you know that in September 2011 we arrived in Mexico. The only thing we knew we were going to do was operate a facility that hosts short term mission groups. Now we are 3 years and 3 months into this Mexico thing and we have had quite the ride. All of it has simply been about being available and willing to do what God puts in front of us. Mike has helped people with their water and waste water systems; we have helped others in other ministries with whatever they have needed from a ride to somewhere or cooking a meal. Since our second month here we have been part of a church plant from Horizonte Ensenada to the English speaking community close to where we live. We both teach bible studies and a variety of other things there. We serve regularly at a shelter for moms and their kids. And now we have a 7 year old boy who is living with us and are just embarking on what all that might require of us. Have we felt properly trained for this stuff? No. But it makes it that much easier for me to realize it is not my strength, but God’s strength that gets me through it. All this stuff may not have been on our list but it was on God’s. There has been no great formula for us to figure this out. It has simply been see where God is at work and join Him in it.
In all of this I feel it important to say that just because we said yes does not mean it has been easy. But the most important thing is that we have simply been obedient. The same goes for all of us who say we are believers in Jesus. It is not that I am trying to earn anything, because my works amount to nothing. It is more importantly about putting feet to the faith I say I have. We have heard and a lot of us have said we believe in Jesus and all this stuff the bible says and that there is a plan for our lives. But will we live that out in our daily lives? Will we be that salt and light wherever God has us? Will we give a reason for the hope that we have?
Mike and Heidi Van Dyken