Sometimes the value of love isn’t quantifiable. Because, often, results in ministry require an appropriate response. If you deal with people at all, you will see that the most expedient action isn’t always taken at the earliest possible moment. So, I could love someone, provide exactly what he or she needs for growth, health and eternal viability (all thru Jesus of course), but if they don’t accept it, then there is no quantifiable result. But, is that success from the person-in-ministry’s perspective? Clearly, not enough information. Love is perseverant. How long did I make myself available to be of service to this person? How did I handle the rejection? Did I give up too soon? Did their rejection cause me to withdraw? All of these questions play into the idea of fruitful/successful ministry. It is hard to sort out. But, if we didn’t spend any time on evaluating, we could spend thirty years in ministry and never mature into a good harvester.
So, here we sit. One year. How have we done? How are we doing? I think we will be able to answer that better a year from now. For now, we are alive. We are living intentionally in love for others. We struggle. We have good moments. We miss our old life. We miss our family and friends. We have an awesome church. We have good friends here. We have seemingly impossible challenges in ministry. We have glimpses of hope in ministry.
We have another two years, at a minimum in Cyprus. In the meantime, we believe that life today is preparation for ministry tomorrow. So, it is clear that we are being taught and readied for more. We are trying to remain open to the leading of the Spirit. Our desire is to walk through each day hoping for a revelation of something new about the heart of our Lord. Who else should we be loving “intentionally”? Where could we be serving more in our community? How do we do this in the context of our family? What skills do we need to develop to be better servants next year? This is clear: there are many needs, there are many who would love to be introduced to the Savior, and there aren’t enough workers. So, if there aren’t enough laborers in the harvest, perhaps we need to be better harvesters – more efficient – meaning responsive to the Holy Spirit. Hmmm. Maybe that is the best indicator of how we are doing after one year in Cyprus – needing to be more open to the Spirit, to better understand the grace of the Son and to know the Father more. Lord guide our steps!
His Love is perseverant. Please pray for that to be reflected in our lives.