I have recently had the opportunity to interact with many people who I genuinely admire. “Hero” is perhaps an over-used term, but I have recently rubbed shoulders with some people who I would consider my heroes. Hero is defined as, “one admired for bravery, courage, or noble character.”
One man has served with his family (heroes, as well) in a remote part of Africa for over 30 years and so many have benefited because he has chosen to forsake the material rewards that a Canadian surgeon would receive in his homeland.
Three of my physician friends give much time and effort to establish and run free health clinics around the Columbus area. What could be time spent in leisure, rest, or recuperation is given to their Father so that He can more spend them for His purposes. These same men generously give much of what they earn in their primary occupation to help those living in broken parts of the world.
I recently had lunch with a man who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over many years to support missionary work in Africa, only to see much of what was built with these donations destroyed by corruption and war. He wants to continue to raise money and support God’s work in these places despite the potentially passion-killing frustration of the past.
So many people support our work by taking their hard-earned money and giving it to God and to others to spend it as they see fit. They relinquish control over what most people see as theirs (earned money), giving it back to the One who gave it to them in the first place. So many others, supported in this manner, serve in challenging places in the world for others’ benefit and for their Father’s pleasure.
Many people visit us by spending their vacation serving the “least” in the Amazon Basin.
One man monthly sends to the Amazon dinner money for the missionaries to have a date night.
One family purchased a memorable week of camp for our son this summer.
Several people have put in much time and effort to send to us the medications and glasses that we distribute freely in our work.
One woman donated much of her savings over two years so that those in the remote Amazon without access to health care and the good news could have the same.
We recently visited Wheaton College where they have a wall for graduates who have left their home land to serve God in foreign cultures. On another wall was a list of those Wheaton grads who have been martyred while serving in foreign lands (in the last fifty years).
My Pastors devote much time and effort to support, encourage and counsel missionaries in foreign lands.
I serve in the Amazon with a group of missionaries who have chosen to live simply on the buggy equator in incredible, consistent heat and humidity, expending much effort living in a foreign culture with a foreign language, in order to build relationships and communicate the reality of their Father’s love and Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is characterized by people of such character that they sacrifice the passing things of this world, enduring risk and hardship so that others benefit and God might be seen.