Do you ever find yourself asking these questions -- Does my work matter in the universe? Am I making a positive impact with my career? Does what I do mean anything to anyone else? Does God care about my job? Am I really making a difference?
I find myself asking these questions relatively often. So, you're not alone! Although I cannot offer a fix-all answer to these questions, Paul's letters to the Corinthian and Colossian churches point us in the right direction.
Recently, two staff members were blessed with the opportunity to visit several of IDES' mission partners currently working throughout India.
This is what we witnessed.
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to travel to India and spend time with several of IDES' mission partners who are working hard to share the Gospel.
Throughout my time there, I was regularly humbled by the depth of love and compassion that our mission partners show to those they are ministering to, and to one another. There is an inspiring authenticity to their words and their actions. It was abundantly clear that God was at work amongst them and within their communities.
Their love stands in striking opposition to the wider culture's loveless perpetuation of the caste system, which willfully oppresses those of the lowest caste. Even as a fellow follower of Jesus, I couldn't help but think to myself, "what makes these Christian's actions so different from the rest of their culture's actions?"
Many of us dread going to the dentist or the doctor.
It's uncomfortable, it takes time from our work schedules, and some visits can be expensive.
For families in low-income and impoverished communities in the Philippines, these visits can be life-changing.
In John 15:13 Jesus states, “Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” In a recent morning staff devotional at IDES, the question was posed, “Has anyone ever witnessed this kind of love first-hand?”
My heart began to beat strongly as the Lord prompted the realization in me that, yes, this truth is a reality in my own life through a life-changing experience my father had back on January 11, 1944. You see, on that day he was a young Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps whose job as tail-gunner on board the B-17 bomber christened “The Berlin Ambassador” was to protect the rear flank of the American aircraft from attack by Nazi warplanes.
Our U.S. Disaster Response coordinators recently returned from the first trip in response to the EF3 tornadoes in Albany, Georgia that occurred January 21-23, 2017.
According to The Weather Channel, "the tornado death toll now tops the toll from all of 2016, and is the deadliest January for tornadoes in the U.S. since 1969."
The trip was very successful in bringing help and hope to families who were affected by the storms.
He is a 35-year-old man who lives in a poorer village in Myanmar that IDES serves in regularly. Myo is married and has three children. For the majority of his adult life, he has struggled with an addiction to alcohol and tobacco.
Myo's addictions were taking a serious toll on his marriage and his health, and he and his wife were contemplating separation. But, this was not the end of his story.
“In the beginning God Created”
This phrase is what starts it all, “God Created”. Genesis 1:27 says,
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
If God is the creator and we are created in his image, we are also to be creators.
One in nine people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight, which is approximately 795 million people.
Don't let this statistic become only a number -- these are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters -- human beings alive in our world who do not have access to nutritious food today, and who won't have access to it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that.
Hunger and malnutrition is a battle too large to fight alone. But together, we can make a difference.