It's Monday and lots of ministry has taken place, as well as on the horizon. One ministry in particular stands out to me. My cousin past away while I was on a blog break. It certainly came as a shock but the biggest shock of all was at the funeral. It was then that the whole family gathered to remember and consider our current standing in life, that I realized how important family is. My cousin was not unlike the men and women we minister to in the Oakwood community. He struggled with drugs and alcohol. He lost his mother at a young age and his father never received him. I think that had something to do with his downward spiral. But here is the thing people. While Tony's biological family gathered on one side of the room, there were four to five individuals who stood to speak of my late cousin. There words were unmatched by anything anyone in the family could have uttered. One of them said, "I prayed with Tony almost every other day for the past two years." Then another stood and said, "My name is Pastor Somebody. I am representing (church name) where Tony was in fellowship. Tony was a great man who loved the Lord! He always had a smile on his face and was very encouraging to others. We at (church name) loved Tony and will greatly miss him."
Okay so what just happened? My cousin Tony was a member of a local church, he had prayer partners? Who was this guy they were talking about? Then as my Uncle began to preach I felt sick to my stomach. Realizing he is preaching about a family member that no one really knew in the present. Yes we have memories from the past but his very recent past no one in the family could account for. This led me to two conclusions.
The first being Thankfulness! I am thankful to God that He has people in specific places to reach specific people. When no one in our family could or would reach out to Tony God had a plan for him! So for that I am thankful. I could see how the Lord would use me in ministry the same way He used those men who spoke of my cousin at the funeral. They shared Christ with him. Now I don't know that he was a believer but that is not my place to judge a man's salvation. I can only speak to the fruit and verbal confessions. Since, I have neither of those things to go on I simply don't know. For me that is okay, I fully trust the sovereign will and hand of God.
The second conclusion is we need to redeem the time. Earthly family is important and as much as it depends on us we should seek to love, have relationship with and tell of the goodness of Christ in our lives. It is strange to me how we can almost evangelize the whole world and ignore the ones we see everyday or purpose not to see among our own family. I currently live in the same state with a large portion of my relatives and honestly I don't know a large number of them. At the funeral I was guessing at the names of family, based upon who they looked like. Now for the most part I was right but that was really ridiculous. Family is important! I am speaking specifically of extended family. As you consider ministry this Monday I would challenge you as I have been challenging myself to get to know a family member. Take time to minister to your family if you are able. Call them on the phone or go visit for an hour. Take the time to learn intimate details and share them. Pray with someone in your family that you would not have otherwise thought to.
This Ministry Monday is all about how we can minister the love of Christ to those in our own families. The list of ways to do this is endless. But start with a phone call, dinner, a card game or prayer. Love those you have while they are there, it is not guarantee they or you will take the next breath!
This Week in Ministry for the City of Hope Outreach:
Launched Monday March 29, 2010. Tutoring will take place in the Oakwood Village Mobile Park Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4p-6p. Volunteers are welcome just send me an email or comment and we can get you connected!
Get Out & Smoothie is this Thursday April 1, 2010 at Tropical Smoothie from 5:00pm-9:00pm. This is a fundraiser event for the trailer that is to be built or purchased and placed in the trailer park. 10% of all purchases between 5p-9p will be donated to the City of Hope Outreach. Please come out and enjoy a smoothie or a healthy dinner sandwich with us.
Please keep us in your prayers.