A throttling experience…por lo menos! That is “to say the least”, for me personally it was a lot like the throttle on an engine! I felt and I saw a “control” and an “energizing presence” of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When I took an occasional break from seeing patients, and as I walked along the school rooms without books or window panes, and where screens had rusted away, I looked for some shade and a breeze…someplace to cool off. It was during these breaks, especially, that I saw and felt the presence of the three men observing everything going on at the site. They were dressed in suits and ties and handsomely shined shoes and they quietly moved around the schoolyard compound…nothing missed their observation.
Ezekiel was taken by the hair and shown… these “Three Guys” had a hand on all of us. It. “throttled” us, controlled us, energized us to be in their hands.
Eleven hundred patients visited the five days of clinics for Spiritual care, dental care, medical care, vision care, hundreds of prescriptions for vitamins, for antibiotics, or anti-parasites usually. And there were the innumerable prayers from our prayer teams here in the U.S. for the patients and mission team there.
I watched two very angry/unhappy people reacting to their very real and potentially life threatening medical conditions as they nearly “stomped out” with a “thanks and goodbye!”. And, I watched them both make a 180 degree turn towards health and comfort after they were literally covered by dozens of hands of Christians who were praying out loud for them. Whatever each patient felt before the prayers was 100% replaced by a positive, cooperative new attitude and I know the “Three Guys” were there too!
I hope you get to GO-International and see lives and your own changed and enriched through Christ; and sense the THROTTLE on your own life opening your heart and soul to God and His love. I did and I do.
Phillip H. Yunker M. D.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all of these things will be given you as well.
During our recent medical team in Honduras, I met a lady named Yulermi, who had a severe diabetic foot ulcer. She had gotten some local treatments and some supplies from the local health center. That day she had run out of supplies as had the health center. She was wondering what she was going to do when she heard our team was in the village. She came and we were able to care for her wound and provide some supplies for her. She was so happy! She wasn’t concerned about the fact that this wound may take months to heal if it ever heals at all. She wasn’t concerned that she may even lose her foot. She wasn’t worried about what would happen next week when the supplies we gave her ran out. She was happy because she had a need today and the Lord provided through us.
There are some lessons for me in my encounter with Yulermi. It reminds me of Jesus instruction to pray, Give us this day our daily bread. She was trusting God for her daily needs. I just need to focus on today and trust God in each moment. When we do that, we will be filled with joy as we see God meet our needs, moment by moment, instead of always worrying about the next need. I also need to trust him for all things. I’m sure if we could have had more time to talk, she would admit to having some concern over the seriousness of her condition and the uncertainty she was facing. However, her faith and trust in the Lord allowed her to overcome these worries. She knew the truth of Matthew 6:33, Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. May we all learn these lessons from Yulermi.
Lately I’ve been reading an old mission book called The Key to the Missionary Problem by Andrew Murray. Murray was a South African pastor and missionary who wrote in the early 1900s. It;’s been amazing to read the issues they faced then and realize how similar the needs are today. I thought I’d share some key thoughts from the book.
1. The missionary problem is a personal one.
Before we think of missions strategy and methods, of unreached peoples and church planting movements, we need to have believers committed to loving Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission.
“Every believer, in receiving the love of Christ into his heart, has taken a love that reaches out to the whole world.”
In speaking of the disciples, Murray writes, “Jesus Christ had their whole heart. They had forsaken everything for Him. His love filled them and made them one with Him, and with each other.”
“The missionary problem is a personal one. A passionate love to Jesus Christ, born out of his love, truly possessing each of us personally, will teach us to pray, and to labour, and to suffer. Let us pray for such a love.”
2. The power for missions is the Holy Spirit
“The Church of the first generation is given us by God as an example and a pledge of what the Holy Spirit can do in men wholly possessed by Him.”
“The missionary revival we need and pray for within the Church, ere it is fitted to do its work aright, can only come by a return to Pentecost.”
“The great commission was given in connection with Pentecost, and its fulfillment was made entirely dependent on it.”
“Prayer must be preached and practiced as the first and last duty of a Church that hopes to have the power of God seen in its work.”
“Missions have progressed so slowly abroad because piety and prayer have been so shallow at home.”
“Nothing but continuous prayer will solve the missionary problems of today.”
4. The Church must realize that missions is its chief end.
“Missions are the chief end of the church.”
“The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author and Leader of missions.”
“You have been redeemed to be the witnesses and messengers of Christ’s love…As he loves you, He loves the whole world. He wants those who know it to tell those who don’t.”
“The chief end of preaching ought to be to train every individual believer and every congregation to take its part in helping the Church fulfill her destiny.”
Ultimately it all comes down to this. If we are growing disciples who love God and are staving to live obediently, we will naturally be committed to making Him known. If we are not committed to Him, we cannot be committed to His mission.
“What is needed is that the spiritual life of every Christian, and that of the whole Church, should be so deepened, instructed, and inspired by the Holy Ghost, that it shall become as natural and easy to pray daily for foreign missions as to pray for daily bread.”
Quotations from Murray, Andrew. The Key to the Missionary Problem. (1902). In Seven Classic Missions Texts, the Christian Classics Treasury.
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