Thanks for not giving up on us after three sermon blogs back-to-back-to-back. Hopefully you enjoyed them though. It is fun being able to share in this part of our ministry even though we are so far away.
Week 12 brought an interesting trip to a mall known as QTU on Saturday. We were going to take a cab over but Altin and his son, Abi, were out on the town with little to do so they took us with them out to the mall. It takes a while to get there from our house so it is a bit of an outing for us. We had a handful of items we needed to purchase, mostly winter clothes for teh kids. Carter only had one pair of jeans that fit and Savannah had grown out of a lot of her clothes too. Sigh. They are growing so fast.
Anyways, we needed to buy some clothese but mostly we needed to get out of the house. Eve had been trapped in the house for the majority of the last month and a half to two months sick. It is starting to wear on her and so this was more about getting out than getting things accomplished.
When we got to the mall, we stopped at a food court to eat. It was different than what we are used to seeing in mall food courts in the US. It was a big buffet with pizza on one side and then a bunch of different foods on the other. It had good foods and we enjoyed our time there.
Anyways, to the point of this blog. After we had done some shopping and purchased what Carter needed, Carter and Scott sat down with Altin and Abi at a cafe while Eve and the girls did some girl shopping. While we were at the cafe, Carter and Abi played at a table about 10 feet away while Altin and Scott talked. During the half hour or so while the girls got what they needed, a ten year old boy started talking and playing with Carter and Abi. It seems as boys of all languages can make a connection and play together as long as there are cars or games nearby.
While Scott and Altin are talking, Carter starts asking the boy if he goes to church, or if he knows who Jesus is, or if he has a Bible. The little Muslim ten year old, of course, knows little of these things and Carter starts sharing Jesus with the little boy. Unfortunately, none of the adults knew about it until we were headed out of the mall (we left the mall as soon as we left that cafe) so we did not get a chance to follow up with the boy or his parents. And we don’t know how much the little boy understood (Carter says he understood English) or what he will ever get out of that conversation with Carter, but we do know one thing: Carter’s ministry that day was as much to his parents as it was to that little boy.
We went to the mall that day with two missions: get away and get some stuff. All too often that is how we treat our days; typical of most Americans I am told. Sure we have our ministry on the schedule, we have a few of them actually, but that’s how we too often treat our days. This block of time is for ministry, this block of time is for family, this block of time is for rest, this block of time is for prayer and Bible study, etc. Carter’s example is a good one though. How many “malls” have we been to (it obviously doesn’t have to be the mall) where we had a mission or a goal and didn’t slow down and ask God if there was something else (or someone else) that He had for us? How many missed opportunities?
Of course this story makes us rejoice that Carter is showing fruit of discipleship with his parents. God is glorified and honored when generation after generation tells of the great glory of His Son. But today is a lesson that we hope we do not soon forget, there are many malls before us, how many more opportunities will we miss?
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NASB)