Monday, October 8, 2012

Yes You Can -- Do Your Part

Sometimes we think that our little, everyday actions are inconsequential. Yet the Lord may be using our small acts to accomplish something much bigger than we know.

 Not long after I returned from Burundi I received an e-mail from my friend Dan in Japan. Ginger, he said, can you help our friends get some car parts to Burundi?

Dan and Carolyn manage a guest house for TEAM Missions in Tokyo where two gentlemen from Bujumbura stayed on their way to do tsunami relief. They also hoped to pick up some parts for an Isuzu that they use in community development work back home in Burundi.

But the parts they needed were too costly in Japan. So it was decided that Dan would order the parts from his neighborhood auto mechanic in Seattle and find a way to get them from Seattle to Burundi.

Aha! Ginger’s been to Burundi! Maybe she knows someone who could carry them in!

With a little creative thinking, a workable plan was devised. Dan’s wife Carolyn was in Seattle for a few days and I went to see her last week. She gave me the parts, which had been delivered to their Seattle home, and the contact information for the men who needed the parts. Yesterday, while Tom and I were in Eastern Washington visiting friends, we delivered the shock absorbers to Craig, a Sister Connection staff member who lives in Wenatchee and will be going to Africa in a week. Craig’s bags are already full but I was given enough money for him to get the parts to Burundi. He’ll have his Burundian co-worker call the guys in Bujumbura and they can come claim their auto parts.

There were at least six people involved in getting those critical auto parts to Burundi. How like the Lord to involve several members of the body of Christ to accomplish His Kingdom work.

Remember Paul's words, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow" (1 Corinthians 3:6)? Nobody's given the entire assignment; we work together. And, anyway, it is God who makes the seed grow, so He's the One who gets the glory.

Using another image, Paul says that, just as the body uses all its parts working together, so it is in the body of Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, just as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16).

We sometimes get stuck on what part of the body we are -- the hand? the mouth? the little toe? Really, now, does it even matter? What if today we simply do the things that are before us with our whole hearts, whether big or small, and let the Lord use us as He will. When the day is over we will know that we have done the part He has assigned us in the work of the Kingdom. And that's enough.

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