The Big Small Stuff

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While in India for some time, working with church leadership, I was once again reminded that most of the significant work that goes on in this world, does not come from the efforts of the rich and influential, multi-talented or high profile leadership.  It comes from faithful folks who have a vision from God as to what their world could look like if they were obedient and simply did what God was calling them to do.  I saw small daycare operations servicing more than 50 children that run on a shoe string in borrowed facilities that are smaller than my bedroom.  I greeted street children, many of them homeless, who were given the otherwise impossible privilege of gaining a brief education and a simple meal, learning how to read, in a few hours per day as they were able to take a break from their street begging.  There were only 18 children in the room that day.  But, their smiles were equal to the smiles of more than 50 children from well-cared-for homes.  I witnessed a church that gives some and help to families of the aids tragedy that are otherwise discarded by families and society- prayer, fellowship, an occasional common meal and opportunities for simply jobs.  I prayed for many of them, for God's comfort, peace and joy.  I saw a tiny bookstore crammed mostly with used books from America and other places in the western world- the kind we take to Goodwill or put on a yardsale table for 5 cents.  But, the sales support vital ministry.

None of these efforts were significant on a scale that measures global impact.  None of them have a website where you can inspect their efforts.  None of them have donation channels through which we can easily channel funds to assist.  However, all of these efforts were signficant in the eyes of Jesus and the lives of those touched by the faithful initiators.  It is a shame when some people think that their efforts will amount to nothing, so they do nothing to live out an obedient life response.  I'm confident that the millions of efforts like these in the world bring the presence of Christ more impactfully in the lives of more people than all of the mega-ministries put together.  It is micro-faithfulness that makes a macro change. 

Matthew Thomas
By Matthew Thomas

In my sixth decade of seeing God work simply increases my faith. Born in California, raised in Washington, ministered in Washington, Oregon, Canada, Philippines, Idaho and now all over the world has given me reason to believe and praise. My wife, Marlene and four children (Luke, Mitch, Samuel and Charese) give me reason to give deep thanks. My eight beautiful grandchildren (Jalen, Jordan, Katelin, Andrew, Eli, Callia, Asher and Mikaela) give me reason to see that grace reaches beyond our immediate present into our un-conceived future. Serving with a great team in the Free Methodist Church makes me a blessed person in a blessed place, serving with blessed people.

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