"...Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..." John 6:67&68.
A girl was picking up starfish washed up overnight by waves or left in the wake of the receding tide on the seashore. She would pick up one at a time and toss them back into the ocean in order to give them a 2nd chance. A passerby observed this labor intensive activity in the light of many more on the shore and said to the girl, "Are you really making a difference?" The young girl, not so easily discouraged, replied as she tossed yet another starfish back into the water "For this one!"
Reminds me of a familiar quote: "I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will."
Another year has passed and we're on the cusp of 2016! My wife and I both journal about our ministry--recording the activities, conversations we've had with people, and the responses. One of the activities we like to do is to take time to reflect on what has happened and to pray that God would guide our lives in the New Year.
Many of you readers have faithfully been reaching out to individual Muslims or were focused on one particular people group last year. You probably see many more Muslims all around you who aren't being reached. In Canada we're seeing many new arrivals from Syria. The task of reaching Muslims seems overwhelming. Whether they recognize it or not, they need Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Again in 2015 there were more atrocities committed in the name of Islam than in recent history. Muslims repeatedly scrambled to defend Islam. You have to feel for them.
But how do we measure whether one is making a difference in ministry to Muslims? Many years ago I transitioned from working as an Auto-mechanic where my pay check was linked to what I accomplished. Thus the payment received and the hours earned were my gauge of success. It challenged my psyche to move from an environment where I could see progress to something as intangible as relationship building and personal evangelism. There was very little in the way of measuring success or progress. With time, I realized I function best if I include some regular scheduled events each week like an English conversation class or another hands-on type of activity with a Muslim friend.
Some of you have sent updates over Christmas of an individual moving towards faith in Christ, discipleship Bible studies, group meetings and fellowships of believers started this past year. You are making a difference. From scripture we surmise that God would be saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
This post marks the 2nd year since this blog's inception. Some of you have contributed with valuable insights that I posted. Thank-you for visiting my blog. I'm looking forward to another year of partnership this way.
Dear Lord, thank-you for sustaining my brothers in ministry scattered around the globe. Give each of them a wonderful New Year. Amen.