Who Does That?!

The Body of Christ.

Another form of the question is “Why would you do that?!”  

Okay, I guess you need an explanation.  

For 2 months prior to us moving down to Jacksonville, we had been searching for a place to lay our heads. When we first learned that we would be training in Jax, Brock and Kerrie along with 4 churches (2 in Savannah & 2 in Jax) started looking for a place for us to stay.  Being established and sent out into ministry from Jax, the Johnson’s were confident that God would provide a place quick-like from their list of contacts.  Folks just didn’t have anything open for us.  Time started to slip away.  Laura and the Johnson’s started calling different VRBO sites and Air B&B’s to no avail.   Two weeks prior to our arrival, Brock calls saying there is a possibility of having housing in Jacksonville Beach.  A pastor friend had a couple approach him saying that they had a home next to them which they utilized to host missionaries.  They were wondering if Derek knew of any missionaries in need of housing.  One thing led to another, Brock spoke with the folks and sure enough God had opened up a home for our family.  We moved in on October 1.  Yes, the Hayes family bought the house next to them and furnished it for the sole purpose of hosting missionary families needing housing.  

Hayes and Wilson fams at Ocean City Church in Jax Beach

As I began sharing that story, the question that began coming up in amazement, and at times, tongue-in-cheek, was …”Who does that?!”

The Body of Christ.

What kind of parents allow strangers to hang out in their yard and around their young children?! Or, what kind of people use their God given skills to help a stranger in physical need?!

The Body of Christ.

The only catch with our move to the Hayes “missionary” home was that it had already been promised to a Ugandan Missionary family for the last week of October and first 12 days of November.  Okay, no big deal, we could stay at an Extended Stay or somewhere else.  We knew God would provide and He did.  A friend of a friend spoke to their family and they were willing to host us for those 2.5 weeks.  Two teenage daughters, 16 & 14, would move out of their rooms upstairs and sleep on the floor of their parent’s room so we could have the upstairs.  What?!  Teenagers, denying self and allowing someone else to use their rooms.  Teenagers are supposed to be reclusive punks, right?  Parents, allowing strangers into their home and having their teenage daughters sleep on air mattresses so that someone else could have “their own” area.  How ridiculous, people shouldn’t do that…why would they let strangers into their house?! The Blanton family was willing to sacrifice their own comforts, time, and space for someone else they didn’t know.  “Who does that?!”

The Body of Christ.

The mom, Natalie, is a PT and has been sharing the story with her patients.  The question she was getting from folks, “Why would you do that…Why would you let strangers into your home?!”  Her answer, “Why wouldn’t I?!…That’s what we’re (the Body of Christ) supposed to do.”

What kind of Dad allows strangers into his home?? That’s too scary, what if ____________ happens. And on top of that, sacrifices his time to invest in the lives of young boys?!

The Body of Christ.

Since August 15, we have been without a home of our own.  We have stayed in a variety of homes.  We’ve stayed with parents/grandparents, brothers/sisters, and new friends.  We’ve stayed with families of 2, 4, 5, and 5 plus 3 in another area.  Bottom line:  a variety of folks have welcomed the 7 of us into their homes.  Alone, seven folks bring their fair share of volume and chaos, nonetheless, seven Wilson’s ranging from 3 to 40.  No one has complained.  No one has kicked us out.  No one has approached us about needing to move out sooner.  Everyone has been hospitable, opened their homes, denied self, and welcomed us with open arms.  “Who does that?!”

The Body of Christ.

God called us to the mission field in May.  We began telling family and friends soon after.  Our announcement letter went out late in the Summer.  Since late July, we have been raising monthly support and up-front costs in order to start in ministry.  We are nearly fully funded.  We’ve had numerous folks say “Yes” to God and what He has called them to do…folks that we know deeply and folks that we are getting to know.  Folks willing to sacrificially give, so that His Name can be proclaimed to the poor and hurting in Buena Vista, Guatemala.  We could not move into full-time missions without others supporting us.  Folks who are willing to sacrifice __________ so that they can be used by God in the spread of the Gospel.  Folks willing to give money back to God.  Folks who understand that the money is not their’s anyway…it’s God’s, whom has entrusted it to them to manage/steward well.  “Who does that?!”

The Body of Christ.

Think I’m being too dramatic …Go read 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 and take it for how it is written.  Bible Teacher and Pastor Steve Lawson has been quoted as saying, “The Bible isn’t hard to understand; it’s just hard to swallow at times.”  Take our Savior’s Words in Mark 3:35, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”  Our Christian family, church family, goes beyond blood or who you grew up with; it is made up of those who do the will of God.  Throughout Paul’s letters, he refers to the Church as the Body of Christ and Christ as the head.  So, through Christ’s sacrificial death, we are all, as many members, ONE body.  That means we stop navel gazing and we focus on the Body as a whole.  We take care of others.  We focus on other’s needs.  We partner with other body parts to complete the mission that Christ has led us to.  That means we imitate Christ in everything…Humility, Self-Sacrifice, Love, Compassion, Gentleness, Self-Control, Generosity, Eternal-mindedness, etc.  

In John 17, we see Jesus praying to God the Father as He is headed to the Garden of Gethsamene.  Many call this the Great High Priestly Prayer.  He says in verses 21-23:  “…they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me, I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”  Jesus is praying this part of the prayer for His disciples.  Those same dudes who would spread the Word far and wide.  They took Jesus’ words to make more disciples seriously.  They made more disciples, who made more disciples, who made more, and so on.  We are those “more” and Jesus wants us to be one so that the World will know God sent Him.  Already in John 13:34-35, He had said that the World would know that we are His disciples by how we love each other. When the Body of Christ is running right and imitating Christ, the World sees how different Christ is.  The True Body of Christ is counter-cultural because Jesus is counter-cultural.  Heavenly wisdom is not earthly wisdom (James 3). When the Body of Christ is running right, the world should ask, “Who does that?!” or “Why would you do that?!”

Jesus says, “I AM the way and the Truth and the Life…” (John 14:6a).  He is not “a” way or “a part” of the way…He is THE Way. That way is different, and we have the awesome task of showing the World by imitating Him.  Imitate Jesus…Love God and Love others (Matthew 22).  The Body will be healthier for it, the world will notice, and God, in turn, will be glorified!!

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