Asia and the Pacific have been rocked by natural disasters recently: in one week alone, the region suffered earthquakes, a typhoon and a tsunami. The loss to cities and communities was enormous and many Foursquare people were seriously impacted. A group of us walked through a building that had housed a new church plant; the stench was strong from the mud-soaked carpet. In the midst of devastated buildings and communities we also saw the people—local residents, church members, pastors and missionaries—many of whom are unsung heroes whose stories will touch and inspire you.
- Pastor “K,“ a widow, leads a dynamic Foursquare church in Manila. She worked tirelessly following the recent flooding there to reopen the church preschool for the children in one of the most affected communities.
- Foursquare national leader of the Philippines, Val Chaves, is also working tirelessly. Between the outreach efforts he is leading, he is cleaning the mud out of his own house and car, both of which were submerged in the flood waters.
- Our wonderful missionaries in Jakarta (names withheld), although exhausted, are giving of themselves to help our pastors and church members, many of whom have lost their homes. In turn, these pastors and the churches they lead are now conducting outreaches in their communities as well!
Jesus spoke often in the gospels about putting our faith into action (Matthew 25:31-46) and the importance of showing compassion to groups of people in need (Mark 8). Jesus encouraged expressions of our salvation that look beyond our individual needs. Consider these characteristics of our unsung heroes:
- Hearts of compassion, willing to hear God’s call. These people desire to minister to the needs of others even if doing so represents some form of sacrifice. What a privilege to do so for our King!
- Hands of action, finding ways small and large, to translate heart into mission. The anointing on these people finds traction, taking the Church into the street.
- Feet of partnership, serving together. These people are willing to give up doing “MY thing” for “HIS thing.” In this case, that means serving the amazing Foursquare leaders, missionaries and church families already doing outreach in the middle of these recent disasters.
Prayer Focus: As we walk this week in the midst of an earth that so obviously aches, let’s pray the Holy Spirit will challenge our hearts, hands and feet to minister “glocally” (globally and locally), as our Foursquare family has been known to do since the 1920s. May we do it together!
“God will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do.” Hebrews 6:10 (NLT)
By: Jonathan Hall, director of Foursquare Missions International