One of the greatest influences in my life has been the loving and Godly example of Pastor John and his gracious wife, Ruth. Of course these days he’s referred to as Doctor John Kerr, but to me he will always be Pastor John, the man who fed into my life spiritually not only in my earliest years in Kingston, Ontario but my high school and young adult years in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The one thing that both Pastor John and Ruth always were ready to extend a helping hand at any opportunity. And things are no different now, years later and yet the same heart of compassion is still evident.
I have chosen to share a post that encouraged me and I hope will speak to you too. I have added a few thoughts at the conclusion, but first I take you to Africa, to the dirt roads that lead to their home…
We had a big surprise arriving home from college last week. Mop and pail in the middle of the hall, cleaning supplies strewn all around – it looked like Victoria had left in a hurry! She comes by in the mornings to keep the dust down.
We tried a few numbers. No answer. So we just left the mops where they were and assumed she’d be back.
Sure enough, Victoria came through the gate a bit later – loaded down with Elvis, her little grandson! She had walked to Kitwe Central Hospital, as much a mortuary as a hospital, checked the child out, scolded what staff she could find, and walked the kilometer back to our place with the boy on her back!
“They were not helping!,” she said, very upset. “The boy, he just get worse! Those people, they just want money! I took the boy with me!” She looked at us as though we could fix this.
We called a former student who is a medical aid. He came over by nightfall. “This is very serious,” said Shaka, looking at the swollen little arm. “This is bone infection, probably caused by an unclean needle. Has he had an injection?”
Indeed, Elvis had been injected with Quinine a week earlier for severe malaria. Kitwe Central Hospital! The procedure had infected the upper arm, which was now swollen up to twice its size.
Shaka helped us admit the boy to the Chinese Mine Hospital where he works. They slated the lad for surgery first thing in the week — even though it was Chinese New Year! Next day he came out of surgery with a reasonable report.
“We just did that operation in time,” said Shaka. “The infection had attacked the bone and it was quite critical. Within a week…?” He shook his head at what might have been.
Sometimes you help save a life just by being on the ground. We hope and pray for that these days. It’s the story of Africa missions. Your presence is probably your greatest gift.
Once in awhile you just lend a hand to those who carry the sick on their back.
This made me go…Hmmmmm….
Isn’t this just what the Bible means when it says we were created for good works? (Eph 2:10) I am always humbled and amazed that God chose to use us to accomplish His will on earth. Such an encouragement to all of us that God doesn’t only call those who have all the answers for every situation, nor is it in the strength of our own abilities that merits our anointing, but rather our obedience is the conduit for us to bring Him the most glory.
What a wonderful picture of Christ in this grandmother carrying her grandson on her back, bearing his burden step by step out of love and concern to bring him to a place where he would have hope and healing.Over 5000 years ago, a man named Jesus, bruised and beaten, carried a wooden cross up the hill to Calvary and upon His back was the burden of all humanity, sick with sin and there He laid down his life so we could find healing and hope.I am constantly amazed as I have considered the plethora of worldviews like pantheism, panentheism, pluralism and so on, that none of them include redemption. Some speak of forgiveness and yet all are dependant on man doing enough “good deeds” to outweigh the “bad”and none offer the certainty of knowing you will go to heaven. It’s just a crapshoot at besIn contrast our loving Heavenly Father, not only gives us a way to be reconciled with him, the free gift of salvation bringing the certainty of heaven, but He is intimately aware of what we will have need of.As Elvis was carried on his Grandmother’s back, she could not see the solution, but God saw. Just as Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain, his answer to his son was, “God sees.” And not only does God see but He isn’t caught off guard,He is fully aware of how He is going to meet that need.
So, I thank my friend, Doctor John Kerr, for sharing this as it has encouraged me greatly and I am sure it will do the same for many others.
Now as I go and finish my coffee, I must once again ask myself, am I satisfied to bloom where God plants me? Or do I think my ideas are in some way superior to God himself? I pray that my heart will stay humble, my will be submitting and my thoughts be subject to God’s will.
Blessings to you, until next time.