I've been contacted by two different people who were frequent visitors and servants to the Orphanage where my youngest four children spent the bulk of their lives. These two women came often on short term teams. They loved and prayed over my children. One way or another, they found out about myself and my husband and made contact, eager to find out how our kids are doing and stay connected with them.
Such a blessing! My prayer is that our kids would see that though their lives have changed radically, those people who loved them before are loving them still. It wasn't just a "missions trip" to them. It was real. The relationships they made were real.
A few years ago, my son's youth pastor stepped down from his ministry position. It was a difficult transition for my son, but over the months and now years he was able to see that the relationship with his youth pastor was not over at all. His "former" youth pastor was not done reaching out to him, loving him, spending time with him, praying for him, being a support to him...the youth pastorate wasn't "just" a ministry position. It was real with real relationships forming.
Isn't that what it is all about? Relationships? Loving God and Loving People...
Isn't it just so easy sometimes to "fill a gap" and serve in a ministry for a period of time and then when it is over it is over? But that's not love.
Isn't it easy to go on a missions trip and make it about ourselves and what it will do in OUR heart? But that's not love either. It's not about us. There are surely blessings and side benefits involved but hopeful that's not the motivation in going.
God's love connects people. It's lasting. It's messy. It gets down in the dirt with sufferer. It sits with the suffering. It connects. It doesn't abandon. It truly cares. It's relational. It's real.
And when it's real, it's unmistakable. It has a great and lasting impact. As I think about those people who have impacted my own children for Christ with real love and real relationships this morning, I am thankful...and inspired...
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" 1 Cor. 13:7