Serve One Another

”But you were called to freedom brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Our host Babu, his wife Mercy, and daughter Grace, among others, have shown this team an incredible amount of hospitality since we have been here. I have eaten more food that I could imagine and they have gone above and beyond to provide us with a comfortable environment. In the short couple of days that we have been here, they seem to be focused on providing us with a space that feels like home and are seeking our needs well above theirs. The way I am seeing them serve with the home God has blessed them with is unbelievable.

So far we have been relaxing and getting settled. In that time, I have learned that they have gone so far as adding on to their home in efforts to provide space for the team, installing air conditioning units in the rooms we are staying in, and have even arranged their home in a manner that puts their family all in one bedroom during our time here. It is incredible and almost uncomfortable the level of hospitality they have provided us with just two days into this journey. After all, didn’t we come here to serve them? Their generosity and humility is admirable. Dwelling on this short time here, Joshua 24:15 comes to mind: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I am confident that the Samuel family has a decided heart on hospitality and service, and it is not just for our team. We have seen their generosity flow through them in everything they do.

Just reflecting on the love they have shown us in providing a space here has really impacted how the team is able to connect with one another and has given us time and room to focus on the work that is before us. We have had time to worship together, pray together, and study the Word together. Individually, this has given us space to rest, have our quiet time in the Word, blog, and fine tune our messages. In addition, we have been able to spend time with Babu and get a feel for the state of his ministry and how we are able to be of assistance both in the short time we are here and in the days, months and years that follow us leaving. This early, ‘slow pace’ has allowed us to rest, take nourishment, get a lay of the land, and focus on the continued mission at hand of building up the church in India. We are continuing to learn more about the serious challenges that lie ahead for God’s people in India. It almost gives me a level of anxiety thinking about this. However, in that, I can tell that Babu has real joy in serving the Lord and his people. Seeing that joy is an example and an encouragement to me in God’s faithfulness.

In our devotional Thursday morning, Tom led us through Philippians 4:7-9 and I think it applies to the character of Christ I see manifested in Babu and his family.  “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I see the joy in their family. They are a grateful people. And it certainly is not a result of earthly prosperity. They will credit it to the peace that they have received in the life they have in Jesus. And they are obediently following Him. Some could say that it doesn’t make sense, or “surpasses understanding.” However, in the peace in the life received through Christ, they have been called to freedom. And, in love, they have used this freedom to serve. And they are serving well. Praise God for that.