Tuesday, October 16

It's not in vain

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." Corinthians 15:58


This December we will complete our 20th year of service here in Guayaquil. One of the advantages of being in one place that long is to stand amazed at all God does in and through our lives over the years. Just when we think all our effort, toil and years have meant little, the Lord allows us a glimpse into how the lives of those we have touched in the past are now today making a difference in the lives of others.

Today I went to an open house of a Christian foundation working with people infected HIV/AIDS. As I sat there my eyes wandered around the room of people gathered, recognizing several with whom we have worked over the years in different capacities and ministries. Many I had not seen in some time. I was encouraged to hear them speak and briefly visit with several of them before having to leave.

I sat next to "J" a woman whom in our earlier years of service worked with us in the Teleamigo ministry. Today she is home from India where she serves as a full-time missionary. I was so happy to see her and made arrangements for next week to get together with our team to share.

The woman organizing the open house and heading up the HIV/AIDS foundation was "S". Years ago she served as our mission office secretary. Today she is touching the lives of hundreds of infected HIV/AIDS people through a ministry that few want anything to do with.

"F" used to wash dishes at our house and served as a house maid to friends of ours. Today she is on the Board of Directors of the Foundation and personally ministering to many people whose lives have been turned upside down by HIV/AIDS.

"S" received her doctorate in psychology a few years ago and is the main counselor for the foundation. "S" started out as a Teleamigo counselor and learned the "ropes" from us in her early stages of wanting to minister to people's family and emotional needs.

"M" was the invited guest to give the key-note address. She too began with us many years ago and now is a professional serving the Lord throughout the city impacting the lives of hundreds every year through her conferences and seminars on the family.

There is much, much more I could say about each of these people, their impact today, the initial relationship we had with each. But what matters is to see our work is not in vain. I love the verse quoted above from 1 Cor. 15:58. One of the prayers I often ask of the Lord is to grant me the privilege of seeing His handiwork in the lives of those we have poured ourselves into. He has been faithful to do so.

If today you are down and wondering if all your effort in people's lives has been in vain, remember 1 Corinthians 15:58. It is a promise. We may not always get to see encouraging results like I did today, but we can know from the Lord our efforts have not been in vain.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Guido,

Thanks for your encouraging words! As you very well know we have worked over the years in "sowing" situations. I long to see a harvest. And I long to see transformed lives,families and communities among the forgotten people of our adopted country. Once again, THANKS for the upliftig blog entry.

Esteban

negrito said...

Thanks Guy. It is amazing how our "worlds" are interlocking in Guayaquil. For me visiting Niger recently gave me encouragement to keep going with what I do back here when sometimes you can't see it's effects. But to see 4 families really going 4 it, and know that we have a part to play in that and getting others out to join them gives meaning to the drudgery parts of the work back here (all that admin:-))

GuyMuse said...

Esteban and Nigel,

So often the seeds planted today will not bear fruit for some time to come. Yet if we are not out there planting seeds (spending the time with these so far unfruitful people) there will never be a time of seeing that seed bear fruit. We want immediate results but it takes a while for seeds to bear. I have this great YouTube cartoon video that I hope to post in a few days. It needs some editing, but it is right along these very lines. Stay tuned, and both of you KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK--IT IS NOT IN VAIN!!!

In Christ Alone said...

Thanks Guy,
The planting of seeds...His work through us...a great blog reminding me of the fruitfulness of this sometimes difficult road and how He uses many different ways and people to draw others unto Himself. What a privelege it is to be the watering can in His hand and thanks for sharing your experience. Just what I needed to hear ..... God's blessing on you and yours and your seasoned ministry.
In Him,

GuyMuse said...

In Christ Alone,

A watering can...I like that! Like the Scriptures say, one plants, another waters (with their watering can!), but it is God causes that gives the growth.