In three weeks we head back to India. On the schedule are well dedications, medical camps, eye camps, and the beginnings of an income generating cattle project at the LoveManifest Home & School in Rathinangudi. All good stuff. But there are two days that stand out to me as the most exciting. The “un-schedule” at Sahayamatha Hospital, and the full day at the LoveManifest School.
One of my favorite things to do is visit the leprosy unit of Sahayamatha Hospital to see our friends who have been there for so many years. This will be my fourth visit. There is really nothing for us to “do”. It’s all been done. They’re being cared for… some for the remainder of their lives. They don’t “need” any thing from us, but to be spoken to, heard, seen, touched, prayed with, and loved. Don’t we all?
Another, is a day hanging out with the kids and adults at the LoveManifest School (I just want to keep writing this over and over) with absolutely no agenda at all.
What? No agenda? Nothing to “do”?
Jesus was about reconcilling relationships. His relationship with us, our relationships with one another, and theirs (and ours) with God. Sometimes along the way, he restored sight, healed the sick, and fed people, among other things, but even in those acts was a deep, undeniable love for people.
One of our team members, Melissa, gets to see her Compassion Intl. child while we’re there. How cool is that? She’s already bursting at the seams knowing she will be face to face with the girl she has loved in pictures and letters. The girl, who in every letter asks, “will you come to India and visit me?”
She doesn’t ask for any thing. She asks for a visit. She desires a relationship.
LoveManifest is about loving people as Jesus does. Sure, sometimes this looks like eye surgery, or clean water, or health care, but sometimes it looks like any other day hanging out with friends. Singing, dancing, talking, laughing, crying. It’s easy to get distracted from this in the fast paced world of missions. But we don’t “do missions”. We love people. This may mean we accomplish things a little slower. Achieve less. But in the end, I pray everyone we come into contact with sees Jesus in a personal way. A way which draws them to Him, no matter where they are, or what they’ve believed about Him or themselves.
If we are honest with ourselves we will remember that aside from the occasional medical assistance, everything else we do is being done without us there. Love is all we’ve got to offer.
Desperate to do something big for God? Scrap the agenda, and Love His people.