This is real lovenot that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to us to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love one another. 1 John 4:1011 NLT
IN APRIL OF 2012, I went to China on a medical mission with Project Partner. I was blown away by the love I saw expressed from our team to a community that comprised an under-resourced rural village. Most of the forty-one persons on our team were medical professionals who used their personal vacation time and paid their own way to serve the poor for a week. Their servant hearts created a sacrifice Ill never forget.
The chief of staff for an emergency room in a large hospital in a wealthy city brought five of his team with him. We made home visits on winding roads in driving rain to diagnose, treat, and pray for elderly and infants that couldnt travel for treatmentand did it with joy. We visited homes where the conditions were deplorable. At times we didnt have electricity or running water. Often tears welled up in our eyes when we realized that there was little we could do with the best medical treatment there was to offer. So we prayed. And when we prayed, the joy and sincere peaceful gratitude expressed by the Christians we served was overwhelming. They gave more to us in this lesson of faith than we gave to them in material help.
Nurses and lab techs visited the local grade school to teach personal hygiene and AIDS awareness. They played games with the children, taught them songs, and hugged them. Amazingly, the Chinese school administrators gave them an opportunity to share their personal faith, so they boldly told the story of Jesus in a country where the gospel is usually not allowed in the public school.
Dentists, doctors, nurses, emergency responders, and some regular nonmedical people like me gave routine physicals to more than seven hundred students (They even found a job I could do. I held a clip board on the top of childrens heads so we could check their height.) I was so profoundly affected by that week that when I returned, I changed my e-mail password to loveoneanother.
Lord, thank you for those times when heaven touches earth and earth becomes more like heaven. And thank you for empowering us to live out our extreme love for you by showing our extreme love for others who could not help themselves.
-Gary Kendall, Lead Pastor, Indian Creek Community Church, Olathe, Kansas