I Corinthians 12:27 says we are the body of Christ and members in particular. And seeing that was one amazing aspect of our mission to Belize. God brought a diverse group of people together to serve Him.
His Diverse Body – Working Together
A group of 24 was to work in three different villages. As you might expect, a group that large has many different personalities, all uniquely gifted by God. Being in three locations, you might also think that we were divided, but that was not the case. We had some old friends, made some new ones, and all were intent upon serving the Lord Jesus Christ, serving each other, and being the body He has called us to be.
Paul tells us that there are many members, but one body. That one body is Christ, and we are in Him. This unifies us, even if each member has a different task and different gifts. Christ calls and equips us to carry out His purposes.
During our mission week in Bella Vista I saw examples of how the Body of Christ is supposed to work. Some were planning and building. Some carried blocks and lumber. Others sifted sand and mixed mortar. Some shopped for tape measures and nails. Several taught Pastors as part of the EquipUs Pastor Training School. Our course material was the Gospel of John. We taught and counseled them about modern-day Church problems which transcend language and culture.
Nobody Left Out
Some members of the body ministered to women who needed encouragement for the daily tasks they encountered. And that included grocery shopping and working together to cook so everyone could eat that day. But it also inlcuded teaching them how to minister through their own local church.
God opened the door for a group to go daily into the public schools and share Jesus with school children. They taught the children and ministered to them through song, crafts, and sharing Bible truths they
will never forget. God had even sent a team member who speaks Spanish. He prepared us for the fact that many of the children are still learning English at school. Because we were adequately equipped, all the kids could hear the Good News.
And I have to say a word about our friends in Belize being such gracious hosts. They opened their homes to us and welcomed us like we were family.
We were also blessed by the actions of many believers back here at home. People donated to help us get there and do the work of ministry. Some sent gifts of baby blankets, Bibles, toiletries, etc. These help demonstrate the love of Christ and our love for each other. Still others prayed fervently for fruit to be had through all the labor (ministry is labor), and their prayers have been answered. Churches, Pastors, and individuals are getting what they need to serve others and make disciples. I have seen mission team members counsel each other; serve one another, cry and pray together, focus on others’ needs ahead of their own, and love people they barely knew.
Our Awesome God
This week I was in awe of seeing the body function the way it is supposed to. On the last day in Bella Vista, the work was ending, the tools were being gathered, and the kids (and a few adults) were playing soccer. Everyone gathered in the Church yard for a time of fellowship.
The whole scene touched me. The amount of joy in the air can’t be accurately put into words. We don’t
often see such unrestrained fellowship here in the United States. We always have an agenda and a schedule. We need to be cautious because we can’t schedule what God is trying to accomplish (because we don’t always know what He is up to). What we find is, God often does His greatest work as the body goes about the different functions we are individually called to do. Many of these are mundane, like cooking and shopping. But as we move and act with love towards Him and each other, great things happen.
People are being changed by the Word, whether it is spoken or demonstrated in love. I saw that during our mission week. Serving others allows us to serve Christ. What a privilege to be a part of His body! We each have different tasks and responsibilities, we each have different gifts that we bring to the table, but all are unified in serving Christ, and there’s no greater joy than that.
Dennis Dodson – EquipUs Mission Coordinator and mission volunteer
Cover photo: Presentation of Pastoral License to Pastor Camilio by our teaching team.