When Jesus was on earth, He modeled a life of sacrifice and bore the cost of testimony for God the Father. This is to be our joy too. The most exciting part of our being missionaries of faith is when God breaks into our world with an opportunity to help others. Yesterday, we had such an adventure and best of all; it cost us something!
William the taxi driver
After a wonderful phone call with our dear sister in Christ from South Africa, we were about to leave the motel room when the manager knocked. As I greeted him at the door, he asked if I could help our neighbor. Always willing to oblige, I walked over to William the taxi driver’s room to help. William was having problems with his Internet access. Being poor, he could not afford a new router. The manager gave him an old one and asked me to make it work. Soon enough, William had Internet access once again.
William and I sat to chat for a moment about Netflix and old movies. William wanted to watch movies on his TV, but all he has is an old tablet and a phone. I suggested a Chromecast, but that was too expensive. His next project, he said, was a winter coat. This stunned me. William works hard every day. For two years, we see him drive cab late into the night. He is a solitary figure and so we never realized he was so poor. No winter coat?
My mind went back to our homeless days and the need for good winter clothing in Canada.
The gift of sacrifice
When I told Wanda and my daughters, our empathy rose up with a desire to help William. Although summer has been tight, we had enough. We also have something William doesn’t; a heavenly Father who will resupply us. Fanny suggested we head to Costco and buy William a good winter jacket. Wanda and I agreed. Soon enough we brought home a brand new winter jacket which we will give to him today.
Our journey of faith has taught us a great deal about being poor. Sometimes we received what we needed from others. More often than not all we received was their leftover junk. The ‘gift’ laid bare the giver’s priorities. We were obviously not valuable enough to call for any sacrifice. Treating William this way is not an option for our family. He is a precious person because God created him. No other reason is needed.
We will only give to William the cost of testimony.
Loving with words and actions
Those without Jesus can only see Him in our word and actions. When these do not match they recognize we are hypocrites. Although William knows we are missionaries of faith, we have not shared Jesus with him; until now. God set up a perfect opportunity to share the gospel. Our actions, however, will speak louder than our words. What would William think if we handed him a used jacket and told him of God’s great sacrificial love? Don’t you think a gift of a second hand jacket that cost us little might diminish the validity of our message?
When the Lord brought His judgement against the people of Israel over David’s sin at the threshing floor of Ornan, Ornan offered to give the land to David. “And King David said to Ornan, No, but I will pay the full price. I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings which cost me nothing.” 1 Chronicles 21:24. David was setting a precedent here. His sacrifice to the Lord was the cost of testimony.
How many times do we give to God and others our second best, saving the best for ourselves?
The cost of testimony
This is an attitude of ‘self’ we find all too common today and quite unpleasant. If we are to be salt and light to the unbelievers, we need to set the example of Jesus’ sacrificial nature. Our sacrifice must cost us something. As you are given opportunities to follow Jesus where you are at we pray you pay heed to David’s example. May you give freely of yourself and your resources sacrificially, trusting your God to return to you what you need.
Homer and Wanda
If any reading this will join with us in praying for William’s salvation, we would welcome the partnership. Please tell us in the comments below so we can agree with your prayers. Thank you.
Update on Sept 7, 2019: Hallelujah we finally managed to connect with William and bless him with a new coat! He was thrilled to receive it and was near tears. I do not believe this man has much love in his life. He mentioned he was lonely so this is an open door for relationship, both to us and to Jesus. Thank you for all of your prayers!