Bless and Encourage Somebody Today (B.E.S.T Ministry)
[ Extracted and edited from D2Y2 Magazine – 1997 Volume 1 ]
A missions trip is defined as successful only when the lost are found, the sick are healed, when the lame walk, the blind can see, and a church is planted right?! Wrong.
It is also when full time missionaries and local believers get ministered to, and encouraged to spur on after being refreshed and renewed to face new challenges and to complete old ones. That was what happened on our missions trip to China recently.
God was teaching us how simple gestures such as showing love and care in practical ways are just as effective, and perhaps more needful than signs and wonders. We brought with us not only the Word and teaching materials, but also a packet or two of cheese and chocolates, peanut butters and toys for the kids.
Not very spiritual is it? How about playing with the kids while mummy takes a break to talk with the other ladies on the team?
They appreciate someone who could hear them out.
I asked the missionaries what they missed about home.
One said Dunkin’ Donuts and the other said cheese, one said hotdogs and another was maple syrup, but all could agreed that the most they missed were the fellowship and encouragement of other believers who spoke their language fluently.
These believers understood what it meant to serve the Lord in a foreign land. Christians who would talk about daily things and not just Scriptures, things like raising children.
They appreciate someone who could hear them out. One whom they could openly share with, like when they are beginning to grow a ‘hatred’ for the culture and feel so guilty serving the Chinese. Yet they know they are called and have already begun to build so many close friendships.
Who could they share these deep thoughts with?
How many people would actually take the time to write to them, let alone visit? How many have come and gone, leaving these missionaries with some bags of books, and leaving it in a hurry?
Do they just need books? Did Jesus come to just drop us a Testament? No. He came to live with us, to be among us. He was the Word made flesh. Christianity is not about religion. It is about Christ-likeness.
How did the people serving in China know that we cared for them? We went. They were encouraged to know that people were thinking of them, and that they were not alone.
More action less talk.
Some ministers in Hong Kong went to the prisons prior to Christmas. They asked the inmates for the sizes of their wives’ and children’s clothes and shoes. They then went out and purchased these items, and visited the respective homes.
They told the families they came to celebrate Christmas with them, and they also brought presents to inmates’ families who are in the absence of their hubby and daddy. “Let’s make it a Christian Christmas”, said the pastor.
Doesn’t this kind of action bring meaning to Christianity? Wouldn’t it be just great if there were more people who understood the power and purpose of a caring heart? The one with more action and less talk.
It is a richer life when it is lived out in love.
Shouldn’t there be a ministry just to encourage the common people to care? To write (or e-mail), to give, to sow, to go. That is what B.E.S.T ministry stands for – Bless and Encourage Somebody Today. It is not an organisation. It is a command, and should be a lifestyle.
When I wake up in the morning, life really does not begin until I set my mind on caring for somebody. Let’s do a little more to make another’s life easier. It is a richer life when it is lived out in love.
I encourage us to upset our normal schedule today for the sake of love. Just slow your car down today for that old lady to cross the road, and experience the difference it will make to the meaning of your existence.
I will end here with an appropriate Scripture to reflect on – 1 Corinthians 13: 1 -13 (NIV)
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
D2Y2, which stands for Don’t Despise Your Youth, was an official Asian Youth Ambassador (AYA) magazine birthed out in the late 90s. The printed materials communicated dynamic and effective encouragement to and from the Church, with special emphasis on the knowledge and experiences of our Christian youths, which we believe the content is still relevant and applicable in this current generation.