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Posts Tagged ‘World Vision’

It’s amazing to me how one image or event can burn a particular truth into our hearts and minds all over again in a new and fresh way. When a truth is played out before our eyes in a way we can’t ignore, something clicks into place inside and that truth becomes so much more firmly embedded in us.

One recent Saturday morning, I arrived at our church just before nine to open up our Art Installation for anyone wanting to spend time reflecting there with God. I thought no one else would be around, but as I drove into the car park, I could see activity everywhere.

I had forgotten about the working bee. I looked around and saw men busily cleaning up in different corners of the property. Someone was mowing the grass. Someone was blowing leaves away in another area. Another was sawing away, fixing up a wooden structure elsewhere. Another was blasting the concrete with a pressure cleaner. And still another—one of our senior pastors, in fact—was removing a drain cover to clean out mud and muck that had piled up there.

But in a room in another corner of the property, a different activity was taking place. There, prayer was happening. There, people had been invited to come and receive God’s healing, as others listened to them and prayed on their behalf. A quiet ministry—but oh, so important.

IMG_20171005_201041693_HDRI headed for the Art Installation, then walked around, turning on some soft music and also the special fairy lights that highlighted some of the displays. As I did, I marvelled again at the variety of works people had contributed for this event.  Paintings—some better executed than others, yet all expressing something of God from the depths of the artists’ hearts. There were drawings too and sculpture and other intricate works of art. Various forms of writing were on display as well—poetry, prose, song lyrics. There was even a beautifully iced cake, made to depict the different gifts those in the Body of Christ have, through the Spirit’s enabling.

Three hours later, I closed the door on this lovely, creative space and went to leave. And as I did, a van pulled up outside the main door and men began hauling tables out. Then some women arrived, carrying trays of food and all sorts of boxes. Everyone was intent on the job at hand and everyone seemed to know what to do, like bees in a hive. Their task was to get things ready to enable well over a hundred women to pack two thousand birthing kits that afternoon and evening that World Vision staff will use to help women in rural Uganda. Even prior to this, others had prepared parts of these kits to enable this packing to run smoothly.

So that Saturday, I witnessed afresh the great strength the Body of Christ has when every part functions as it is made and gifted to do.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:4-5 New Living Translation

We all belong to each other. What a wonderful thing—and how important to remember!

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Jo 23I suspect I am something of a loner, which can be a definite strength for an author. After all, no one else is going to write that book for me—and that, of course, involves many hours at my computer, lost in my own little world.

Yet I know I also need others around me in this writing journey of mine. Where would I be without my manuscript readers or publisher or editor? Where would I be without those who invite me to speak somewhere? Where would I be without my faithful team of women who pray for me—or my husband who looks after my finances and my computer? Without such support, I would be floundering.

Last week, another author and I were invited to take part in a school Christmas Market where all sorts of interesting gifts were on display for the children, staff, parents and grandparents to buy. In no time at all, I began to see how helpful it was to have my author friend alongside me. Our novels targeted different age groups and, while we had both written a memoir, their focus was quite different. As well, my friend had some colouring books, cards and bookmarks for sale. I had cards too from Turkey, but offered them for sale only in packs of five. What fun it was to be able to help prospective customers find what they wanted!

‘Do you have any books for early teens?’

‘Not really—but my friend does. Perhaps you could check out her books?’

‘Do you have any single cards?’

‘No—but my friend has some here. You can even colour hers in before you send them, if you want.’

My author friend ran out of change at one stage and I was able to help her out. In return, she offered me use of her paper bags and also explained about her Paypal phone app. As well, we talked about all sorts of things, an experience we both enjoyed and found encouraging.

Then, when it was time for the kindergarten children to select their gifts, I noticed some older student ‘buddies’ helping them. One tall boy carefully held the hands of two very little boys as they wandered around.

‘Would you like these cards—or perhaps a bookmark? Yes? Good. Now, that will cost three dollars (holding up three fingers), so you each have two dollars left.’

And how could I not notice the lovely, colourful skirts, aprons and bags on a nearby table? They were being sold on behalf of a community organisation in Uganda, providing the women with a viable cottage industry. There were other stalls too where any profits made were to be given to groups such as World Vision or TEAR Fund. Even the small cost each stallholder paid to be at this Christmas Market was donated to The Voice of the Martyrs organisation.

So much support for others on so many levels and in so many different ways, but all highlighting the truth of those words written so long ago:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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