Sheep without a shepherd
I had an email this morning from the folks at Secret Church, urging a visit to the Pray For Vietnam website. The upcoming Secret Church simulcast (Friday, April 24) will include a time of prayer for the people of Vietnam. (P.S. I encourage you to find a church or home to join this six-hour simulcast on “Christ, Culture, and a Call to Action.” You can always join us at Journey Church North Little Rock!). When I clicked on the links and arrived at the website, there was Matthew 9:36. My mind started rewinding to a couple of weeks ago when our mission team was on the Cabecar Reservation in Costa Rica.
When the two women at the hostel we would be staying in learned that we would be there “on a mission trip,” they shared that they too were evangelical Christians. They had been without a church home for some three years. When the local pastor on our team heard this he immediately went to them: “When our team is here, we will have a worship service and take Communion here in your home.” The two ladies started crying. Tears of joy at the thought of having a worship service.
Our team was blessed to have a worship service with them Monday night, and Tuesday night, and again on Wednesday night (when we also took Communion). These services started with their family, then 2-3 families, then we had a room full the last night for Communion. What a blessing to minister to our family without a church home! Being in Little Rock, Arkansas, the idea of “there is no church” is completely foreign to us. We have a church on every corner. But not so for our family here on the Cabecar Reservation.
On the first night, you could see the look of being “harassed and helpless” (from Matt 9:36); our team commented, “Worn down. Discouraged. Hanging on.” Those looks all vanished when we began worshiping Jesus! He restored their joy quickly. The singing got louder and louder. The services lasted longer and longer! By the last night, with a full house, the pastors among us were all commenting, “like sheep without a shepherd.” People hungry for God’s Word. People hungry for fellowship with the family.
Where’s a shepherd for these sheep? Praying for God to raise up one or bring one to our family in need. Praying for each of them to stay in God’s Word, stay in prayer, and remain strong in their faith. Asking God to forgive me for taking my church home for granted and for taking my shepherd for granted. Thanking God for the opportunity to worship and fellowship with these family members.
Loving the Journey,