Jesus Christ gave us the commandment to preach the Gospel to every person (Mark 16:15). While this can really be near to impossible, we are still required to do so. In line with this commission given by Jesus Christ, the Davao UCG congregation organized a small team to distribute back issues of The Good News Magazine to different public places. Before, during and after the 2-day activity, there are a lot of things I learned. However, for the purpose of this article, I will reduce these lessons into seven points.
Lesson no. 1: We sow, God gives the increase
At the end of it all, God still have the prerogative to call people into His Church (John 6:44). But that doesn’t mean that we, as God’s people, won’t do anything. Faith comes from hearing and how can they have faith if they don’t hear God’s word? God can use even our humblest and smallest effort and turn it into something extraordinary.
Lessons no. 2: Only God can see the heart
I must admit: I chose whom to give The Good News Magazine. At the back of my mind, I chose those people who I think has the “chance” to read the publication and become converted. But in some instances, to my surprise, those people whom I think are not “worthy” to be given the magazine are the ones who approached me and have shown interest. Truly, it is only God who can see the heart.
Lesson no. 3: Most people are allergic to religion
While we were distributing The Good News Magazine, we encountered people in the park debating about the Bible. We can see that each of them is not there to learn, but to prove each other wrong. The debate will escalate into heated argument until you can hear trash talk and cursed words fly to the air for everyone to savor. Only then, I realized why people are so allergic with religion. Those bystanders developed a generalization that Christianity is nothing but a source of contention and confusion. Sad, but true…
Lesson no. 4: Some people can’t believe that our publications are free
In a country like the Philippines, it is difficult to find material things that are free. Thus, when we introduced the magazine to people, they have a hard time in believing that our publications are free. After assuring and explaining to them that our publications are really free, some will still walk away thinking that we have an ulterior motive in giving these magazines.
Lesson no. 5: God’s word will not be in vain
Every time I give our brochures, flyers, and magazines to people, the hope that they will heed the call of God goes along with it. Though it is discouraging and even heart-breaking to sometimes see our printed materials being thrown away after a few seconds, I strongly believe what Isaiah recorded thousands of years ago still holds true today:
“For as the rain and the snow comes down from the heavens and do not return there, except it waters the earth and make it bring forth and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall ACCOMPLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in what I sent it to do!” (Isaiah 55:10-11, LTHB)
Lesson no. 6: Nothing is ever wasted for God
The time, energy and resources we spend during those days will never be wasted. Though we may not immediately see the fruits of our labor or we may even not see the fruits during this lifetime, we have the assurance that God will bless our effort. His timing and will are always perfect.
Lesson no. 7: Volunteers have the strongest heart of all
As I looked at my comrades, my brethren, whom I have worked side by side with, I could see how dedicated and motivated they are. I mean, deep inside me, I felt the heels of my feet screaming for rest and my throat and lips are dry because of constant calling of people. I was sure that my friends felt the same way. But I was surprised that we lasted until 9:00 pm in the evening.
Truly, volunteers have the strongest heart because they are not motivated by money, power or fame. They simply sacrifice their time and effort for the work of God.
As I lay in my bed after the long and tiring day, I thought about how minute the possibility of God calling me from out of the billions of people. The same can be said to other members of the Church. I imagine how infinitesimal our effort is compared to the total number of people here on earth. We managed to distribute thousands of The Good News Magazine, but how many people would really respond? Thankfully, we have a mercifully and just God who will give EVERYONE a chance to be part of His Kingdom. Let us then just pray for His will to be done!
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