For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in himJohn 3:16
may not perish but have eternal life.
I love that God’s invitation into an eternal relationship with him is available to everyone wherever they are in the world. A few years ago, I served on the mission field in Rwanda living in Cyangugu a beautiful but very poor region in the south-west of the country, on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. For many years, Cyangugu had been cut-off from the rest of the country by Africa’s largest mountain rainforest and was referred to as “the land beyond the forest.”
Despite many hardships people faced there whether resulting from poverty, malaria, HIV, malnutrition or dealing with the trauma and scars of the 1994 genocide, I witnessed in many a strong faith who lived in hope for a better future. There seemed to be an acceptance of how hard life was and despite the daily challenges they encountered, people didn’t complain much as their faith gave them an eternal perspective. As a privileged westerner, I was humbled and blessed by them in so many ways. I observed that despite being materially poor they were spiritually rich whilst for us, in the West, it can seem the other way around.
Since returning from Rwanda, I’ve been working for an African led community development organisation Life In Abundance International. Our transformational model, based on the mission of Jesus, creates wholistic impact to break the cycle of poverty in some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in Africa and the Caribbean. We see how the gospel brings about the restoration of health, a renewal of hope, lasting transformation and an eternal perspective to those living in destitute conditions where hope is fleeting and change seems impossible.
The ‘daily share’ is a hint each day for how you could share some hope in your life, today.
We find, in our Western culture, we like to plan for the future – our holidays, our careers and our retirement! Given the current situation, it’s hard to plan for anything but what does it mean to look beyond all of this, to have an eternal perspective and to understand that God has it all planned out for us anyway? How about sharing with a friend, a work colleague or a neighbour what it means to you to live with an eternal perspective and what it could mean to them?
Jonathan’s experience of living in Rwanda and visits to many African countries, has given him a love for the continent and its beautiful people. He is trying to get fit to do a sponsored climb of Mount Kenya in April 2021 to raise funds for Life In Abundance.