“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” ~ Matthew 7:9-11
As I was making Derrick’s breakfast yesterday, his regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich (and really the Peanut Butter should be capitalized because getting it is the whole point of him asking for a sandwich) I had one of those neat, now that you’re a parent revelations. He had a rough time sleeping the night before and I wanted to do something to help getting up that morning a little easier. With this in mind I gave him a little extra peanut butter hoping that it would do something to brighten his morning. It was then that I remembered a verse that I had read a little earlier this week. As much as we want to give to our kids what they want, how much more does God want to give good things to us.
This verse and my new understanding of it is coming true before my very eyes as we have started to visit churches and see the spiritual growth and ministries that has taken place as we have been in the US. Ingrichini has started a sewing ministry where they are teaching job skills while people in the community have been introduced to the heart that the church has for its community. Masalula has seen an increase in spiritual growth and they are building up a nice stockpile of stones and bricks for the church building they hope to one day build. The stockpile was started and grown almost entirely by the women of the church showing their strength in both body and spirit. Tarime started a church choir and has continued to grow as a new church. Gamasara has held women’s seminars on health and child care as well as helping other churches with their choir and lay speakers that have traveled around sharing their gifts.
The church leaders here, and we ourselves, know that this is only the beginning. We are starting our work here with prayer and the faith that God wants to give the church in this area even bigger gifts of growth in spirit and ministry. I am sure he has things in mind that we are not even thinking about ourselves yet. Even though we are just getting started, I am excited about what is coming.