When the language school started looking for a place for us to live, they asked if we wanted a house (more privacy, yard, more room, possibly less safe) or an apartment (less privacy, less room, more safe). Although we would have loved having a house with a yard for the kids, more room, etc, we decided that an apartment would “force” us to interact more with people– this is essential in language / culture learning. It is so easy to “hole up” when you talk like a 2 yr old. Well, it is happening– we are getting to know people.
A fence/wall surrounds 2 apartment buildings, a play area, and the parking lot in this place we call home. There is a doorman who sits in a booth by the road and buzzes open the door for you when you go out or come in. I have gotten to know one of them very well (John). From the first week, he wants to talk every day we get back from language school. He speaks about 12 words of english so this is great for me. Last week I explained what we were doing (we are missionaries from the US, learning the language and then moving 2,000 miles north to the work on the Amazon River). I could tell by his expression and his comments (many of which I wrote down and then looked up later to confirm) that he was not impressed. He said “bastante” a lot (which means “enough” or “many”) to describe the missionaries in Sao Paulo and Campinas. I was at a loss for words (no pun intended).
However, God is amazing. The next day, our language teacher said they had a missionary airplane mechanic from Asas de Socorro (MAF brazil) talk at their church. She brought a brochure that he had handed out that described the work that Asas de Socorro is doing in the Amazon (all in portuguese). Perfecto. I gave the brochure to John, the doorman. The next day he stopped me and said, in portuguese, “Now I understand what you are doing and why”. He had a very different attitude.
The next night, I went down to talk to him again. He said, again, that he understood what I was doing, he had read the pamphlet twice. However, now he had another problem. He said he understood what I was doing, that my work had a purpose. He was sad, because he said his work doesn’t have any purpose. Every day, the only thing he does is open the door for people. He’s had many jobs, worked at different stores, as a doorman, etc, but none of these had any purpose. I tried to explain to him that God has a purpose for everything. That his job definitely has a purpose– he is helping me learn portuguese! But it didn’t really help, I’m sure you’ve been there when you feel like you are not “doing anything for God”. Sometimes it doesn’t help when others try to explain how important you are– that is where John was at last night.
So… I ask for your prayers as I try to do EXACTLY what God wants me to do, right where I am, right at this moment. He has placed us all in each spot, for His purpose. Many people ask “What is the Lord’s will for me”. I don’t think we need to agonize over this question. God is very clear in His word. His Will is for All to come to the knowledge of Truth and be saved. His will is exactly the same for everyone: It is first that you come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, NEXT, that your life would be used to further His kingdom wherever you are, whatever you are doing at this moment, and with whomever you are interacting with.
God’s endless pursuit of souls is indescribable.