I am in awe of some of your spiritual gifts. I've always wanted to sing, or play an instrument, or write pretty songs. But I'm not good at that. I have seen people who can show an unbelievable amount of love and forgiveness to others. I've seen those who can teach, those who can preach, those who pray in a way that makes others truly comforted. Some of you have gifts of generousity and hospitality that others can't even imagine. I've watched people work in ministries that they are so passionate about that it overflows into every conversation they are part of. We all have gifts. God gives them to us and calls us to use them.
When I think about all the many gifts He gives people, these verses come to mind:
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. " Romans 12:3-8
I have taken spiritual gift tests, and so has my husband, and we try to use the information we learn from them to grow and be useful. But this is a time when what we have just isn't enough. See, God isn't sending just our little family of four to Cambodia. He's sending all of you with us. We are to be the hands and feet you can't be and you are to be all the many things we can't be.
Here's another passage about the body of Christ.
"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."
1 Corinthians 12:12-28
And since we are all one body, we're all in this together. Let's see if we can find a place you will be able to help. If you see something below that speaks out to you and is an area where you can help, email me right away! We'll be in touch when these teams are formed.
1 - We need a website! Now, I can design this if needed, but I have to buy some good software first. What I need from you is a NAME! Help us name the website that will point people to us and our time in Cambodia. Go ahead and leave it here as a comment so others can vote and comment on the names! And if you can help with website design (or at the least, help getting software for us) then email me.
2 - PRAYER TEAM - we need people praying. Lots of people praying! We need a committed team of volunteers who will stop everything and pray when there's an immediate need and who will also commit to praying for us weekly. If you can help, email me and we will get you a list of specific requests.
3 - FINANCE TEAM - we need some help designing/organizing our support raising materials, sending mailings out, making contact by phone or email, brainstorming fundraisers, and whatever else arises in this respect. I sure don't have a gift of organization by any definition of the word!
4 - SUPPORT - We need your financial support to make this year happen. If you would like to give please email me with your name, address, phone, and email (don't need to tell us how much - it can be anonymous) and we'll make sure you get the information on how to make a tax-deductible donation to IJM to be allocated to our funds. I'm not supposed to post all the info on that here, so I'll email you out a response after I hear from you.
And if you have thought of something that I haven't mentioned, because I'm sure some of you have a gift that helps you just plan and think of things that I forget, just let us know how you would like to help. All sorts of needs arise, and it'd be nice to have a database of people with special skills or talents - like a property manager for home, or a travel agent to help us arrange transportation, or whatever else arises. Just contact us. No talent or idea is too small! We are all one, remember? We need you!
And we thank you. We spoke last Sunday at our church here, what will be our "home" church in this, and we are amazed at the outpouring of love and financial support already shown. We have a huge "to-do" list and all of you make it easier. So, thank you doesn't seem like enough.
How can we thank you enough? Maybe by reminding you that your gifts of time, money, talent, and prayer will help the people of Cambodia live better lives.