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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A Perfect Climate - Laycock

Oswald Chambers wrote – “The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

I met a woman last night who is what I would call one of those “spiritual saints.” She’s a middle aged woman named Marta, a lawyer from Columbia who says she heard God tell her to leave her career and take care of the children living in poverty in her country. Through an interpreter, Marta said, “when Jesus called the disciples he didn’t tell them where they would go or how they would survive. He just told them what he wanted them to do.”

So she set about doing what God told her to do. There were many displaced people in her town and hundreds of children roaming the streets. So Marta and her husband started a church and then a school under a tree in a vacant lot. Twenty five children came, then fifty, then one hundred. Soon they needed a building so they tried to secure the land where they had been meeting. But there were men there who wanted the land and threatened Marta and two other women who were helping her. So they prayed. And God answered. Today there are 700 children in that school and there are three other schools in other cities where children are being fed and educated.

The circumstances in which Marta was “dumped down” were not easy. They still aren’t. Columbia is a country ruled by terrorists and drug lords. But Marta’s vision is to teach the children to live as Christ would have them live. Her philosophy is that a child can change a family, a family can change a community and a community can change a country. The children in her schools see the daily protection and provision of God. It is having an impact that no doubt will have lasting effects.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the circumstances in which we in North American have been “dumped down” - a chaotic financial crisis that could have lasting effects on our world. For some of us it will have rather serious personal effects. So how are we to respond?

We would be wise to count ourselves in that company of “spiritual saints” and see the circumstances as an opportunity to draw closer to Christ and to do what he wants us to do.

Marta says at her school they are very careful to teach the children that they are not poor. “No one is poor when they have Jesus,” she says.

So perhaps we should ask ourselves, in this climate of uncertainty, do we have Jesus? Have we “secured the knowledge of Jesus Christ?” Perhaps we are moving into the perfect climate in which to find out.

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