The children were learning a lot about God during the week of Vacation Bible School, but what did the Lord have in store for me?
As I pray for the right words to write this month's article, I am reminded of the theme of the Vacation Bible School we participated in at Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Langdon, North Dakota. The VBS message was about the great power of God. Every day, we learned about a specific aspect of God's power. As I pondered this at the end of the program, I began to do what should be so natural, but can really be quite difficult--actually applying spiritual truths to my own life. It is easy to think of God's power and think, "Yeah! That's good stuff. God sure is powerful!" It's another thing to think of how I personally need to rely on His might. At first, my reaction to the conclusions I drew was surprise. How could a message of dependency on the power of God be so easily applicable to my life? However, now that I think it over, I'm not really surprised at all that I should find that I happen to need God's power working in my life and ministry(shocking, I know.) As we prepare to go to Bolivia to work with orphans living in some of the poorest areas of the country of Bolivia, here are how the five messages from VBS help encourage and challenge us in our ministry.
1. God has the power to provide!
It can sometimes be discouraging when raising support. If only a pile of money would drop right beside my bed as I sleep at night! How easy that would be to have the needed funds so we could go to Bolivia! I was reminded last week that God will provide for our needs, and I can trust Him to provide all of the financial and prayer support we need!
The children we will be reaching out to also need to know of God's power to provide. We are told that some go without food some days. Some have no place to lay their head at night. Many are left unsupervised and unprotected from any who would take advantage of them. These children need to hear about and experience God's mighty power that can and will provide for their needs. Naomi and I are humbled to think that He may provide for many of those needs by working through us and the support team around us that lifts us and the children up to Him. God indeed has the power to provide!
2. God has the power to heal!
Although we are a generally healthy family, the strain of constant traveling around the country has recently brought a run of illness to Naomi and our son, Sammy. We must continue to rely on God's healing power to sustain us during these times.
The children in Caripuyo, Potosi, have no access to even basic medical care. We hope to be able to provide some of that, but ultimately, they too must lean on God's healing hands. More importantly, though, is the promise that God "heals the brokenhearted". Physical healing isn't always granted by our Heavenly Father, but He has promised to always heal our broken hearts, if we allow Him to. This truth is important to anyone living here on earth!
3. God has the power to comfort!
The children in Potosi certainly have cause to feel as though they are unloved, yet God is ready to comfort them in their troubles. We are deeply humbled as we anticipate being used by God to comfort His precious children in the highlands of Bolivia.
4. God has the power to forgive!
In a culture that teaches the importance of works for entry into heaven, it is important for the children of Potosi to learn that God has the power to forgive them of their sins. It is our greatest privilege that we have been led by God to teach and show these children that Jesus, God's only Son, came to earth, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died for our sins, that we might be forgiven of all our wrongdoing!
5. God has the power to love us forever!
The highland countryside of Bolivia is a very tough place to live. In order to survive, you must be tough. Unfortunately, this idea is carried into the family and household dynamics of the people living there. We understand that domestic violence is rampant in the communities. The children we work with may well have never known what it is to be loved. I am so grateful that God offers them --offers us-- a place in His family where we can know His love forever and ever!
Yes, I think the children who attended Vacation Bible School in Langdon learned a lot this year about God's Power. And so did I.