Faith: Outreach ministry is a special moment in time
Has it really been three years since my times in hospital to face the most difficult challenge thus far in my fight against Crohn’s disease?
It seems like not that long ago the burden was put upon me to share my innermost feelings and write an article entitled From the Other Side to encourage other people to taste something of the importance of the outreach-care ministry.
What has happened in the journey with God since that time in my life and what have been some of the joys of this ministry?
Nothing has touched my spiritual life so deeply as that period of deepest and darkest need.
There has not been a day go by that I have not prayed for the doctors and nurses who cared for me in hospital.
I remember their voices and I see their faces.
I pray God will bless them and that His Spirit will minister to them and lead them unto salvation; that daily walk of grace and knowing a life of forgiveness.
There have been so many moments in time that God has allowed me to have in life.
Never a day has passed that I am not thankful for having been given a second chance.
Oh, if I could only pass on that message and feeling to others.
Those moments in time have been etched in my mind.
What comes to mind are those moments of visitation and chapel services with the elderly, the sick and sometimes, yes, the forgotten people who live in retirement homes and care facilities.
Has there been a sacred trust and a covenant with God to bring the message of hope and salvation to these people whom He loves?
Yes, some moments in time have brought smiles and laughter to those who seldom smile or laugh.
Some of those moments in time have brought the kindness seen in the eyes of a senior with whom a bond of trust has been formed.
Some of the moments in time have been ones marked with tears.
“God, Oh God, what would you have me do?”
One of my places of ministry takes me to a beautiful little chapel.
I love that place.
It is hard to imagine what spiritual battles have been fought there.
I’d like to think some have given their lives to Christ in that place.
Maybe they had heard those old hymns some time before in life and have always thought there would be a better time and a better place to meet with God.
Maybe that short message and a sincere invitation was all it took to finally bring them to the place where God became real.
A special moment in time happened when I thought the Sunday chapel service was just going to be another service.
We had sung our songs and had heard a message about the rich ruler from the account recorded in Luke chapter 18.
I was getting my guitar, my music stand and my books together when I looked down to see a solitary person sitting in a wheelchair.
She was waiting to be taken from the chapel and outside to be with the others.
I went and knelt on one knee beside her.
I held her hand and the warmth reminded me of my mother’s hand.
As we talked, she began to cry.
I knelt on both knees as my eyes filled with tears.
“God,” I whispered under my breath, “If only I had the gift of healing to heal this woman.”
Such a special moment in time that God had granted to me — to us.
I asked if I could pray with her and, after doing so, we talked a while longer.
Then, I helped take her out of the chapel to be with the others.
As I left that day, I felt God had placed me where He wanted me to be for His purposes.
What more could we ask, as His servants?
From the side of giving to others, then from the other side of being in such need and now, back to a place where God’s hand has been upon our community care ministry, there have been many special moments in time.
“To live as one forgiven” — what a beautiful message in song by Gloria Gaither.
May I be reminded of the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) when I find myself placed by God to bring the message of hope and comfort to another person in need.
John Noakes is a member of the Kamloops Community Church.
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