This quote had been shared with me several times over the years and I always agreed with it, mostly out of politeness or courteousness. It was not until this trip to Honduras that I understood the true meaning, depth, and the effectiveness of medical work in relation to sharing the gospel. I understood at an intellectual level where I now understand at an experiential level. The Holy Spirit seems to open hearts to spiritual truths when you are helping those who cannot help themselves. People care about what you know once they know how much you care. When we selflessly and sacrificially help those in need, they learn to trust us and then become willing to learn from us and follow our example. Because many people are exploited in one manner or another, we need to demonstrate that we are serving with no expectations from those we serve. When we truly seek to serve God by serving “the least of these" Matt. 25:45, God opens doors of influence and we gain the ability to truly help people and share with them. On this trip, it was a privilege for the Lord to use my family to influence people towards His Kingdom.
This ability to influence is not limited to the foreign mission field. Jesus’ example embraced an attitude of service, love, and caring no matter where He was or what He was doing. The message of Christ’s life teaches me that my lifestyle needs to be such that my natural actions and tendencies have a focus on those around me. Just as we read in Matthew 25:34-45, I feel the need to serve and to love unconditionally. The question is not whether I will influence, the question is will I influence for Satan or for God. Will the words I speak and the works of my hands lead to death or to life eternal? My prayer is that we all would be found ministering to those within our homes and communities as well as to those in foreign lands.