We can't even begin to express the depth our thanks to and adoration of God for how His Spirit has moved in the hearts of His people (the church). We know, by the hearing of His Word, that He has designed His church to function in such a way as to display His glory and majesty and love to the world, but we've seen this truth with our eyes recently (and intimately).
We see in the book of Acts (chapter 2) of how the believers took care of one another, met one another's needs, sacrificed for each other (even to the point of selling off their own possessions in order to meet the needs of others!) - and not out of obligation, but from sincere hearts. What a beautiful picture of the love of God manifested through the interaction of His people! Both sides of this interaction display beautifully the characteristics that the Lord loves to bless...humility and generosity. Humility on the side of the one in need (to humble themselves to share their need), and generosity on the side of the one capable to help (a heart joyfully willing to do whatever it takes to love the other as himself.). Both of these qualities are ones that the Lord elevates in Scripture: "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6, and "The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered." Proverbs 11:25 (among MANY others!).
Over the past year we have spoken in a lot of different places to a lot of different people of our plan to move to Indonesia for the sake of Christ and His reknown. Upon sharing, many had asked of any specific, tangible needs that we would be anticipating for our move (items to purchase, physical labor, etc). We shared that there will indeed be items that we would need to purchase before departing - we were then recommended numerous times to create a list so that people could meet that need. We were thankful and excited that people desired to help, however, we confess that there was also pride entwined in our emotions as well. The thought of laying our needs out for all to see was exposing and a bit embarrassing too...we could somehow manage to take care of it ourselves, we thought. However, after prayer, and confession before God, we decided to make the list and allow our supporters to know of our needs and allow God to do how He sees fit in providing for us. So...we chose to display the quality God desires...a humble heart. What happened next is the fulfillment of the promise of James 4:6, He gave "grace to the humble." He is faithful.
So, after we sent out our list, the response was incredible! It wasn't from just one or two people...but MANY! The expressed desire to help meet our needs were not mere empty words of comfort, but an eager and excited manifestation of Christ's generosity! Our list is nearly taken care of! We are SO amazed, humbled, excited, and encouraged! We knew (and know) that God would take care of all our needs, but to see the zealousness of His church to be so generous brings such joy - not so much because our needs are met, but because of the incredible display of His glory to those who are watching! There are many who are watching and are dumbfounded at the thought of people who are eager and overjoyed (almost as though it were a gift for themselves) to give! Thank you for being an example of God's love and generosity to a world who has yet to "see" it! We have together, already, partnered together to make His Name great! Praise God for how He is so creative in bringing about His purposes!
Many thanks to God and to those who have shared in this with us! To God be the glory!