We recently reviewed the account of a pastor who dressed as a homeless man and panhandled incognito outside his church one Sunday morning. He wanted to see how the congregation treated a vagrant visitor before he spoke. Thankfully, in the case of his church, he was encouraged by the reaction of most church members. Have you found it helpful to interact with strangers in various settings without heralding your “Christianity” upfront? Many people figure it out, but usually, we do not introduce ourselves as missionaries or clergy in public. Such intros frequently squelch frank Kingdom conversations. People often clam or mask up around the “religious” but will open themselves to warm conversation, kindness, and acts of service. Search the Gospels to see if you can find Jesus announcing His title as He traveled from town to town. He did not, but people figured him out. He spoke of the Kingdom, told parables, engaged in meaningful conversation, and healed all manner of infirmity. Food for thought.
Last week, Verlin heard the encouraging update from an Ivorian brother who establishes churches in an unreached area. The majority in his region hold firmly to another faith. The ways this pastor entered the community and sought to break barriers is intriguing and follows prior counsels from us. He did not announce himself as a pastor, come to plant a church. He found a valuable product to sell, then he went house to house. While conversing with families, he learned about the community. In some visits, he also shared and demonstrated agricultural techniques to improve crop production. Spiritual discussions opened as a by-product, and he invited them to Discovery Bible Studies in homes. Hearts opened to the Gospel message. He is convinced that his incognito stance as a pastor helps in this setting.
Other ministry partners serve incognito in another sense. Two Discovery Bible Study trainers we know work privately in tandem to reach out in villages. They do not wait for evangelistic campaigns or pleas from the pulpit about witnessing. They actively engage in places with no pastors so that the Gospel is shared in remote locations. How wonderful that the Lord sees and gives opportunities for acts of service in secret if we have ears to hear and eyes to see. Verlin also gratefully ministered to people in our yard this week, even as his foot injury keeps him homebound.
Prayer & Praise
🙏 Verlin felt progress on his foot this week, though there is a long way to go. He can now tolerate his foot down when sitting and can occasionally work two hours at the desk. He spends another six or so reclined with the foot on ice or under hot water, typing at an angle. Pray for complete healing and wisdom to know the right balance of rest, prepping nutrition, and exercise for the foot while receiving some visitors.
🙏 Debbie completed all the projects related to vehicles this week after additional repairs and delays popped up! She now intends to spend a week with her parents, seeing how she can best help them before returning to Africa. Hopefully, we will have the date of her flight by our next update.
🙏 Pray for the many Christians serving incognito as the hands and feet of Jesus in hard places. We thank the Lord for a sister in Christ who quietly assisted us this week. We are blessed to see how members of the Family of God help one another through varied and difficult circumstances.
Verlin and Debbie
Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is a mission of dedicated medical professionals who participate in the CHE Global Network. Together, in a loose affiliation of individuals, churches, denominational, and nondenominational agencies, we share God’s Light and Truth through Community Health Evangelism (CHE). Verlin and Debbie accept donor partners to contribute as led to provide support as we maintain residential ministry in Cote d’Ivoire to expand CHE ministries under the auspices of CHSC & Ivorian partners. Tax-deductible contributions by check are to be made payable to the CHSC with Andersons #0118 written on the memo line. Mail to CHSC – PO Box 132 – Fruitvale, TX 75127. Give online via the CHSC @ www.che4a.org (3% fee) or TDF (0% fee).