November 9, 2012
A Cup of Clean Water
The mission trip to El Salvador, November 11-24 is an opportunity to serve in El Salvador where about half of the population lives below the national poverty line. This country, the smallest in South America, has access to water but 47% of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. Our mission tour will be working with Samaritan’s Purse and its local partner, Agua Viva, to build bio sand water filters and install them in local homes. It’s amazing how the water is filtered through layers of sand to produce clean, safe water. You can see a demonstration of this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb0xf3mRbJM.
Our team of thirteen consists of participants from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia and includes a doctor, nurse, dentist and eye care specialist. You can see what a typical team does at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm3IkuQS2-I . Besides the water project we will be running a medical clinic. While families wait their turn at the clinic we will do ministry with the children and youth.
Please pray for us. Pray for team unity, for our health and safety while we are there. Most of, pray for the people we will be working alongside of and those we will serve that we will make an impact physically and spiritually, all in the name of the One who commands us to “Go”.
So we’ve been having a recurring theme in church lately called “Not a fan”, and I must admit, it’s raised some really interesting questions. See, there are a lot of fans of Jesus Christ out there who have never sat down and realized that you can be a fan, or you can be a follower, but there is a world of difference between the two.
I am a fan of the author Dick Francis, and am part way through one of his novels at present. I really enjoy his writing style and by george, the man can tell a good story. It’s quite a relaxing Sunday afternoon to curl up in a sunny spot with his book and indulge in some “me-time”. I’ve read a few articles on him, and also watched a video of him from his jockey days, during the most famous moment of his racing career, when his horse fell only seconds short of winning the Grand National. I might even go so far as to call me a big fan of Dick Francis.
But there’s where the difference lies between a fan and a follower. Do I read his books – yes; do I care about his personal philosophies – not so much. I may remember him occasionally on week-ends, but only in so far as his writing skills contribute to my own enjoyment of my free time. In the end, it’s all about me. Dick Francis as a person has no bearing on how I live my life, and even if I had met him while he was alive, while I would have been momentarily pleased, it’s not like the encounter would have had any lasting effect on me. Interesting guy, spins a good yarn, the end.
So what about Jesus Christ? Am I a fan or a follower? While I would be quick to leap in with a definite “I’m a follower all the way!” I have found myself looking at some of the fan-like behaviours that I have allowed to creep in to my life lately. I have been raised in the church and committed my life to Jesus at an early age, and while I try to reflect His loving ways, sometimes I am guilty of the whole “it’s all about me, baby” mentality. What can I get out of this relationship? How can I be entertained by this whole church thing? Fan-like thinking can really sneak up on you…
So the big question is, can other people recognize me as a follower? When it’s inconvenient to reflect Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness, do I show the dedication of a follower, or the fickleness of a fan? Do my actions make my Saviour smile, or does He sadly shake his head? Does He have my whole heart and is He Lord of my life, or is He being left with the scraps of a few hours on Sunday, squeezed into my tightly packed schedule?
I am happy to call myself a follower, but maybe through the coming weeks I’ll be less cavalier about it. Instead of just slapping the label on myself, I’ll start asking the tough questions that demand actions to back up this name that I wear – actions that show my commitment to the cause of Christ, instead of just knowledge of it.