The past week has been filled with major, life-changing events. The tragic death of Rev. David Wilkerson in car accident, a man who lived his life sold out for Jesus Christ and influenced countless lives for the kingdom. Simultaneously, tornadoes swept across the south and took the lives of almost 300 people; devastating the lives of thousands. Then, the royal wedding took place. A grand and majestic occasion which brought great excitement and joy, to Britain and beyond. It was nice to have something positive in the media and witness a real life fairy tale. But in the midst of all of that celebration, turmoil continued to go on in many Middle Eastern countries, including Libya, where one of Gadhafi’s sons was killed. Not to mention the countries which no longer make headline news, but are still in the aftermath of their own disasters, such as Japan and Haiti.
Events like births and weddings or tragedies like death and disasters often trigger a great deal of reflection in any person. I’ve spent the entire day in somewhat of a pensive mode, thinking about all sorts of things. Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday and, as I often do the night before my birthday, I have reflected on the past year of my life, which was filled with a lot of major change. Not as major as the events mentioned above, but major nonetheless. Considering all of my own changes (and the changes in the lives of so many others) has made me think more in depth about what really matters and where my focus needs to be.
I know very well that we cannot compare our lives to others because that kind of thinking leads to no where fruitful (trust me, I've wasted a lot of time in that zone). God has an individual call for each of us and we can't look to the left or to the right. We are unique and so are the plans that the Lord has for our lives. In reflecting on all that is going on in this world, particularly in the past week, it was good to be prompted to look to the Lord and ask Him how these people and events may impact my life for kingdom work.
Though I did not know Pastor Dave personally, many people I know have been profoundly impacted by his ministry, including me. There are people I know who have gone through the program at Teen Challenge, where Jesus forever set them free from addictions. My brother and sister-in-law met at Times Square Church, where they worked and attended for a time. I have witnessed people coming to Jesus a result of his preaching. I’ve read incredible truths in some of his books. God has used some of his messages to speak deeply to my heart. In fact, the Lord really spoke to me through and confirmed my move back to New York through a message by his son, Gary Wilkerson. Pastor Dave’s influence spilled over into many people, which spilled over into even more people’s lives and so on and so forth. It’s been amazing to read little snippets online about how his ministry has made an impact on so many individuals. He truly left a legacy and the work of the Lord will continue to go forth.
One of the many ways that David Wilkerson’s ministry will continue to go forth is through Please Pass the Bread, a program that feeds thousands of children daily in multiple cities throughout eight countries. I have been aware of the ministry of World Challenge but never knew about PPTB until now. As I read about this program, established to feed children in poverty-stricken cities, my heart just burned. I have become increasingly burdened about poor and orphaned children throughout the world. I knew when I went to Costa Rica in 2009 that I was forever changed. But even since then, over the past few months, my thoughts and prayers have so much more of a global focus and I don’t go a day without thinking of the many people throughout the world who are in need … of food, shelter, love … and a Savior. It consumes my thoughts. The needs are so great and can seem overwhelming, but I am constantly being reminded, as I was this week in the death of David Wilkerson, of how one person really can make a difference. And I am asking God how my small life can make a difference in this big world. I know for sure that God hears my prayers so, even though I may not be able to go to India or Japan or Haiti right his moment, but my prayers can make a difference there because God hears them and cares for His people.
I recently learned about Operation World, a prayer movement to intercede for the nations. As I am writing this I received my daily email, with the name of a different country and various information about it (geographical and religious statistics, praise reports and prayer requests). It helps to provide an understanding of the needs of that specific country and to know how to pray. I even purchased a map through their website and have it on my bedroom wall. Every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to sleep, I look at that map and remember to pray.
Speaking of every night when I go to sleep, it's about that time. When I began writing this, it was the night before my birthday. Now it’s my birthday. I wish I could’ve been as focused today on schoolwork as I was on all these other matters. Oh well, God will help me get refocused on my assignments tomorrow (I mean later). Today, it’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to. :-)
Before I go, I wanted to share a few links…
I read online that the Wilkerson family requested donations to be given to Please Pass the Bread in lieu of flowers and gifts. If you’re not able to give, at least take a look at the website and remember that ministry in prayer. And remember the Wilkerson family in prayer during this difficult season.
Also, there is a ministry in Alabama, Harvest Evangelism (the director is friends with my brother), which is taking donations to help the victims of the tornadoes. All of the money will go directly towards a tornado relief fund. Pray for the restoration that needs to take place down south and that in the midst of this turmoil. Pray that many would rise up to assist and support the people in our own nation and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would go forth.
Okay, for real, I need to sign off. I wrote from one year of my life into another. Yikes. Time to go!
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me with an everlasting love, for keeping me another year by Your grace, and for blessing me in abundance.
You are faithful and I rejoice in You.
You are faithful and I rejoice in You.