We rolled in Sunday evening around dinner time, set up home base, had some dinner, and stayed up too late.
Monday morning, we were ready to go at 8 AM!
Some of the team sorted “damaged” materials donated by publishing houses. Some banded books and study guides into smaller, class-sized sets. Some sorted through kids’ pictures and materials, some packed boxes and pallets. Just another day at the office.
We’re memorizing scripture together this week, and Monday’s verses were Romans 8:38-39.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Monday night, as we sat around discussing devotionals, several people dared to recite the passage in front of everyone, and a couple of interesting things came up:
- Does the order of the “things” matter? On the one hand, it’s the presence of all them that’s important. It’s the substance of the list. On the other hand, scripture is sacred for a reason. A detailed, prayerful study of the passage might yield some amazing revelation related to the order of the “things” listed.
- It’s easy to focus so much on remembering all 10 things, and the order in which they’re listed, that it feels like we’re “done” after “no any other created thing.” But the crux of the passage is really what comes next: “will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The list is harder, so the list takes more focus, but the point is not the elements. It’s that none of them can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
And not just the love of God – the love of God, “in Christ.” It’s fitting that after spending a whole day preparing literature to send overseas so that people can learn about the love of God, we talked about why, “in Christ Jesus our Lord” is tagged on the end.
Because God loves everyone, but not everyone is inseparable from the love of God, because not everyone is in Christ. We can rest in the confidence that nothing can separate us from God and His love if we are in Christ, because our justification and our righteousness is in Christ.
This morning we got up and ate a quick breakfast while we watched the back door of the kitchen. The truck carrying our first cargo container of the week was scheduled for 8 AM, but they usually show up at 7:30. So you eat breakfast and you watch for the truck. It came around 7:45, and the guys took off to pack over 1700 boxes of hope into a cargo container for India.
During lunch, Steve told us about a young woman in India.
When she was 17 her parents died and she went to live with relatives. The family was very poor, though, and it wasn’t long until they realized they couldn’t support her, and they kicked her out of the house. With no money, no job, and no skills, she had no hope. She was too healthy to beg, and she didn’t want to be a prostitute. She prayed to all of her Hindu gods, but none responded.
Her eventual conclusion was that such a miserable life was not one she wanted to live. She planned to throw herself in front of a train, and hopefully reincarnate into better fortune. On the way to the train yard, she met a Love Packages distributor who handed her a small booklet about the gospel. We call them “tracts” or “leaflets” here, and we throw them away without a second thought.
She decided she could read it while she waited for a train, learned that there is a God in heaven who loves her, gave her life to Christ, and today volunteers with the ministry. She has led hundreds of women out of depression and into a life of hope and faith in Christ.
And we went back to work – packing up books and posters and tiny little gospel tracts into boxes and bundles that God will send all over the world to save people from separation from His love by drawing them into Christ Jesus our Lord.