From the heart
THERE ARE MANY different motivations for getting involved in cross-cultural ministry and outreach. In our experience with young people, we have encountered healthy motivations and not so healthy ones. Some of our best lessons learnt have come from children of God who live from the heart.
In a recent interview with a girl who was rescued from sex slavery, I (Penny) asked her what she would like to do. The sixteen-year-old replied, “I want to help free my sisters in the brothels, because when we were in those brothels, we really did become sisters”. There was such a conviction in that statement that really stunned me. How did I not see it like that before? Why was this just a social cause in my mind?
To know that those still in slavery are really my sisters and brothers gave me a whole new perspective, strength and motivation to do something about it. When I read the story of the prodigal son, it strikes me how the older son’s self-righteous and selfish attitude only made him bitter and ungrateful towards his father and uncompassionate towards his brother. He says, [paraphrased] “I was with you all this while and what did I get out of it?” Identify?
On the contrary we have a great example in Jesus, our older brother who left His home, gave up His rights and stripped Himself of His power to become one of us, so He can declare the Father amongst us.
Are we ready to do the same for our brothers and sisters?
The father’s comforting promise is for us as well, “Son you are always with me. And all that I have is yours” (Luke 15:31, emphasis mine). Now with that identity and security in our hearts as our motivation, this great calling becomes personal, compelling and liberating!
This is not just a call for a social service or a community development project, or a mission to some unknown people. It’s much more. This call is from your heavenly Father to your lost brothers and sisters all over the world and if I can help bring them back home, I
would give up anything to do just that.
David, the youngest son of John and Mary Elliott, is married to Penny and they currently live in New Zealand.