My husband Mark took his first actual missionary journey on the upper Rio Negro in the Amazon with a Brazilian preacher named Pastor Valcides. They traveled for days by boat through the jungle for one purpose: to preach the Gospel and encourage the believers.
Village after village they were met on the banks of the river by children and men who had heard their boat motor coming for miles. Mark tells how Pastor Valcides would greet and spend time with the village leaders before going to the community shelter where he would show Mark where to hang his hammock. They would spend their days going from house to hut inviting people to the preaching service that evening.
The further they traveled up the river the more the style of huts would change from wooden, to thatch, to mud. As they got to one of the mud huts, a family asked them to come pray over their daughter. Mark followed them into their dimly lit hut, and the heat and the stench was so strong that he had to fight the instinct to gag. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw a little girl laying in a hammock. She was covered with boils and the skin was peeling from her arms. He said he felt helpless but prayed over her for healing. Eventually they made it to a town where there was a medical boat that could travel back to provide medical attention to the little girl.
Each village had a different hardship and a different story, but he and Pastor Valcides had a purpose and they traveled on to accomplish it.
When I hear my husband tell the stories of these preaching trips, I am reminded of how the protection of God is a very real thing in our lives as Christians. I am amazed at the thought that God knew that little girl was suffering there in that mud hut, hundreds of miles from a clinic or hospital. I am amazed that He cared enough to send two of His servants there to comfort the family and get help for their daughter.
He cares for me.
He cares for you.
He cares for all the people around the world that we don’t even know exist.
What problem are you weighed down with today? Are you feeling like you are just surviving the moment instead of thriving as a child of God? God knows. He sees your heart, He knows your struggle and guess what? He cares.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
In Acts we see Paul and Barnabas traveled from city to city preaching the Gospel and confirming the believers. We also see that they ran into a LOT of trouble. Paul was even stoned and left for dead at Lystra, but he didn’t stop preaching and sharing the Gospel.
I believe Paul and Barnabas knew God was real and that the Gospel could change the lives of those to whom they preached. And do you know why I believe that? Because in Acts 14:27 the Bible says that afterwards they rehearsed (reported) to the church in Antioch all that God had done with them and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Paul and Barnabas knew God cared for those people that many of the Jews considered unworthy. That means they believed in God’s ability to care for ALL mankind.
God cannot change, and if He cared enough to send Paul after a lame man Lystra and seller of purple named Lydia even further away over in Macedonia….then He sure cares enough for you and me no matter where we are.
Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of this simple truth: God cares.
Pour out your heart to Him. He is listening and He already has a solution.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Exodus 25 / II Samuel 19-20 / Psalm 41 / Acts 17