By Rob Wall
Sigmund Freud wrote: “Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.”
James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I couldn’t sleep last night and I was reminded of the urgency of Christ. Everything in my life comes down to that relationship with Christ. I wouldn’t have a good marriage, great children and friendships without that anchor that keeps bringing me back to what is important.
2016 was nothing less than hard work. The OL Board prayed for direction and the Lord has given abundantly. In the past year, we have seen that favor, but only when we were obedient. I would like to think, our hope was not centered in this world. Our hope was centered in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Each person on this team has given decades of their lives to want more, and I love how the Lord uses each one of us for a specific purpose. Hard work is made easy with the extra hands.
In this past year, we witnessed the urgency of Christ. Sometimes more in Canada than abroad. Borrowing the words of Billy Graham, “there is an urgency and hope.”
The lives of Mexican Pastor couples humbles me to the core. They work in the field all day for about $12 per day (and that’s a good wage). In the evening, they take off their dirty clothes and clean up from some of the hardest work you can imagine. They have no shower like you or me, but only a washbasin at the edge of their yard. Grabbing a guitar that is missing 2 of the six strings, a few vegetables, and some small treats they can’t afford, they joyfully walk out of their house to minister to those who have so much less than you or me. The homes they visit are often made up of nothing more than a few strands of plastic and a little cardboard. Quite similar to what they just left.
In Mexico, almost all of the Pastors don’t get paid for their evening work. Yet, they freely give to their neighbors through basic needs, counsel, and encouragement. Because, Christ is the center of their hope! Everything is not their own…even when they have nothing. They understand the urgency…It challenges me as I’m learning that more is less and less is more.
In 2016, many came down to serve. Each person made a choice…to serve or be served. From the world’s perspective, it could have been a waste of time, but I saw something so different. I saw beautiful relationships coming together between several cultures. I saw the Lord at work and many lessons for us to learn. An experience to take back home and love on our own neighbors. Isn’t that the real purpose behind our faith?
Borrowing the words of Chris Tomlin, “He is perfect in all His ways and He makes me who I am.”
What a blessing to serve with all of you. You have become not only acquaintances, but also friends that I will serve with for eternity. From a worldly point of view, we may have foolishly died for something that didn’t benefit our pocket book. However we know why…and that is enough. Thank you for walking this journey with Brenda, myself, and the entire team at One Life.