Today is Wednesday, June 9th, 2010; Karen's Korner #1838
Our church supports a number of missionaries, as do most churches. One of ours is Jacob and Jaynie Michael who minister to people in Mozambique, Africa.
One of their projects started in 2003 was called the '7 x 7' cattle projects. The Michaels contacted their supporters at that time, asking for funds to purchase six beef heifers and one bull for each church. After prayerful consideration, the animals were given to thirteen selected churches to help develop real wealth.
The recipients' repayment was to give another church, in the future, the 'first fruits' - six heifers and one bull, to keep the gifts going. After the repayment, they were no longer obligated to anyone for their 'herd'.
From the Michaels' June newsletter, they write, "After seven years, we would like to report that all thirteen projects have been successful, but that is not the case." It seems eight areas have discontinued the project: in one area all the cattle died; another the people ate them; and the remaining areas the churches sold them and the money was used by the churches.
But the five remaining projects continue to grow and prosper. One church area was visited by the governor of the province as a good example for the Mozambique people to follow. Not only did they complete the requirements of passing along the seven cattle, they have decided to 'bless others by their blessings' by starting two new projects on their own. And one of those 'blessings' have given away their next seven animals as a 'third generation' project. The other four have met their 'one time gift' obligatios.
What was the one contributing fact in those which failed? According to Jacob, the number one reason was that the leaders were arguing and not working together. "It seemed to be a lack of leadership and a vision for the future."
As I read their story, I couldn't help but think of churches, in general: some thrive, others do not. Could it be at times we 'don't work together'.......'have a lack of leadership'........'no vision for the future'.......?
"Finally, all of you,
live in harmony with one another;
love as brothers,
be compassionate and humble."
~ I Peter 3:8
Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for the plans You have for each of us; for all of us. We know what you want us to do; help us to do it. Forgive for the times we want our own way. Help us to work together in all kinds of ways to further Your Kingdom and to better the lives of everyone we meet. When we do that, we will be better for it! In Jesus' Name. Amen.