I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have leaned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all of this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 9-13
This post is written by a Cafe 1040 Overseas Staff.
Bear with me as I give a little history lesson.
On March 26, 1860 (156 years ago!), Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon entitled "Contentment." He used Philippians 4:11 as the text.
In that sermon, he said in part,
. . . upon the very surface, that contentment in all states is not a natural propensity of man. Ill weeds grow apace; covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. You have no need to sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth upon which rests the curse. So you have no need to teach men to complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we could have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener's care.
Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated.
It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be especially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in it.
What do you cultivate?
Home Stays are one of the most powerful tools our program offers to cultivate a love for Muslims in the hearts of our students.
There is an amazing transformation that takes place in your heart when you are given the incredible gift of hospitality at the hands of people most often described in our media as terrorists. The hospitality of this culture is indescribable. They not only welcome us into their homes, they welcome us into their hearts and call us their own. By the time we leave their homes, we are family. Then, God cultivates tender hearts to be broken for what breaks His.
In 2 Peter 3:9 it says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
And that, folks, is awesome because it hopefully is driving us to our knees on their behalf!
Here's a quote from one our students, James, reflecting on his experience:
The team and I recently got back from a week-long hiking trip through some pretty rough country and covered 36 miles over three days. Throughout this trip we were able to see just how remote and untouched by civilization some of the areas in this part of the world can be. And, of course it goes without saying that as remote and untouched as these places are by outsiders, they are even more untouched by the story of Jesus and what He’s done for them.
It's difficult to fathom that there are countless areas like this not only here, but throughout the world. It was humbling and eye-opening to see into the lives of a people who live so vastly different from you and I. When the story of Jesus reaches these people and they are able to experience all the amazing gifts that He has for them, not only will their lives be changed forever, but the lives of their families, the surrounding villages and the whole region will be proclaiming the joy of Christ and will be forever changed.