• Chris Steele

Look at Others and Be Content

Be Strong, Be Well — Saturday, May 23

The current newsletters from African Christian Schools and India Missions arrived in the mail this week.

As you would expect the Coronavirus Disease has hit them pretty hard as it has in many places around the world.

In particular, two states in Nigeria were “locked down” as brother Emmanuel Adeoye wrote. Christian families and close neighborhood church members began worshiping together in their homes.

We can relate somewhat, even though our state never ruled against churches meeting in public places. Decisions made to worship at home were based on the precautions recommended by health safety authorities.

However, we cannot relate to some other conditions Christians are going through in Nigeria. The price of food has doubled across the board. Communities are being overrun by armed robbers. Citizens have resorted to paying local vigilante groups to patrol their streets. Most families are taking shifts, standing guard against intruders entering their homes, especially through the nighttime hours.

India’s story is perhaps even more dire. Ron Clayton wrote: India is under a nationwide lock-down, and the people were given only 4 hours notice. Trains and buses stopped running, stranding millions of people in the big cities. They cannot get home to their families.

85% of India’s economy is based on day labor. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid, and you don’t eat. Most Indians do not have refrigerators and cannot store perishable items. Those who have money can leave their houses to make quick trips to find food. Brethren are sacrificing their own meals to feed those worse off than themselves.

Yes, we have been inconvenienced. We have been stuck at home, for the most part, with our loved ones. We have seen prices go up on some items. Some food and supplies have been hard to find. But, we can’t even begin to imagine having to live as they are right now in Nigeria and India.

Listen to Paul in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

And in 1 Timothy 6:6-8, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” —Chris

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