As I sat and listened to these "prayer requests," I was reminded that people around the globe need the hope and encouragement found in Jesus Christ.
You see, these needs were being verbalized, not in Uganda, but here in Oregon.
Distressed, run-down, discouraged and "poor" folks are everywhere. Chances are, if you live in this fallen world - at some point in time you have fit one or more of these categories and very likely know others who have been there, too.
I was reminded today of the definition of "poverty" in the book, "When Helping Hurts," (which I highly recommend). "Poverty" is the result of broken relationships, whether our relationship with God, with others, our self, or creation. And, we all fit somewhere in there.
Just as I am frequently saddened by the ever-present state of poverty in all its forms throughout our world, I am just as much encouraged by Jesus' ministry of reconciliation. I love the passage in 2 Corinthians concerning this.
"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (vs. 18-20)
It is mind-boggling to me that not only does Jesus reconcile us to God, "not counting our trespasses" against us, but includes us in His incredible ministry as "ambassadors of reconciliation."
Just as I was deeply touched by the needs I heard shared earlier in the week, I have also been so encouraged by the ministry going on at home by Christ's ambassadors.
We need ambassadors at home and abroad. Your neighbor, your relative, your co-worker, your student, and the stranger in the grocery store all have very felt needs. And, they need to hear of Christ's love, forgiveness and restoration power.
You may be the exact person God has sent to deliver the message.