Sickness, the Hunger Games, & Epiphany

It’s been getting worse. The symptoms of my thyroid disorder, which also create other problems, have increased. After a month or two of improvement I guess I thought the side effects would subside. Now I’ve come to Australia – now I’m “on the field” – and these issues are not so good.

in the Dandenongs

in the Dandenongs

Every Thursday morning a group of prayerful people come together to pray for each OMS Australia missionary. I love being a part of these prayer meetings, both as a missionary giving my requests and as a fellow Christian praying for OMS. The Holy Spirit speaks to me during this time and I know He speaks to others. The meetings not only bring us closer to God, we also learn more about other missionaries. And I can tell you that I’m not the only one with health problems; problems that could easily knock us off of our feet when it comes to goals and responsibilities in missions.

Last night I was reading book number two in the Hunger Games trilogy. I never sought out these books, and even though I’m interested in the story I still can’t grasp the obsession. That being said, I had a small epiphany while reading. The Hunger Games are gladiator-esque “games” designed by an oppressive government in an attempt to constantly enslave a former nation. After reading all but the last few chapters I tossed the book away and thought for a moment.

I thought about how awful I feel, how awful some of my OMS friends feel right now, what we’re working for and what we’re called toward. I prayed, and I thought about the OMS supporters who are an incredible part of God’s work in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Thailand…
I thought about how tempting it can be to take a break for a while. Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a little time just working night and day, saving up some money and paying off some of those student loans? Wouldn’t it be nice to save up some physical energy? I thought about what we’re working for and what we’re called toward. And I knew what I wanted to tell you.

This is real. It’s not a drama and it’s more than a documentary.

Slaves are real.

Someone is paying a stack of money right now in exchange for another human being.

It’s real. A 14-year-old girl has been abused by her mom’s boyfriend and doesn’t care about her own body enough to protect herself anymore. She’s tired. And it’s real – she doesn’t have any hope.

She doesn’t know that Jesus Christ is real. Or that He loves her. Or that He wants to redeem her from the wages of sin (death) and instead give her life.

People are slaves right now. People are dying and going to hell because they don’t know about Real Love from the true Beloved.

This is real. And this is the reason why the enemy’s efforts at reducing Christians, both those called to leave their homeland or leave their plans for missions AND those called to pray furiously AND those called to give and bless and encourage – this is why all those efforts cannot be allowed. This is why we have to give everything we have! This is why we have to get to know our Creator better every day, why we have to live fiery and not lukewarm, why when something wakes us up at 3 AM we have to pray.

This is why no one but incurable fanatics will do.

If caring for the sufferings of my fellow-man is to be a fanatic, I am the most incurable fanatic ever to be at large.
–William Wilberforce.

What do you mean when you use this proverb…
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge?’
‘As I live,’ says the LORD God, ‘you shall no longer use this proverb…
Behold All souls are mine…’
–Ezekiel 18:2-4

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