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Friday, December 8, 2006


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"Disappointments/Unanswered Questions?"
"It's Gonna Be Worth It!"

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2).

In the course of our ministry Brooksyne and I have taken in third-world children in need of medical care unavailable in their own countries.  We did this in the 80's and early 90's through an international relief program.  Our goal was not only to see these children receive physical healing but we also wanted to impact them and their families spiritually for Christ.

It was a great example of compassion in action with many volunteers who each had a role. Arrangements were made with hospitals and doctors to provide the medical services without charge. Airlines donated tickets and flight attendants accompanied the children.  Host families took care of the children during their stay and transported them to the medical appointments and hospitals. 

As I prepare this message my heart is warmed when I think of children like Myrza, Ruth, Heber and Marvin who were like our own children for a season. The goal was to return them to their own families and we were able to meet each of these families in Guatemala and Ecuador. Three of these four children were actually from Christian homes.

Myrza was a little girl from Guatemala who was born with Spina Bifida, a disease that caused her to have a large lump (mylomenigocele) on her back causing her to be crippled with her legs turned in. She lived in a very remote part of the country and had not received necessary medical care up to the point we took her in. A real challenge with these children is that they did not know English and we did not know how to speak Spanish!

Myrza was very shy and had very little expression, but she was listening and learning all the while. After about six months in our home she suddenly began to speak perfect English without a hint of a Spanish accent and actually became quite talkative with a huge vocabulary. She was a brilliant child. 

After two operations and a lot of physical therapy we returned Myrza to her family after ten months of living with us in the U.S.  (That is very hard to do!)  It was a great privilege to see this little eight year old girl walk for the first time. She was walking with braces and the aid of crutches when she returned to her home in Guatemala.  Most importantly she had accepted Christ as her Savior.

We visited her in Guatemala several months after she returned and she was doing relatively well and was pleased to see us but we could see that it was going to be very hard for her. The last time we heard about her we did not get a good report.  Her health challenges required continual monitoring and visits to facilities that treat spina bifida patients.  By accounts of the volunteer who went to see her, the continuing care that she needed was not being provided.  It's likely that Myrza is in the same condition or much worse than when we cared for her.  The situation is too lengthy and complicated to explain as to why nothing more could be done for her through the organization we worked with.

Our service for Christ will surely include disappointments and unanswered questions.  Some have worked in a prison ministry only to see that promising young man return to his old, destructive way of life.  Others have taught Sunday School and grieve as you see the bad choices some of your students have made as they've gotten older.   Parents know the pain of seeing a child take the wrong path and are waiting for their return.  Many of my pastor peers know what I mean when we describe some aspects of ministry as one step forward and two steps back!

My word of encouragement to each reader today is this.  Stay faithful. Stay faithful.  Stay faithful.  As the old song says, "We'll understand it better by and by."  Another says, "It will be worth it all."  Or as a more contemporary song powerfully declares, "It's gonna be worth it." *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

Our most challenging child was a young boy named Abdul who was injured in a bombing attack on his roof in Afghanistan.  We kept him in our home for several weeks but he was so disruptive we considered him a danger to the other children.  Steve Ecsedy, a rather rough outdoorsman type in our church who ran a camp for boys, took him in and really did a very good job handling him.  He brought him to church and sought to witness to him of Christ's love.  There did seem to be a softening in Abdul's heart.  In less than a year when Abdul's treatments were complete he returned home to a refugee camp in Pakistan.  We've never heard from him since.

I've wondered about Abdul and have prayed for him and children like him.  He would be about thirty now. Considering the chronic fighting in that part of the world I wonder if he's even still alive.  I also wonder if he's full of hate or if he's accepted the God of love.  I desire to believe that he's among that tiny remnant that is following Christ and paying dearly for it.  Very likely I will not know till I get to heaven.

Final note: Another little girl we took in for several months was Ruth from Ecuador. We got reconnected this last summer after some 15 years when she found us on the internet. She is married with a child and now living in the states and serving in ministry for Christ. What a joy that she is on our daily email list and we now stay in contact!

* "Worth It All" is a powerful song by Rita Springer. Here's a mp3 audio clip by a musician named Laura Ashley.

I don't understand Your ways
Oh but I will give You my song
Give You all of my praise
You hold on to all my pain
With it You are pulling me closer
And pulling me into Your ways

Now around every corner
And up every mountain
I'm not looking for crowns
Or the water from fountains
I'm desperate in seeking, frantic believing
That the sight of Your face
Is all that I need
I will say to You

It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it all
I believe this
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it
It's gonna be worth it all
I believe this

You're gonna be worth it
You're gonna be worth it
You're gonna be worth it all
I believe this
You're gonna be worth it
You're gonna be worth it
You're gonna be worth it all
I believe this

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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