Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ministry Work

This weekend, we were able to get a table in the lobby. We were placed right next to OM - a mission organization that serves the Dalit in India. Amazing ministry!

In fact, three years ago, they were are Harvest Fest and I spent a lot of time at their table learning all about their work with the Dalit, or the "untouchables". They offered these little clay cups that represent the cups of the Dalit people. You see, the Dalit need to break their cup after they take a drink - every time - because it would be horrible if anyone were to drink after an "untouchable" did. Take some time to read about this ministry

As the congregation worshiped, they sang out with arms raised, "You're the God of this city!" The guest speaker rose to talk about the great work he is doing in India and they again were offering these cups for $1. "Take a cup and let it remind you of the Dalit people. And do not break this cup! Pray that no more Dalit need to ever break their cups again." The congregants flocked...I mean flocked to pay their dollar and get their cup!

They also offered child sponsorship. "If you have little children, sponsor a child and teach them about the Dalit children." Many more flocked to pick up their piece of paper with a beautiful child's picture on it.

Our family did child sponsorship. We had a World Vision child for 7 years, until she graduated from the program. We didn't do a very good job, we just put her picture on our fridge - and every now and then we would wonder how she was doing. We never wrote letters; although we intended to. We never sent the Christmas cards; although we intended to. We rarely sat down and prayed together for her; although we always wanted to. The money came out of an automatic system. We never even really knew that money was leaving our account each month. To be honest, it wasn't much of a sacrifice for us.

I know God asked us to do so much more. And my question is, does God call ALL to much more and only some answer? Or does He only call some, and then even fewer answer? I honestly don't know the answer and Joe and I struggle with these questions over and over again.

So, while people flocked to sponsor a child living half way around the world, we stood right there ready to take names of those willing to bring a child into their homes. Very few came.

We watched while people raced out of the sanctuary, billfolds open, dollars in hand, jostling with each other to get to the front of the line to pay their dollar and get their cup. While we stood there with a brochure and an opportunity to get messy; to get up close and personal with a child who desperately needs some love and stability. Very few came.

The dichotomy was striking.

I left our weekend of work totally encouraged, though. The few who did come were passionate and motivated. Most had tears in their eyes as they said, "God is calling us to this...I just know it." One couple in particular kept saying, "This is it! We're doing this! Let's go!" It reminded me of how Joe and I felt when we answered the call.

I am reading The Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds by Tom Davis. I want to close today with these thoughts, "Living out the gospel is hard work. It's easy to talk about it. Any of us can sit in church and sing warm, happy worship songs that make us feel good (um...God of this city?). We nod agreeably with the pastor's wisdom. And sometimes we can even drop a few extra dollars into the offering basket. But it's not so easy to actually go and DO what Jesus said to do."

If you don't know what Jesus said to do...I suggest you pick up your Bible and start reading all the letters in red. I need to do this daily. I need the reminder of the things that Jesus asked his followers to do.

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