The habit of thinking about my day and the people that God wants to bless through me started back then, and it has drastically changed the way I go through my average day. Now, my life is much more about how I can bless others than it was before.
When I read that God’s love had been poured out into my heart (see Romans 5) and that I was created for good works that glorify God (see Ephesians 2), it made a lasting impression on me. I suddenly became aware that my life is meant to be an outpouring of God’s love on everyone around me.
Is God, out of His loving heart, kind? Then I will be kind also. Is He just? Then I will be just also. Is He honest? Then I will be honest also. Is He holy? Then I will be holy also. Does He reach out His hand to lift up the broken? Then I will reach mine out as well. Does He love those who don’t love Him back? Then I will love them as well. Does He leave heaven to invite the sinner into His life? Then I will leave my home to do the same.
This heart that God put in me has matured through my time at SD.
The highest blessing that I can give, the most loving thing that I can do for a person, is to provide them with an opportunity to be transformed by the love of Christ. That is the heart of GFA World’s ministry. We want to see communities transformed by the love of Christ. This is our deep longing. Could we ever keep ourselves from pouring out the love of Christ into the community around us? We love them too much to hold it back. The love of Christ compels us!
It is such a great thing to see the young people, whom the Lord lends to us as students in SD, receive that same heart. I love to see the transformation that God’s love brings them through.
It's such a great thing to see the Lord's young people transformed by His love and power.
Many times at the start of their year, they tell me, “I do not love people like God does. I know that God wants to love them through me, but I don’t feel it. How do I learn to live this way—out of God’s love?” Praise God for their honesty, for God can do much with the willing heart. He can change the whole world with one broken and contrite heart.
By the end of the course, many of those same students have forgotten their early struggle to feel God’s love and are courageously sharing about God’s love. They are even organizing groups to go out and share. One SD graduate commented on how she became confident in sharing the Good News of Christ with others by being part of the program.
“It has really opened my eyes in knowing that none of us are promised tomorrow,” she said, “and we are responsible for being christlike and sharing our faith with our actions, speech and our lives.”
But how did it happen?
They prayed and then stepped out in faith to do what they knew to be the will of God, and they found God faithful! Praise God for His faithfulness. The Lord knows that it hasn’t been through any clever teaching from me or our team. But it was as if, when they prayed, He reached out from Heaven, touched them, and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And they were healed of their hard hearts; He is glorified through their testimonies as they share with the stranger or family member about this forgiving, life-giving, loving God.
Again I say: It is such a great thing to see the Lord’s young people transformed by His love and power.
As the bus drove away, Ojas saw his mother running behind, crying. He was leaving home. His new faith had brought them both enough abuse from his father. Ojas was not simply running away from problems; he was heading straight into a life of more searing pain—and greater joys—because of Christ’s love.
At the GFA headquarters in Wills Point, Texas, Shareen clicks open the file of photos sent from the field in Asia. Dozens of images of a national missionary populate her computer screen. She magnifies each picture and tags them “slum,” “prayer,” “national missionary.” Shareen prays for the national missionaries shown in the photos and places them in a file, ready to be used for a GFA publication.
Balan was only around 7 years old but already thinking about suicide. He spent his days sitting alone in a corner of his parents’ home, a shawl wrapped around him to cover his body. After being diagnosed with leprosy, his mother, father, siblings and the rest of his community excommunicated him.