In our family, we put a big emphasis on serving others. We want our children to be outward focused. That's why we spend lots of time as a family serving in various places. We try to live out what James talks about in James 2: 14-17 "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."
We can't just say that we have faith, we must live it out. We can't be a follower of Christ and ignore the needs around us. We can't end world hunger or poverty alone, but we can change one life at a time. If we ask God for opportunities to show His love in tangible ways, He will open lots of doors. The question is, "Will we walk through them or will we make excuses to not get involved?"
We have the opportunity to host 3 Latino minor league baseball players in our home for the next 4 months or so. My first thought was "Do we really have the space? Wouldn't they be more comfortable in a larger space?" But when this opportunity first came about it was like God was giving me the chance to live what I was studying in the book of James. It's time for me to apply the knowledge that I learned from studying God's Word. It's time for me to be a "doer of the Word and not just a hearer".
These players are from Venezuela & the Dominican. The money that they make each month is sent home to help support their families. Large families that live in homes much smaller than mine. Large families that survive on a lot less than we do. As a recipient of so many blessings from God, there was no way I was going to say "No". Especially since God knows my heart's desire and was fulfilling it ...in His own way of course!!!
You see my desire is to one day move to another country and operate a children's home. To take care of children who have no one to take care of them. To feed them, clothe them and share the message of Jesus with them. Like May Carlson did for 2 young boys a long time ago.
Now of course these baseball players aren't little boys but they still need to be taken care of. What better way to show them the love of Jesus then by opening our home to them and taking care of their most basic needs of food & shelter? By taking them in we will be given the opportunity to share the gospel with them, plant seeds and possibly lead them to Christ. Then when they return to their home country they can share the gospel with their families. And isn't that why we're here? To make disciples?
We've talked about adopting children and bringing them here to the US but the financial cost is so great. I personally feel that the resources would be better used caring for several children in a foreign country rather than bringing just 1 or 2 to the United States. As we pray about this, we feel that God is leading us to South America....possibly to Colombia or Venezuela.
The great thing about our God is that He has been opening so many doors for us to minister to the Hispanic community right in our own backyard. We have opportunities to serve students, families & baseball players in Dayton. We also get to serve in Nicaragua this summer and Colombia & Venezuela in the near future. I think God is preparing us to one day serve full-time in a Spanish speaking country.
Until God opens that door, we will walk through the ones he opens for us right here. We will use the blessings he has given us to bless others. We won't worry about what we can afford or what's comfortable because this life is not about us. It's about living in a way that points others to Jesus. Living in a way that gives life to our faith.
Is God giving you opportunities to serve others? Are you making excuses or joyfully jumping in?