5 Things I’ve Learned from Third-World Believers

Many of us Americans think we are the world’s spiritual instructors. But the truth is that we need to learn from the faithful Christians in the third-world. After several decades of missions work, I’ve learned quite a few things from third-world believers. I’d like to share five of them with you here.

1. I’ve learned that life is not made up of the abundance of things we possess. In reality, sometimes we miss out on life because our possessions begin to possess us. Third world believers are poor in earthly possessions, but often far more rich than us in the Spirit of God. They’ve learned to see past the mirage of materialism and instead choose to embrace true life each day; a life with eternity’s values in mind.

2. I’ve learned that faith doesn’t necessarily transform our circumstances to  what we want them to be. Instead, faith changes how we view our circumstances, and it changes us in the midst of them. Faith gives us the strength to handle our struggles, and grow in the midst of anything God sends or allows to come our way. I’ve learned that many of the poorest people in the world display the greatest measure of faith, as they must trust God each day for the food they hope to eat. All that they have is their faith in God to get them through, and He does!
3. I’ve learned that hope is a gift God gives which allows even the poorest people to make the most of every day. Through hope they know God as the God of all hope, and are learning to trust Him in everything, whether unpleasant or pleasant. They share that hope with others in greater ways because they’ve experienced it first hand in greater ways.
4. I’ve learned that love is the most amazing word in any language, with the exception of the name of Jesus. Love is a verb; a choice; a decision made by a heart that has dedicated itself to God more fully and completely. Love doesn’t wait to be accepted, encouraged, honored or given to. Love loves, and in so doing brings glory to God and brings heart and reality to the message of Jesus Christ. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
5. I’ve learned that God truly does love the whole world, and I have felt the precious love that comes through Jesus’ death and resurrection. God doesn’t categorize people the way we do at times — by financial status, language, race or denomination etc. He just loves people because He fearfully and wonderfully made them to have a relationship with Him. I’ve learned that we can help Him love the world by reaching out to people with the same love and care that brought us into His Eternal Kingdom.
Thank you so much for your love and support as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission while awaiting His return.
In His service,   Brian Weller

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