Faith, Hope and Love
“Why do you do this? Isn’t it dangerous? Don’t you get discouraged? Isn’t it just hopeless anyway?”
These are questions Living Water Community Transformation board members are asked frequently by family and friends who are concerned about our mission in South Sudan. Just yesterday, in my early morning quiet time, I read a familiar passage that seemed to be speaking to my own heart. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 is a verse I have read many many times, but have never perceived it as having any particular significance to my life. In this passage, Apostle Paul was addressing the church of Thessalonica, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul”s words (inspired by the Holy Spirit) seemed to answer these frequently asked questions better than I could ever verbalize.
Our work: educating children, discipling men and women, training pastors, planting churches, producing food, and starting small businesses is good work. However, it is not our primary purpose for ministering in South Sudan. We produce these works because of our faith in Almighty God. Faith produces action (Romans 1:5; 16:26; Galations 5:6; 2 Th. 1;1). “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17.
Our labor is not at all burdensome. It is prompted by love for God, and shown by serving people made in His image. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34. The challenges of ministering in South Sudan are intensified at this time because of a civil war and famine. However, our endurance is inspired by ourhope in Our Lord Jesus Christ. This hope is not a wishful thinking, but a firm confidence in our Lord. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.
God is definitely at work in South Sudan. In the midst of much tribulation, He is building His kingdom there. Many of you are already on this mission with us through prayer and financial support. Thank you is hardly adequate to express our gratitude for your support. But we could sure use more warriors in the trenches with us. Every believer has been commissioned by our Lord to be on mission with Him.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end or the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
Nhialic abi thiei (God bless you in Dinka)
Ann Rao (aka: Mama Ayen)