What has amazed me about a life of faith is how the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It also amazes me that when we are on mission for Christ we meet people we would never otherwise meet, and we go through doors we would never otherwise go through. That is why a life of faith is not only rewarding, or as Christ said: the “abundant life,” but it is also energizing, fascinating and satisfying. I would like to tell you how our small church on the Kenai Peninsula made a difference in the lives of others.
About three years ago, we were in the midst of the COVID epidemic. As a pastor, I was compelled to put our services online. Suddenly, we were hearing from people in Africa, Europe and in the Lower 48.
One of those people was an African pastor by the name of Julius. Julius had a church of about 125 people. Those people had a heart for the orphans that were on the streets begging for food. Julius went through the procedures to bring them into the orphanage. There are currently 41 orphans in the orphanage.
The people of the church sold their cows to raise the funds to build a long mud house to house the orphanage and Christian school. The children had to walk 5 kilometers and back each night to fetch their water from a brown, filthy river.
Our small in church in Sterling was moved by the need for school books, Bibles and the desperate need for food in a land marked by famine. Soon a well was dug for fresh water. Then, construction was started for a new girl’s dormitory for the 21 girls. A Christian Women’s group provided items for hygiene, soccer balls and jump-ropes.
These Kenyan churchgoers belong to the Gusii Tribe. Soon several Masai Tribe men were attending the church. They wanted their own church. A man donated that land. The Masai build the church building themselves. Soon a third church was started nearby. Then through the local VisionAlaska ministry, a curriculum was developed to train leaders. Thirty-two recently graduated, who will serve the three churches. Now 35 other people want the Bible training to start churches near the Kenya-Tanzanian border.
God opens doors to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things for others. Likewise, small groups of Christians make big differences in the lives of others. God is the one who does these things, but He uses the body of Christ to do them.
Jesus said: “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”
Dr. Roger Holl is the executive director of VisionAlaska ministries and pastor of Sterling Grace Community Church. Sterling Grace meets at the Sterling Senior Center on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. All ages are welcome.