I currently am asking a lot, “God, what does this show me about you?” I’m especially asking that question as we care for someone who wants to die and yet God chooses to have her live. And that’s in contrast to a family from our area whose 21 year old daughter died two weeks ago from cancer. As you think of that contrast, it’s easy to wonder, “God, don’t you care about life?” And I guess the only answer I have come up with in this paradoxical issue is that God has different ideas than we do as Isaiah 55 clearly tells us. And God cares about eternal life! This temporary, earthly life is not that important, it’s only a staging area for eternity.
Another example: the 200,000 people who died in the South Asia tsunami. “God, why would you want all those people to die?” If I believe, which I do, that God is sovereign and is in control of everything, then He allowed, even designed, that to happen. And since everything He does is for His glory, what is that about? How does He reveal Himself? I believe, He reveals His priorities and His love.
This morning I received an update from our missionary friends, Kevin and Leilani Humble, who invited us to minister with them in Indonesia several years ago. Here is their update about the tsunami recovery work that they are involved in. If you don’t have time to read it all, just read what I’ve highlighted in red.
“BAT CAVE CHURCH: With Batman-mania affecting a select minority of our population, we likely hear more about it than about the aftermath of the South Asia tsunami. You may remember that the people most affected by the greatest natural disaster in human history were the Acehnese (Ah-che-nese). One-hundred and seventy-nine thousand of the 200,000 dead and missing were from the Aceh province – an Indonesian people group known as one of the most fanatically Muslim and closed people groups to the good news. KATHY’S NOTE: “CLOSED” MEANS THEY AREN’T OPEN TO THE GOSPEL.
We have continued to work in this area with an excellent national leader and team by building a vocational school, kindergarten, and by running agricultural projects. In the area where we’ve done the most agricultural work, we have seen eleven of nineteen Acehnese workers come to believe. A Chinese Buddhist businessman, whose ventures include producing fertilizer from guano, has continued to give us access to this area. His employees who haul guano from the bat cave have also worked with our team on several irrigation and agricultural projects and in the process have accepted the Lord.
This brings us to our main story…Aceh is still not a safe place for the indigenous people to accept Christ because being discovered could mean they lose their lives.
The underground fellowship meets in small groups in unlikely places on alternating days. Since the bat cave is deserted on Sundays and after 4:00 p.m., it is a naturally safe place for the workers and our national leader to worship and fellowship without singing. Thus the Bat Cave Fellowship.”
KATHY WRITING AGAIN: What is God up to? What is He revealing about Himself? I think He desires to do anything and everything to draw people to Himself. His methods don’t always make sense to us, yet He is revealing His faithfulness and love. The tsunami opened an area for ministry that was never open before. Maybe only drastic means would change that. And since the final chapter hasn’t been written, it may be that this tiny door of opportunity will only be the beginning of a huge open door for many to believe.
By the way, if you have some missionary support money laying around and no one to give it to, I can recommend our friends the Humbles, for their important work there. If you’d like to contact them, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to join their prayer team and receive their email updates, email them.