About the author: Mark and his wife Ruth focus on reaching over 80,000 poor people who live within a mile of the OMF Mission Home in urban Manila. Because few of these people would attend a worship service, they focus on bringing the gospel message to them by doing fun and meaningful events. Their goal is to glorify God by making disciples and planting churches.
Today's Scripture: EPHESIANS 5:15-17
I was thinking about Ephesians 5:16 today "... making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."
I remember being a new missionary going through culture shock. You know about it, you feel it, but you can't seem to just snap out of it. It is a hard and low time in the lives of many missionaries. We just had to make the best use of our time until we worked through it and adjusted to a new normal.
I find myself needing to go back to some of the same disciplines that helped me back then, as we adjust again to a new normal.
Today we have 4 young pastors living with us at the church. One has his own family. I am the point person on the team. These young guys are looking up to me for guidance. Just like them, I am trying to figure out the new rules of life and ministry and I don't have all the answers. So what we do is get up early and exercise. We study theology together, then do construction work and cleaning at the church until noon. We eat and take a break. The average high temperature here is well over 100° everyday. We meet up again together at 3 pm for 1 hour of prayer. At 4 pm we shoot our daily Bible teaching video for the church. After that we minister to our neighbors with food distribution and various other social distancing ministries like flying kites, and tossing mangoes from our mango tree to our neighbors on their roofs. In the evening we come together and sing and praise the Lord for what he did that day. Sometimes we fellowship and eat together in the evenings.
Just like Paul said..."making the best use of our time... if you feel like it or not...that's how we made it through culture shock and that's how we are finding our new normal today.
Glory to God forever and ever! He alone gives us grace and strength to keep pressing on!
In Christ, Mark
Thank you for this day. May we find your heart, may that be our goal to love you and to know you, and Lord, may you fill us with that love to share with others that we come in contact with today. In Your name we pray Jesus.