Outside the Box
Debbie recently rediscovered a great book from 1954 called The Prayers of Peter Marshall. Some of his heartfelt, apropos pleas were uttered in the Senate, where he served as Chaplain from 1947 until dying suddenly in 1949. Part of his Senate invocation on November 25, 1947, resonates with the reports given at the national CHE (Community Health Evangelism) meeting this week. We have changed the use of “Thou” to “You” for ease of understanding.
“We have asked for Your guidance in difficult decisions many times, yet it has not always come when we thought it should come…Forgive us for thinking, therefore, that You are unwilling to help us in our dilemmas, or that there is nothing You can do. Remind us, our Father, that when we plug in an electric iron and it fails to work, we do not conclude that electricity has lost its power, nor do we plead with the iron. We look at once to the wiring to find what has broken or blocked connection with the source of power. May we do the same with ourselves, that You may work through us to do Your will. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Photos of 2021 AISEC meeting
A common theme echoing through the encouraging reports at the CHE meeting was how to help others think “outside the box” in ministry. A few CHE practitioners saw unprecedented growth last year during the pandemic. They ministered using small groups through Discovery Bible Studies, health teaching, literacy, forestry, and agricultural interventions. Now, some leaders struggle with decisions of their hierarchical church authorities who chose to go back to “traditional” ways of outreach, even though those methods remain ineffective in penetrating communities, discipling believers, and winning the lost. These CHE trainers need wisdom, patience, and perseverance to wisely evaluate themselves and help denominational leaders see what is “broken or blocked.” They must learn to lead superiors to think and act “outside the box” of established traditions. We will integrate more details of the meeting in later reports. Verlin’s notes taken from reports shared from the participating members of eight denominations, two NGOs, and an independent would consume three updates (1600+ words) without providing any contextual explanations.
Inside the Box
Conversely, approaching ministry “outside the box” just for the sake of being different is nonsensical. Our labor of love for Jesus must always dwell within the parameters of Biblical doctrine and obedience. One CHE leader reminded participants that effective CHE ministries focus on making disciples for Jesus who minister for His sake, not to seek money or prestige or wait on others outside the community for help.
Prayer & Praise
🙏 Thank the Lord with us for a productive and encouraging CHE meeting of exchange! Ask the Lord to grant each CHE trainer discernment and renewed strength for the ministries they enact or oversee.
🙏 Pray for a young Ivorian friend who has not gotten the victory over substance abuse.
🙏 Debbie’s flight from Nashville is Friday morning, with a late Saturday night arrival in CI. Verlin will evaluate his foot Monday through Wednesday morning to decide whether to drive the seven hours to pick her up or if we will make the trip on public transport. Having our truck would be a great help in running errands in Abidjan, but not at the expense of reinjuring his foot.
Your Partners in the Gospel,
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).
AWA represents Andersons Witness in Africa.
It is also a brand of bottled water in Cote d’Ivoire, where we serve.