March 18, 2013

What's Your Role: Reconciled

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Throughout this season of Lent, we will be posting a devotional series written for us by Johan Plug - a missionary currently serving in Benin.  

Johan and Marijke Plug are serving the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Benin (ERCB) as advisory pastor and pastor's wife/social worker. They are being sent out by an organization called De Verre Naasten as well as the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.

He will exploring what it means for us to find our God-intended, authentic roles in His Kingdom plan.

Being God’s fellow-workers brings unexpected encounters. Thursday morning at Madjrè. There is a ‘welcome centre’ there for people who are welcome nowhere else: mentally disabled and psychiatric patients. In voodoo-ridden Benin there is a great fear of these unfortunates, and they are generally avoided, chained like animals, or left to wander, homeless.

This morning at Madjrè there is someone we haven’t spoken to before. Let’s call her Precious. Huddled on the periphery, Precious watches timidly as we sing and dance and share a Bible story and pray. She listens, she moves with the beat of the music, but it’s as if she doesn’t dare believe we’re here for her as well.

But just as we are about to leave, Precious approaches us. Hesitantly, but with perseverance. Pray for me, Pastor, she says. She speaks to us in English, not in the French we might have expected here.  We ask her how that is, and she tells us that she had spent years in Nigeria, working. I did terrible things, she said. Too many wrongs to tell you. And now I’m here, like this. Would you pray to God for me?

Precious is looking for deliverance. She knows that there is only One who can give her what she needs. She also fears that she has irreconcilably lost every right of access to Him. But this morning she has heard a whisper of reconciliation, of God reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them, 2 Cor 5.17-21. And something in her dares to hope.

We embrace Precious and pray for her. As Christ’s ambassadors. We watch the miracle unfold as she rights herself and shines. We leave, humbled and exhilarated. If anyone is in Christ, she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!


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