Helping Hands is how we do what we do. You, and many others, make this possible. And as the old saying goes, A picture is worth a thousand words. So, how many helping hands do you see in our featured image?
Helping Hands: Equipping For The Kingdom
It’s good to do the right thing. But it’s better to do the right thing for the right reason. Why start with that? An important point needs to be made. Our work is not about building up this ministry. This ministry is about building up the Kingdom (see Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7). That is the right reason for all the actions we take.
The pastor in the picture is aware of something very important. I tell everyone we engage that our work is possible because of people (our equippers!) back home. That’s true in pastor training, mission construction projects, medical missions, orphan support, and any other ministry opportunities we have. So how many helping hands do see in the picture?
Let’s start with the pastor’s hands. Those hands had just received a new NIV Study Bible moments before the picture was taken. But again, there is a right reason for doing the right thing. He needed a Bible and it was given in order for him to equip others with the truth of God’s Word. 2 Timothy 2:2 is our ministry model with our pastors. They probably get tired of us quoting that verse. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind why we teach them and what we expect them to do with that knowledge. And they are equally aware that fellow Christians in the U. S. make the ministry possible. So, my hands are in the picture simply because I put the Bible in the pastor’s hands.
Helping Hands: Simple Discipleship
The featured image was the pastor’s idea. We did our best to get a picture of every Bible given away. That serves several purposes, one being accountability for donors. Disciples of the Kingdom are subject to one another. But disciples are also grateful. Many of our pastors speak a little English. Most do not. This pastor decided to bypass the language issue and convey his gratitude another way. He stepped away from us and motioned for us take his picture – then he took the appropriate pose. The picture says so much!
Disciples are also generous. Gifts to this ministry bought the Bible. Mission volunteers carried the Bibles (and paid Delta!) in their luggage. And this pastor will be generous with his teaching and application. Many people will benefit from the simple actions of helping hands.
Our command to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) requires us to teach. So disciples are those who learn and that learning is not an end in itself. We learn so we can teach. And the Word confronts each of us if it is taught as it is without apology or mixing it with error. That was very apparent in our latest session of the pastors’ school. We know this because class time turned into confession time!
That happened more than once. As we taught through the Sermon on the Mount pastor’s voiced their own realizations that they had not been properly taught. In turn, they had not correctly taught others. There were tears in the classroom. But it was all good. The grief of past errors was mingled with the joy of knowing the Truth and the excitement of being able to enlighten others. And why would that happen? So the Kingdom can be advanced and God can be glorified. As I recall, God’s glory is another mission of disciples!
Helping Hands: Unseen Number
How many helping hands in my picture? We can’t really know. As I ponder my own question my thoughts go back to my childhood days. I am a pastor’s son. Many of you know my dad is a frequent mission volunteer and helps us teach. So his ministry is underneath everything I do.
Then my thoughts go to the professors I had in college. One of the most memorable was Dr. Fred White. The labor of his hands (and mind) equipped me. And then there were the professors in two seminaries. There are too many to name here. But they are not the end of hands that helped equip me. I have served with very capable pastors who faithfully taught the Word. Three stand out in my mind above the others and I’ll leave it there. And this little list is just the easy-to-identify group. I read a great deal and I listen to the teaching of several top notch expositors of the Word. So equipping others really is a matter of giving what you have been given. And we do that for Kingdom advancement, not personal recognition. But other hands are in the picture.
Some people faithfully prayed. Hands lifted in prayer are a necessity but they are most often unseen. And another set of unseen hands belong to my wife. None of us ministers in a vacuum. When Scripture says the two shall become one then our ministry is something we share. So I can’t draw attention to the idea of helping hands without noting the help God gave me!
I mentioned many hands. But the impact of their deeds and prayers is yet to be known. The pastors we equipped will in turn equip others. So the work goes on. It’s the right thing for the right reason. The Kingdom will be advanced and the Word will be taught. And you can be part of that future.
As we are about to unveil a new website, there will be many opportunities for you to engage and help us equip others. Please stay tuned, check back often, and look for the announcements. And you can also see updates on our Facebook page.
Soli Deo Gloria!