A flicker of light in a world of darkness

Mambo!

It has been almost six months since we arrived in Tanzania and we are as hot as ever!  Just close your eyes and imagine.....You are in a classroom with 23 other people, right after 40 minutes of PE when it is 98 degrees outside and the sun is shining hard, and suddenly---the electricity goes out!  No fans and you are stuck in that room for another 35 minutes- in a button up polo shirt with a collar and black pants.  Yippee! So please, my message for today is: if you have cool weather, enjoy it!

As I've been attending HOPAC (the Christian international school), I've begun to notice something that I hadn't when we were in South Africa.  Down in SA, my social life with peers was at church and at my sport.  Because we were home schooled, I didn't have extensive contact with peers.  After attending HOPAC for a few months, I've really been enjoying the fact that I can witness to others.  Most of the people in my life in South Africa were Christians, which was great!  But, I never got the opportunity to witness to my peers.  I've been loving it now that I do have the opportunity every single day!  Even though HOPAC is a Christian school, there are many different religions present.  In our class, we have Hindu, Islam, Buddhism and Atheism along with Christianity, so it gives me the privilege of witnessing to them.

God has given MKs an opportunity to witness to different people all over the world.  But sometimes we don't see it as a privilege and that is when there is a problem. God put us on this earth for a reason and that is to shine.  To be a beacon in a world of darkness.  When you shine, it is like throwing a pebble in a pond.


Others see that you are different, whether they are Christian or not.  If they are, then it encourages them to shine brighter, and if they are not, it intrigues them and brings them a step closer to Christ.  It has a ripple effect that continues on and on.

As MKs, we have an even greater opportunity to do that all over the world!  People really do see a difference! Let me try a different approach. There are three types of lightbulbs.  You have ones that work well and shine bright enough for you to see, there are the ones that are really dim and don't really help, and then there are ones that don't work at all.  Tell me, would you go for the dim one or the bright one?  I hope you said the bright one; if not, just go with me for a moment.  There would be no point getting the dim one, because it doesn't help you see.  You might as well just live with the broken one and not pay for a useless bulb.

It is the same way with Christians.  God says in the Bible that he hates lukewarm Christians.  He says choose to follow Him and love Him, or don't.  Lukewarm water is the same as a dim lightbulb.  It doesn't help others in anyway.  Lukewarm drinks don't quench thirst, and dim lightbulbs don't help you see.  So shine bright!  Don't be a dim lightbulb, something that I've seen way to often.  Something that I do myself.  Being an MK is a great opportunity to shine bright, so seize the moment!  I hope that wherever you are in the world, you will shine bright.

One way you can shine as an MK is being someone who stands out.  As missionary kids, we travel all over the place.  We meet so many people, and it is up to us how they view us when we leave.  Sure, you can do a good service by going with your parents out into the bush to pray with some people who are sick, but if you are just standing there with a bored and rather disgusted look on your face, do you think that when you leave people will be impressed by your act of selfless love?  Instead, you can be with them, talking with them, praying and smiling.  We want to leave them with a picture of Christ.

Another way MKs can shine their light is when they are on furlough. After visiting people for sometimes up to a year, and having random strangers ask the same questions over and over again at different churches, it begins to seem like your lamp is running out of fuel.  You don't want to spend your evening playing with the toddlers while your parents are visiting with the supporters. You don't want to sit by the display table and answer questions from elderly ladies that call you "darling". You don't want to sit through another dinner at a restaurant and engage in the conversation with the pastor.  But as MKs, furlough is an opportunity to shine your light, an opportunity to show other kids that being an MK is fun.  Have you ever met someone who absolutely hates their job? Does that person make you want to pursue that career when you are older?  Not a chance.  In the same way, when you are surly and grumpy, how many people that see you will be inspired to go into missions?  No one, zip, nada.  Remember the ripple effect.  It has both a negative and a positive connotation.  You could inspire people with your actions, or you could repel them with your actions.

However, shining your light isn't only specific to MKs.   Every Christian has the opportunity of shining their light, but many just leave the shining to others.  You can be the kid in school that refuses to bully that person, the teenager that refuses to cave to pressure and take drugs, the adult that refuses to participate in something dishonest.  You might think that people don't notice, but trust me, they do.  That is why Christianity is in big trouble. It is because people do notice that some Christians are bullies, some Christian teens take drugs, and some Christians cheat on their spouses and some are dishonest.  They notice- and call Christianity a religion of hypocrites!  I've met a few people before, where I'll be with them for a couple of months and then find out that they are Christians, much to my surprise.  That shouldn't be the case!!  It says in the Bible that the world will know us for our love and our light!!  People shouldn't be surprised to find out that you are Christian!

These verses that I have put down below are found all through the Bible as commands and challenges.  A command to shine your light as a Christian, and a challenge to stand against the pressure of this world to blow out your light.   Be the tiny flicker of light in a universe of darkness.

Mathew 5:14a~You are the light of the world.

Mathew 5:16~In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.



Acts 14:37~For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,"I have made you a light for the Gentiles, so that you make bring salvation to the ends of the earth."

Ephesians 5:8~For at one time you were in darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light.

Isaiah 42:6b~I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.

Revelation 3:16~So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.





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