In Global Stories

When sharing with a family recently, the verse below really impacted their hearts…

“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.”                                                                                        

1 John 4:12

People all over the globe ask themselves, “Where is God?”

For some, there is deep pain or longing in their soul when they ask this question. Some ask with intrigue and curiosity, and for others, there might even be anger and rage. 

When I ponder this verse, I feel it is quite a phenomenal idea; God choosing to reveal His love in humans. Even though we can’t physically see God, all throughout history humans have deeply longed to. According to the apostle John, whenever we encounter genuine love in another person, the soul gets a glimpse of God. 

To know that God’s love is brought to a visible and tangible expression through our love for others is both exhilarating and sobering news. If loving others has the power to reveal the nature of God to another soul, then what power to harm does selfishness have? When you think of humans, perhaps ‘love’ is not the first word that comes to your mind. 

Every day we are reminded of the wars, corruption, greed, betrayals, and hatred that rage on in our world. The harm that all of human selfishness (combined) has done to our globe is a horrifying reality. I think this is the very reason why it might be hard for some of us to comprehend why God would choose humans as a means for making Himself known and seen. 

Yet this phenomenon of love was displayed in absolute fullness when God chose to dwell among us in His Son, Jesus. He showed humanity the way of love. And he gave his own life as a ransom for the sins of mankind, defeating death by resurrection so that all who cling to Him can be free and redeemed children of God.

Two thousand years later, there are many who still do not accept that Jesus is the way, yet no one can deny the extraordinary love he exhibited. And anyone who takes the time to discover Jesus’ life is left marked by that love.

Although the evil in our world has taught us not to trust people, we all experience genuine surprises when we encounter an act of kindness or unexpected generosity from others, especially those we don’t even know. 

Sometimes the experience comes as a direct answer to our prayers. Our soul perceives the connection, and we whisper with awe—”God sent you!”

I was hungry, I was thirsty, I had nothing to keep me warm. 
I was in debt, I was anxious and didn’t know where to turn.
I was lonely, my soul in anguish, I was searching for hope. 
I was forgotten, I was abandoned, I was about to give up. 

Jesus has so identified himself with the poor and brokenhearted, he tells us that whatever act of mercy and love we do to the least of these, it is as if we have done it to him. His love in us enables us to love, and this love is how the world comes to see God. 

We have heard again and again from those affected by the earthquakes, how surprising it was to experience such extraordinary compassion and help from Christians. 

Complete strangers travelled from the four corners of the globe to earthquake-devastated regions to help those who lost everything. People they will never meet gave from their own paychecks so they could have water, food, clothes, blankets, diapers, tents, toilets, container homes, etc. They didn’t know them, they didn’t share family ties, they didn’t speak the same language, and they didn’t have much of anything in common.

What is this kind of love? 

More than one year later, we are not surprised when we hear reports from the local churches in these regions that there are so many coming to faith. This love that came by means of imperfect people has opened the way for many to see and know God.  

Since December, together with others from our team, we have been able to coordinate container homes for four different families who needed housing. We were also involved in the building process for three of the container homes. This was a phenomenal opportunity to get to know those families as we worked side by side, and sat for tea breaks and meals together. 

It can be easy to look around and feel burdened by all the troubles of this world, but let’s remind ourselves daily of the power of God’s love to transform, heal, and restore. Until all things are made new—opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ abound all around us. The choices we make to love others opens up doors for many, including ourselves, to see and experience God more. May our hearts never be overcome by evil, but may we overcome evil by doing good.

Testimonies

The family we most recently built a container home for responded with sincere openness to prayer and deeper spiritual conversation. We left a few books for them to read, one being a Creation to Christ discovery study guide that is meant to be done as a family or group. We were so encouraged when we heard they went through this as a family! They explained that their favorite parts were reading about the life and miracles of Jesus. We have since encouraged them to continue a similar study through the Waha app that continues to help them learn about the words and ways of Jesus. They seemed eager to download it and begin! During our next visit to see them, they’ve invited us to jump into the study with them and read together. 

Thank you for praying for a young believer who recently lost his job. He found a new job right away, and has been faithfully doing his best there. For the last few months he has also started volunteering with a social media outreach ministry we’re involved in. He has been using his only day off each week to accompany Aaron for face-to-face follow-ups with locals who are asking to meet with a believer. 

Pray with us for:

  • This family that started reading and learning about Jesus together. They were amazed when they read about Jesus’ miracles in the gospels. May this be something they experience firsthand in their own lives; miracles of healing, hope & provision to them as a family. 
  • Our young believer to be strengthened as he gives of his time outside of work to reach out to locals in his city, both online and in face-to-face meetings. Pray he continually grows in faith, maturity, wisdom, and love. Pray for his mother & extended family too, that they would come to know Jesus.
  • Aaron had the privilege of recording a local friend’s worship songs earlier this month and is currently working on the production, mixing, and mastering for release in the near future! Please pray that these songs would give glory to God and be an encouragement to believers all across this region.

We pray for the joy and peace of God to be with you all! 

Aaron & Allie