Monday, June 26, 2006

Around The World On A Wall

My almost 10 year old nephew slept at my house this past weekend while his mom and sister were in Michigan and his dad worked 3rd shift. Tyler came into my room Saturday morning and began looking at the various decorations on my walls.

"Whoa", he said, as he looked at a shelf heavily laden with objects. "Where is this from???"

"This" turned out to be a memento I had brought back with me from the Czech Republic, so I casually said that as I turned back to brushing my hair.

"And what about this?" he asked, pointing to another object.

"Oh that's from Panama," I replied.

"Wow! Is all this stuff from different countries?" he wondered.

"Yup. This is a candle from Nova Scotia. This is dirt from South Africa. This necklace comes from Zimbabwe. This nesting doll is from the Czech Republic. This is a Canadian coin. This pin is from Ireland. This box is from Chile. This shell I picked up on a Florida beach. This globe represents the world..." I stopped pointing to the objects and picked up my brush again.

I could tell Tyler was wondering why I had all this stuff, so I laid the brush down again and explained.

"Whenever I look at this shelf, it reminds me to pray for missions and missionaries all around the world. Each item on this shelf represents a mission field. Each item represents souls that haven't heard about the Gospel yet."

Long after Tyler left my room, I pondered the scene from that morning. The shelf honestly does remind me to pray for missions. But some of the time I just pray the *missionary prayer*: "God, bless the missionaries. Save the souls they're working with and encourage their hearts. Amen." Did I really pray for the missionaries, or did I just put some salve on my conscience so it would feel better? How can I expect God to answer that prayer when it is so general and very vague?

I was excited to open an email from a missionary in Australia yesterday. You could tell he was excited as he wrote, "GINA GOT SAVED!!!!!!!!" Well, I was excited too, for I love to hear about people getting saved. But you know, conviction settled in as I thought about the fact that I prayed for this girl only a couple of times.

Missionaries often send back names of specific people for us as Christians to pray for. There's a reason why they do: those names represents souls that are lost and on their way to hell. I have an opportunity to travel around the world daily.... praying for specific people across this world.

And who knows??? One day a missionary just might get a little excited in his email and write, "____________ just got saved!!!!!!!!!!" And you know the joy that you'll feel if you've prayed for that very person to get saved.

It's a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude that the Lord rescued another person perishing.

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