WEEK 2: MARCH 6-12
God Has Come for His People
Luke 7:11-17 captures another Resurrection story for our focus this week. When Jesus raises people from the dead, sometimes we can miss some of the nuance from the story. It makes sense, though, what else is there to talk about? Jesus just told a dead person to not be dead anymore. However, look closer in this text; the response from the people after watching this resurrection is to acknowledge that surely “God has come for His people.” Yes, God has come for us and I am sure we all have unique experiences of that truth. As you are encouraged by this week’s devotionals, be thinking about Luke 7 and how this story challenges you!
God Has Come to Help His People
By Hal and Sue Hoege
Read Luke 7: 11 – 17.
In 2014, we went to Joy in the Harvest in Kigoma, Tanzania, on a two-year mission trip. Kigoma is one of the poorest places on earth, where people struggle every day to get the basic things needed for survival. When we saw firsthand what breaks God’s heart, we found we simply could not walk away after two years. We are now beginning our fourth year in Africa.
One of the Joy ministries in which we serve is the Friday People program, where people of all faiths come to seek help. They may need food, home repairs, rent assistance, or critical medical treatment. For example, Haizuru, the father of 5 children, came to Friday People with a serious medical problem. You might think a hernia would not be life-threatening, but in Haizuru’s case, it was. He had experienced a couple of unsuccessful surgeries locally, yet when he came to Joy in the Harvest, we were stunned to see the massive size of the recurring hernia. We sent Haizuru to a German missionary doctor for surgery, and today he is a healthy man.
“When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ’Don’t cry.’” (Luke 7:13). We are blessed to be in Kigoma and be His hands and feet, to serve His children and say to them, “Don’t cry.”
Because of prayer and financial support from all of you, we are able to work with the Friday People to find solutions that also involve their families, friends and church members. Help with physical needs is just a part of what this Friday People ministry is all about. We are there to show the love of Christ to those we meet and to tell them the Good News that Christ died for our sins and that those who believe in Him will have everlasting life. We pray with them and share how God deserves all of the credit and glory for the help they are receiving. And when they leave Joy in the Harvest, we give them a Bible in their native language of Swahili. We ask them to read the Bible every day and invite them to come back and share stories that are particularly meaningful to them.
As our good friend Harold Weatherwax says, “We are there to plant seeds wherever we can.” We want those whom God puts in our path to realize the Holy Spirit is there to help them with their spiritual needs, and we want each of them to understand that “God has come to help his people” (Luke 7:16).
Our prayer for this season: “Dear God, we thank you for the gift of Your Son, His death for our sins and His resurrection. We are reminded that, through Your Son, You came to help us.”
As you continue on your walk, who has God put in your path today?
Hal and Sue have experienced God’s grace and chose to respond with beautiful generosity, in what ways can you be generous during this season?