South Africa 2
During the Sunday morning worship service, we gathered with the people of Christian Revival Ministries. We had been working in their community for four days and had come to appreciate all that God was doing through them in the community.
But during the service, I got a tremendous shock. The pastor told the congregation that our coming to this community was, “a direct intervention of God.” Later Pastor Josiah’s wife Mary welcomed us and told the congregation that one day she was praying and she said, God what have we done to deserve this team coming to us?” She then told us, “We do not want you to feel at home, but to be at home!”
I just sat there in the congregation in a kind of stunned, humble silence. How could we be a direct intervention of God? How could we measure up to being the kind of blessing they saw us to be?
I have prayed many times, “Lord if I can be the answer to someone else’s prayer I willing give my self to you.” And now it was happening! All I can tell you is that at that moment I wanted to do everything I could to serve and preach the best I could for these people. If I, and the rest of the team, were a direct intervention of God, I wanted to measure up to that billing.
I often remember hearing people say things like, “Well we don’t have to try real hard to make sure things are done well, because after all it is only the church.” I heard people say that about music in worship, Christmas performances and even outreach events – and it makes me cringe. If we are doing things for God, shouldn’t we give it our best effort? Shouldn’t we strive for excellence instead of just slopping through?
These days in South Africa have reminded me that no matter what I do, I am part of God’s answer to someone’s prayer – and that deserves my best, today and every day.