I had to fight back tears while pictures were taken to register a remarkable moment during the Eastern Conference of Foursquare Churches in Indonesia a few weeks ago (where, as you've heard, Glenn and I danced!). Benjamin M., Foursquare national leader of one of the neediest and most extensively flooded places on earth, Bangladesh, presented me with an offering of $300 USD. This offering had been carefully collected by pastors and leaders throughout the country and was equivalent to roughly one year's income for many Bangladeshi countrymen.
Months ago our Foursquare Missions (FMI) team informed leaders around the world of the destruction in the Midwest caused by floods and then by Hurricane Ike and requested prayer for those affected. In Bangladesh—where suffering caused by floods is known well—our church family joined in intercession for those undergoing difficulty in the U.S. After spending extensive amounts of time in prayer for us they decided to express their love in another significant way, and proceeded to take up an offering to bless their sister churches suffering here in America.
I glanced at Wayne D., FMI area missionary in South Asia, and words were not needed to express the feeling we both had. We felt so privileged to be a part of this particular Foursquare family moment.
In receiving this special gift on your behalf, 2 Corinthians 8:14-15 came to mind: "At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'"
As that day went on and I reflected on the moment, I felt challenged and reminded that:
- Our family's true wealth is not affected by or related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 (needed that reminder!). The Lord has given us amazing and abundant kingdom wealth, and He is our source!
- My brothers and sisters in some of the neediest situations are able to impact and minister to me in powerful (and unexpected!) ways as His anointing flows through their lives, and their "plenty" supplies my need. I am enriched by their gifts, and there is unique "equality."
- My life is enriched by this kingdom-designed process of sharing and sharpening with family members who are different than me. The more this happens, the less any of us have "too little."
I hope that you and I are brought to tears at least one more time this week as we acknowledge our great privileges: Serving Him together, blessing others even out of our need and sharing life with people who are quite different from me. And please remember to pray for Benjamin, Wayne, Jerry, Corey and George, some of the other awesome missionaries we've sent to minister in Asia.
By the way, I was very glad Glenn did not follow my recommendation last week. As we were adorned in the official Indonesian dance "skirts" I thought it would be fine to remove our pants. Glenn's cultural dance was tops, but his skirt proved to be less than reliable...
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
By: Jonathan Hall, director of missions