by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2012
The Russian volunteer leader assigned to our cabin of Russian youth and American mission team began to share her story. She spoke of when her husband was sent to clean up after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. He was not part of the first wave of emergency workers but was still exposed to the radiation fallout. After he returned home, they conceived and had a child, the one sitting on her lap that she tightly embraced in our view. This mother went on to explain that her son was below average on the growth chart for his age. She feared it was a direct result of her husband’s contact with the nuclear waste. Her heart broke for her son’s health and future.
During the altar call of a women’s ministry conference in Mexico, a wife came forward for prayer. Through an interpreter she told me that her husband physically abused her and supported a mistress. She didn’t know what to do and sought God’s wisdom and direction. Her heart broke for the Godly marriage she didn’t possess but desperately wanted to experience.
An opportunity was given that anyone who wanted our mission team to pray for them should come up to the front. The children in attendance at our VBS program in Guatemala lined up to relay their prayer requests to our team leader who spoke Spanish. A small child wearing tattered clothes and sporting a dirty face didn’t ask for prayer for herself but instead for her daddy. She wanted God to help him stop drinking and becoming drunk so he could get a job. Her heart broke for her father and her family’s welfare.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 3-5 NIV)
You are not on this mission trip by accident. You are here at God’s appointed time to share comfort with someone who needs to know that there is hope despite the current situation. You may have experienced the same thing they are going through and are able to share how God carried you through a tough time. On the other hand, the circumstances are unfamiliar to you, but you can speak encouraging words about God’s love and compassion for them. Choose daily to observe your surroundings and be sensitive to the people you encounter while on your trip. Someone is waiting for God to respond to his heart’s cry. You can be the answer.
KESHER PRAYER (connection): Lord, thank you for those times “when [I] run into problems and trials, for [I] know that they help [me] develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens [my] confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For [I] know how dearly God loves [me], because he has given [me] the Holy Spirit to fill [my] [heart] with his love.” (Romans 5:3b-5 NLT) I am excited to now share this wisdom with those who are looking to You for consolation and guidance. I ask that you give me great boldness and clarity of thought to speak Your words. In Jesus’ name, Amen!