This morning at church we celebrated the special ministry that Doris and Ricardo Mayol have with the Mayans in southern Mexico. As Doris talked at the World Mission Conference yesterday, she told us that the first thing the missionaries try to do as they go into a community is to learn all they can about the people.
Doris said that before the people will begin to trust you and listen to what you have to say, they need to know that they can trust you and that you care about them. So by learning about the people and their culture, what they believe is important and how they relate to the world, you begin to build bridges of trust that allow you to talk about the important things in life, our faith in Christ.
The Mayols shared some moving stories about the way Christ has changed lives in the hills in southern Mexico during our worship service. Ricardo shared a Mayan greeting with us during Sunday School. After church some of us bought some of the crafts that the people make to support themselves in the ministry.
This whole thing made me think about our ministry to the people around us. It isn't about passing out tracts or pushing our views down people's throats. Our ministry should be the same as the Mayols. We have to get to know the people around us. We have to let them know we care. As we walk with them, then all we need to do is let Christ shine through us.
I like the story of Andrew in the gospels. He wasn't as outspoken as Peter. Yet every time we turn around he was introducing someone to Jesus. That's our job. As people get to know us they will see Jesus and want to know more. But it begins with us showing we care.
So get out there and love people for Christ's sake and let him work in their hearts. Miracles will soon be flowing around you in abundance.