Counting Sheep

A guest post by Ken

My absolute earliest memory of church is sleeping on my mom’s lap during a choir performance. Apparently, I had been dressed up like a little lamb. The song the choir was singing was based on the parable of the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep (Luke 15). The shepherd wandered up and down the aisles of that school auditorium (the Saint John First Wesleyan Church was still under construction) until he “discovered” me. It’s safe to say I was adorable.

As a Christian, I freely admit that I have been that lost sheep. I have wandered far from the safety of the fold. I have been lost and afraid in dark and dangerous places and wondered if I would ever find my way back home.

Because Jesus has rescued me and called me His own, I now feel compelled to share His love. I want to be part of His mission. I want to be a shepherd as well. I want to reach out with God’s love and change my world. The words of James, the brother of Jesus, ring in my ears, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) It’s not enough for me to SAY that I want to help other people. I actually want to make a lasting difference. Not for my sake, but for God’s glory.

This summer I watched and prayed for a number of college students from our church as they set out to share God’s love in Europe. I am so proud of them for the boldness and compassion they displayed. Another group, also from our church, prepares even now for next summer and their trip to Kenya. Again, I pray and support them whole-heartedly. They are going to Africa to partner with what God is doing there through World’s Servants.

Lord willing, some time this winter Robin and I will set out on our own very unique mission trip. We want to be like Jesus and go to where the hurting and hunger is great. We are convinced that if Jesus were walking the earth today, He would go and do whatever He could to help end the suffering.

People have asked me if it’s safe for us to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I respond, “No! It’s not. That’s why we are going. Our children are there and we want to bring them home.” I wish that it were safe or easy or cheap. But it is none of those things. Yes, there have been stumbles and setbacks along the way. Frustrations and tears. Yet none of those things release us from what we believe God is calling us to do.

We believe God is calling us to leave the comfort and safety of our middle class suburban lives: to join with Him. And to rescue two children who need a permanent roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their back, and perhaps most of all a mother and a father who will tuck them in bed at night and tell them about the Good Shepherd who loves them more than they can ever imagine.

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