If your kids’ spring vacation were coming up, what sort of things would you plan for? When my kids were in grade school and high school, I would think about taking them to places for some bonding time or maybe plan the backyard barbecues we would host so they could enjoy their friends’ company. Their friends’ families sometimes thought the same thing.
A few weeks ago, I met three families from Toronto during their kids’ spring vacation but their idea was to take their kids to a third world country and participate in a medical mission to minister to the poorest of the poor with Kids International Ministries alongside American missionary, Jeff Long. Jeff has been living in the Philippines for over twenty years since 1991 to share the love of Jesus with Filipinos by addressing miscellaneous needs of impoverished people including orphans, abused girls, Tacloban’s Yolanda survivors, and poor communities.
The Canadian group (consisting of a doctor, dental hygienist, pilot, engineer, teacher, housewife, missionary, and their children) was brought in to the shop by Annabelle who, out of her gratitude for the Lord’s blessings on her life, has been having the heart to refresh people who do work for the Lord… her way of encouraging them through the ministry of hospitality.
She and her husband, Peter, chose to do away with certain luxuries in order to make room for this ministry which they have been doing for the past twenty years. When asked what makes her do this, Annabelle replied, ” I consider it paying it (God’s love) forward because they minister to our people and we, in turn, minister to them… God can put even our love for eating to good use. I am blessed to bless and every time, it is a glimpse of heaven with Christ in our midst… Of no credit to me, I praise God for bringing His children together with the bond of friendship; even if it’s the first time we meet one another, there are no strangers among us.”
She is blessed to meet and know missionaries who sacrifice their life in their first world countries because God gave them love for the poor Filipinos who are “the forgotten people in our society,” Annabelle says. Their love for Jesus amazes her.
And just as Annabelle is amazed, I am also amazed watching them. Being amidst love, praise, and prayers, it is a fulfilling, awesome privilege to have them all in our shop. And, even partake of the fellowship.
Dear Lord, thank You for the blessing of being a witness to this time of refreshing, fellowship, and music with Your wonderful people who love You and live You.