Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ahava Love Letter (#29)- "Carry My Bags" - from the archives

      Ahava Love Letter
                     “Carry My Bags”
 “Your God and the God of your father
put treasure in your packs.” (Gen. 43:23 CJB)

Dear family of friends,

In August of 2002, Laurie and I had the tremendous blessing of going on a Derek Prince Ministries outreach trip into China. We were among ten others who carried Bibles in the Chinese language, and translated books of Derek Prince, to give to underground believers thoughout the vast country. From Hong Kong to Beijing and back, we rode the 22 hour train rides to deliver these “carry on” bags loaded with the Lord’s treasures. The believers we passed the written words onto were so thrilled to be receiving His Word in their own language, to share with the home churches hidden from the governing authorities.
As “tourists” in outward appearance, we saw the sights of the Imperial Gardens, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. As mules for His purposes, we connected with our brothers and sisters in the faith, supporting and encouraging them with our goods. While here in the USA we often take for granted the readily availability of books and related teaching tools, even one page of the Scripture is so precious to them. Often it was copied many times and passed onto others. They were willing to take the risk of having it found in their hands, which was cause for possible torture in prison, or death. It was a stealth mission.
A few years earlier, after completing almost 14 years with a ministry having a worldwide impact, my heart’s desire longed to travel internationally. Being my main responsibility was the administration of the ministry and related church, my time though was spent on the home front, tending the local needs. Even though the Lord had put in my heart a desire since my youth to “be a missionary”, it seemed my never ending mission was to “hold down the fort” as others went out.
When I finally got the courage to request the opportunity to accompany the main minister on at least one international trip a year, the short response was, “What would you do, carry my bags?”
My self worth was shattered. In less than six months I had left that ministry, rejected and left wondering what had been accomplished during those years.
But oh how the Lord has a way of showing His faithfulness.
Near the end of the China “tour”, after dropping off our final bags to a pastor in Beijing, the group had a free day to travel to the Great Wall, just west of the capital city. As Laurie and I sat on the bus seats, the Holy Spirit spoke a word to my heart. “You can carry My bags.”
At first I wasn’t sure if it was Him when I heard the word. I wondered what He meant. And then tears came down my cheeks as the impact of what He had just shared gripped, and comforted, my heart.
“You can carry My bags.” The good Lord had just allowed us to deliver His precious treasure, in written form, to hungry believers in this vast land. When another had earlier considered my worth as a simple baggage carrier, the Lord God of Israel had counted this journey as precious in His sight, and held us in high esteem. Deep into my soul the value that He held for me healed the rejection and hurt experienced before.
As we later climbed the 182 steps on that Great Wall to the tower we ventured on, I wasn’t singing “Climb Every Mountain” that Julie Andrews sang in the Sound of Music. But I was making melody in my heart, having been given the opportunity to “carry His bags” to a multitude of people in this foreign land.
Remember, what the enemy means for evil, the Lord will cause for good as we seek His purposes. Keep on walking as you carry His message to those around you, whether in word or deed. He is so grateful that you too are carrying His bags, and He delights in you.
Ahava to my family of friends,

Steve Martin

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Ahava Love Letter #29   Date: Aug. 2, in the year of our Lord 2011

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Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your head from the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Steve Martin
Love For His People
Charlotte, NC USA