South African Children Playing on Playground at Del Cramer Campus

Luke 12:22-34

31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

 

I recently went on a trip to South Africa.  It was a trip to help set up Celebrate Recovery for teenagers in schools.  I have never been out of the country.  I didn’t know what to wear, what to take, what it would be like.  One thing I did know is that it was God who made a way for this trip to be possible.  That gave me great comfort.  I realize that this was not something that happened on my own power.

In my planning of the trip, I found that most of my summer clothes did not fit anymore.  I hate clothes shopping.  But I asked the Lord to guide me and help me and as I shopped, I found outfits that fit perfectly and affordably.  No easy task, looking for summer clothes in January in Iowa, but God provided.

I had hoops to jump through with Covid testing, schedule planning, getting the cat sitter lined up….so many tasks that could have been very daunting.  But I knew that it was God who aligned this trip and with his help, I had no need to panic.  I only needed to be obedient and complete the tasks set before me.

Before I knew it, I was in South Africa.  While there, I witnessed a level of poverty I had only read about.  Communities without running water or electricity.  Ladies with children wrapped to their bodies while they worked in fields.  People walking miles to, hopefully, find work for the day.  Toilets that, in some cases were the nearest tree.

And you know what?  These people worshipped.  They worshipped God and thanked him for all they had.  They had a level of faith that was off the charts.  They worked with what they had and were thankful for it.  Their faith did not lack because they did not have possessions or modern conveniences.  In fact, they seemed to be in such a tight relationship with God that nothing would diminish it.  It just drew them closer to Him.

On my way home, I reflected on all the blessings God has given me.  A home with electricity, plumbing, job, car, food.  I realized I have many possessions, and I wondered if my faith was contingent on what God has provided me.  And as I reflected, I decided that I have many things I simply don’t use that would be beneficial for someone else.  No, I am not going to get rid of everything I have, but I can simplify and in that help others.

I have witnessed God moving huge mountains in my life and I know that He has provided every opportunity and blessing that I have ever received.  He never needs to prove His love for me.  My faith is simple.  I love God.  I trust God.  I follow God.  He provides.  He provides comfort, opportunity, love and blessings.  My treasure is not belongings or possessions.  My treasure is knowing that God is faithful and He is the same God in USA as in Africa and the whole world.  He is God.