"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
After all the shopping and sorting and shipping was over I began to reflect on what just happened and the massive amount of money we spent in a short amount of time. I was sure that our bank was going to call and check to see if our card had been stolen and the some thief was going on a major spending spree...but they didn't, which kinda worries me a little. Anyway, we spent a lot of money, and even though we will be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until we leave, I can't stop thinking about how blessed we are to have been able to spend that money. You see most missionaries are poor. We, in fact, are poor. We live well below the national poverty level for a family of 4, scratch that, 5. We are a family of 5 now. I keep forgetting that. (I keep forgetting the number, not the baby, don't worry or call social services on me please) Anyway, we are poor by national standards, but as I am sure you've noticed none of us are starving. My kids have chubby cheeks and leg rolls. Well, Lu doesn't anymore and I am mourning them daily. I will not comment on my rolls. You get the point. We are not starving. We drive a nice mini van. We live in a 2 bedroom house 1 bath house. We have a brand new macbook pro that has some very impressive stats that I know nothing about.
Why am I telling you this? Because I am bragging and I think I am better than you. Just kidding! I am telling you this to tell you that it is all because of The Church. The Body of Christ. The people not the building. I have been reading a lot of books lately about everything that is wrong with the American church. They are great books and I absolutely agree with every word they say about the American church as a whole. But, our family is very blessed to see Americans who are the church do exactly what the verses above describe. They are individuals who live all over the country and even the world who sacrifice their finances, material things, talents, and even their own homes so that we can do the job we are called to do.
We spent a lot of money last week that we were blessed to have only because of supporters who are members of The Body. We had been saving a lot of that money for plane tickets, and then our church told us they were going to take care of paying for our plane tickets... We needed a new computer as JM's was on its last leg and a supporter called to tell us that they wanted to buy us a new one...We don't have a car payment because some members of the same Body of Christ came together to help us purchase ours. Before we moved back to Mississippi we wondered where we would live and some friends told us we could live in their home. No, they are not rich people who have multiple homes for their luxury- they bought a new home and are waiting to sell this one until we leave. It is a sacrifice they are making for us, for the people of Papua New Guinea, for The Lord.
I say all that to simply encourage my fellow believers. I know a lot of people who have gone through a lot of difficult things with churches. It is very sad and definitely not what Christ had in mind for His Bride, but I hope that everyone will have the chance to see that there are still real and true believers all over the world who are all members of ONE CHURCH and are functioning just as Christ intended. I love that I get to experience that. And I wonder if more Christians lived on support... on faith, if they would get to see it as well.
I know a lot of people are scared of this kind of life, and I was at first too, but the Lord proved himself right from the beginning. I tear up just thinking about those first few months after we took the plunge and started living by faith. It is a great story, but too long for this already very long post (anybody still reading??) so, I will share it tomorrow. Come back tomorrow to read it. It is worth it, I promise. If you need $15,000, you will learn how to get it! ;) Just kidding. But not really.