Consider the travel troubles that ‘young marrieds’ Joseph and Mary experienced during the birth and infancy of Jesus. Nazareth to Bethlehem is about 80 miles. That is the direct route through the then dangerous Samaria. They likely walked over 90 miles. Even healthy peasants would be fatigued from walking for days, mostly uphill. Imagine the fierce sun beating down on the young woman about to give birth, the stress on Joseph as he cared for his exhausted wife. Then, multiply the danger and fear when they fled to Egypt to escape the edict of a murderous politician seeking additional power. Picture the night exodus from home to an African land speaking languages they did not know. How often did Mary hush her young son? What financial concerns riddled Joseph as he looked for food and lodging for an unknown length of time?
These details from the life of Jesus resonate with us witnessing in Africa. Part of it is simply the hassle of travel troubles on less developed country roads. Specifically, in Cote d’Ivoire, we prepare adequate food and water if stranded, tools to do roadside repairs (no AAA here!), a strategy if we encounter armed road bandits, and disarming conversations for law enforcement who still occasionally ask for bribes. Offering hospitality is an essential Christian grace. Travelers need help for many reasons. This week, we welcomed two FWB pastors, a pastor’s wife, and the bride’s brother in town for a wedding. One of our pastor’s daughters got married on Saturday.
Beyond our personal experience, we think of missionary families serving with Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC). Many serve in less hospitable African nations. Political upheaval affects their ministries. We empathize while remembering our family’s evacuations a few years ago. Even worse than our collective experiences are the nations’ citizens’ displacements and sufferings. While some clamor for political power, multitudes walk through similar trials to Joseph and Mary’s. They flee from their homes with little food, water, health care to find little shelter. Death awaits many. This tiring trend on our sinful planet makes us long even more for the coming Kingdom where peace, righteousness, and truth reign. It also reminds us that we can offer Peace, Righteousness, and Truth each day as citizens of that Kingdom. The CHE strategy we use is so ubiquitous now that we have met some who use the approaches in refugee camps.
Prayer & Praise
🙏 Pray for the nations where ongoing conflict wreaks havoc and creates humanitarian crises for the suffering populations. Ask the Lord to give our CHSC missionary colleagues peace and wisdom as they make decisions about ministry. Ask for enduring stability in Cote d’Ivoire. Most of all, pray for the citizens whose health, homes, and very lives remain at risk. Violence affects the spread of the Gospel, too.
- 🙏 Pray young married couples like the couple joined today in our local church increasingly choose to live for the Lord as they travel together through their generation’s troubles.
- 🙏 Thank the Lord with us that Debbie’s mom remains at home and is doing quite well. Pray that she and her doctor find the right solutions to prevent further TIAs.
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).