Matthew 5: 16
When Christians Go It Alone
I was a young Christian and for my medical elective, I had set my mind on working with a Christian organisation and influencing lives for Christ!
Sadly my plans became little more than an ideal when all of my applications were rejected, in the majority of cases due to unforeseen circumstances. I was gutted and resigned myself to what I felt was the second best option - a placement in the Caribbean with six other people, all non-Christians. I was terrified at the prospect of having to be a witness to the rest of the group through my own rather immature Christian faith.
All seven of us were friends but we had widely differing ideals. It became apparent that our trip was to involve large amounts of time drinking rum, smoking hash and visiting strip joints! I couldn’t understand why I, in particular, was being sent into such a minefield.
On closer reflection, I realised that Christian mission is not restricted to those employed as ‘missionaries’. It is something that we are all called to do wherever we are (Matthew 28: 19 - 20). It reminded me very much of Jesus sending out the twelve like sheep amongst wolves (Matthew 10: 16). I had a tremendous opportunity amongst my friends if I could get alongside them (I Corinthians 9: 19 - 23).
On the advice of a wise friend, I tracked down a church in the local area beforehand via the Internet and made contact with them. This was a source of great support and a number of Christians made friends with our party.
It was also reassuring that a number of the staff in our placement clinic were committed Christians and great witnesses. I also, following prayer, was able to join in with the party’s activities while drawing the line at certain things I felt uncomfortable with. On our return, I felt very strongly that God had softened their hearts towards the Gospel and a number of them started to attend Alpha courses.
This just goes to show that wherever we find ourselves overseas, we can and must make an impact for Christ. Take heart that we have the greatest resource of all - the Holy Spirit - who ‘helps us in our weakness’ Romans 8: 26.
Read the passages in the text in their context.