Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time …. Acts 9:19
My youngest brother, Gary, returned earlier this week from his second mission trip to Togo in Africa. The journey is long–an eight to ten hour ride in a van on dusty one-lane paths (too poor constructed and maintained to be called roads) just to get from the airport to Mango. Gary went to Mango shortly after retiring last September to help install a boiler in a hospital their church had been building for over four years.
When Gary arrived the first time, it took days to get acquainted with the project and the people. Due to a shortage of parts for the boiler, they weren’t able to complete the project. Four guys decided to go back (on their own $$$) and finish the project. My brother is not fond of flying, so when he told me he was going back to Togo, I was certain he, like Saul, had been called to complete what he had begun.
In today’s message in Acts, we see Saul, now Paul, meeting the rest of the disciples so that he could move into action. It took awhile for those who knew Saul to understand that Paul was a new and better person.
Unlike the disciple’s scrutiny of Paul, when the tall, silver-bearded Norwegian stepped off the van, the project managers and workers welcomed Gary and the other men widely into their arms to get that boiler running. With hot water freely flowing from shiny new faucets, the hospital will soon open its door and begin to serve the people who no longer need to travel many hours for medical treatment.
Dear God, thank you for willing hands and hearts that make a difference in this world by sacrificing their time, talent, and money. Amen.