How often do you follow God’s schedule? So often we are so concerned with the things that we think need to be done and God is patiently trying to get our attention to show us that His plan is truly best and that we ought to follow it.
One week, my partner and I had several disappointments when we went out on outreach – only to find out that God had better plans for us than we realized at the moment. As we were getting ready for outreach, one of our interests texted us that she would be unable to study that week because the plumbers were in her house and she just couldn’t invite us into a mess like that. So we thought, “Oh, great! One study cancelled.”
We had found a young man interested in doing Bible studies and that day were passing that study off to a team of guys to be the ones to continue the studies. So my partner and I and 2 guys went to our territory. When we reached his place, he told us that unfortunately, his boss was there at the time and though he’d really like to study, he just couldn’t with his boss there. He promised to let us study with him another time. So there was another cancelled study.
|My partner studying with the Grandam (sorry the quality is bad - I took it with my phone)|
Well, we had one more study with an old Grandma. We always sat outside on the sidewalk for this study and she always enjoyed our visits. When we reached the house of the old Grandma that we always study with, she told us that her son was very sick. Very sick. It just “happened” that one of the guys who were with us was a nurse.
He asked to see the very sick son and the rest of us waited outside. When he returned, he told us that the man really was very sick and probably had TB (tuberculosis). He and his partner returned to the classroom to get the needed medicines and materials for treating the sick man and my partner and I did our Bible study with the old Grandma. The study went well and as we visited with the Grandma while waiting for the guys to return, we found out more about her. She has 9 kids and they all live with her in that house in different “apartments.” Most are married or have a “partner” and all have kids and grandkids. It’s a huge family!
She then told us how grateful she was for us being willing to help them because they were very poor and couldn’t afford to take the sick son to the hospital and he had been laying there sick for more than a year! Poor man! I had also noticed that the rest of the family members just totally ignored us. They didn’t mind us studying with the old Grandma but they were not interested themselves.
After some time, the two guys returned and went inside and invited us to come along. My partner and I followed them inside and when I saw the sick man, Junior, I really wanted to cry. He was literally skin and bones and that’s it. He was so sick. The nurse examined him more closely and saw that one of his feet was extremely swollen and he was unable to move his legs very well.
|The sick man with our student.|
They applied a charcoal poultice on his swollen foot and taught the family members how to make it so they could continue doing it for him. Junior is only 47 years old, but he looks like 60 something. He can hardly speak and just lays on the couch all day long. His family members were so grateful for someone to care for them and help them. We instructed them in the things to eat and not eat and prayed with them. My heart was really touched as I realized in what terrible conditions many people live in.
The next day, the 2 guys returned to check on their new “patient.” The nurse said this: “This week we treated a patient who has TB with a swollen foot. We saw that the patient really needed our help. While administering the treatment, I was so inspired to see that the patient was emotionally relieved because he somehow felt that there are people in the world who cared for him. But above all, we told him that God is the one motivating us to do this for Him and God loves him so much. I was reminded of Jesus’ compassion as I looked at our bed-ridden patient who was very thin, uncomfortable and so desperately in need of care.”
The other student said this: “I was really inspired this week after we went to the house of the man who has TB. This poor man was bed-ridden and literally a man of just “bones” who speaks with a whispering voice. He is so weak and his right foot is very swollen. We brought him apple and tomato juice, but he refused to drink it. Then my partner gave him a sponge bath while I prepared the charcoal poultice for his foot. Then I gave him a banana to eat, smiled and asked him to drink the juice we brought for him. He agreed this time. He and his family were so happy we came and we prayed with them before we left.”
Then he added: “It teaches me so much of what you will gain in return if you will do such things to help others. We must learn how to mingle with the sick, even if they seem to be close-minded and this is simply because of the hopelessness of their disease. Yet after you minister to them, you will see their smile and happiness and that is truly priceless!”
It was only after we had made friends with the Grandma and done about 3 studies with her (i.e. won her confidence) that she shared with us the problems in their family. What a testimony to following Christ’s method!
We are told: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’” Ministry of Healing, page 143.
Yes, we had disappointments that day, but God had a perfect plan arranged! His scheduling is far better than ours!
Since then, the two students have been returning every other day or so to continue treating the sick man. Now he is requesting that they do Bible studies with him! Other members of the family are also getting interested in learning more from the Bible, simply because we cared about them and their problems!
Follow Christ’s methods, friends! It really works!