He told a story about being in southern Ethiopia bumping around in a Land Rover, looking for churches in different villages in order to partner with them. He came upon a beautiful woman with her two little children playing around her feet. After sitting down by her, he asked her who she was. She replied, "I am no one, but my husband is the pastor. He's in the next village preaching Jesus Christ to the people there."
Dr. Calver asked her, "How long have you been here?"
Woman, "A year."
Dr. Calver, "What happened to the previous pastor that was here?"
Woman, "The villagers killed him. He was preaching a strange God to them (Jesus Christ) when the rains dried up and the crops failed and the people began starving. They killed him to appease their gods."
Dr. Calver, "Why then did you come with your husband and two little children if there is such danger?"
Woman, looking with complete bewilderment and pity at Dr. Calver (for not seeming to "get it") profoundly and simply replied, "We are Christians."
That is the reason. Because we are Christians!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!! It was such an encouragement to me to hear what he had to share. He lovingly yet directly told the people that the world is in such bad shape and we need to die to ourselves and let Jesus live through us. Imagine if we (Christians) did that. It would literally change the world if we took our eyes off ourselves (our desires, our wants, our quest for stuff) and put them squarely on Jesus (sacrifice, considering others better than ourselves, realizing the poor and the orphan were Jesus in disguise).
This little Ethiopian woman "got" this. May we all be more like her and her husband.
Man, I'm glad I began this post with this because this has been a very difficult day for us. Not for any devastating reason, nothing is wrong. Just because I was feeling overwhelmed and not a little sorry for myself, I must admit.
But after reading what I just wrote, I am once again encouraged and feel much better.
Laura, get your eyes off yourself and onto Jesus, where they belong.
Ok, got it!