In a disaster, churches don’t just hold bake sales to raise money or collect clothes to send to victims; faith-based organizations are integral partners in state and federal disaster relief efforts. They have specific roles and a sophisticated communication and coordination network to make sure their efforts don’t overlap or get in each others’ way.
The result is story after story of dramatic conversions and mass movements. Churches rarely celebrate slow, hard-slogging work that’s yet to see fruit. In doing so, we unintentionally create spiritual versions of get-rich-quick testimonials, showing how through only a little extra giving and a little extra prayer, you too can see an entire unreached people group saved in your lifetime.
In our efforts to quickly mobilize churches in missions, I fear we’re unintentionally undermining the church’s ability to patiently invest for the spiritual long-term. I fear we’re training churches who would’ve brought home William Carey or Adoniram Judson due to their evangelistic inefficiency in the first seven or eight years.
In my pained estimation in those dark days, the Lord was moving much too slowly, but I knew in that moment that he is not slow in keeping his promises (2 Pet. 3:9). He was holding me all along, and his reviving word came right on time. I pray I will remember this in dark days to come.
The Lord is never late.
Actress Kristen Bell was in Orlando this weekend to film a new movie, but found herself hunkered down as Hurricane Irma bared down on the region. But, instead of just hanging out in her hotel room, Bell—who voiced the character Anna in Frozen—decided to lift the spirits of evacuees taking shelter in a local school.
“I want to make sure it’s not a one-ditch effort,” said Duncan, who lived his first 18 years on St. Croix before moving to North Carolina to attend college at Wake Forest.
“Just, ‘Oh yeah, we went down there and did this and it’s done.’ Because the recovery process is not going to be done. It’s going to take months and even years for everyone to recover to normal life.”