A few weeks ago, I read a statement from a missionary friend in Togo, Africa describing missions that really spoke to me.
Feed the hungry
Sit with the hurting
Celebrate with the joyous
The more I read those words, the more I realised the he was right. A massive part of missions is simply developing relationships. Evangelism is done as we develop relationships with the unsaved, and share the Gospel. Discipleship is done as we develop relationships with Believers, and teach Gods truth.
Because relationships are some important, they must be constantly nurtured and cared for so you don’t drift apart.
Of course, life happens, and sometimes you have to rebuild those relationships
One of the greatest effects my cataracts had on ministry is I no longer interacted with people. Not because I didn’t want to, but because the poor eyesight made it incredibly difficult to recognise people. As the medical furlough got closer, I spent more and more time at home.
While I am grateful for the time in America getting my eye surgery, thats more time apart from the people of Saint Vincent.
The sad fact is, by the time I get back, my close friends will be acquaintances 1. So I must rebuild those relationships.
- With meaningful conversations (direct eye contact, listening ear, kind words)
- With quality time just being present
- With genuine concern
- And with constant communication
More than anything else….its just being there for them.
A big part of me wants to hit the ground running when I get back to Saint Vincent in daily activity.
But the best thing I can do is just sit with people
Mourn with those who are hurting (without trying to fix the problem)
Listen to those who are struggling
And rejoice with those who are blessed
- People you know, but don’t have a close relationship with ↩