International Ministries

Different Shoes

October 8, 2009 Journal
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 This is my command: Love each other.   John 15: 17 

When you have the opportunity, go to your closet and count how many pairs of shoes you have.  We have shoes we like for nearly every occasion, activity, season, and a few extra, just because.  All this talk about shoes—what does it mean?  The question we really want you to reflect on is this:  What does it truly mean to walk in someone else’s shoes?  What if those shoes are too big, too small, the wrong style, the wrong color, or maybe downright uncomfortable?  We like OUR shoes, but sometimes much can be learned from taking the time to step out of our comfortable shoes and walk in a different pair.

Dancho is a young Roma man with a passion for bringing the lost into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He has helped plant churches in four small villages in northeast Bulgaria, the most economically depressed region in the entire country.  Dancho knows what it means to be poor, to be marginalized by much of society, and to worry about how to support his family.  He knows how those in the village feel—he walks in the same old, mud-caked shoes that they do.  In spite of the hardships and difficulties of life in the village, Dancho also knows the joy that comes from being a redeemed child of God and he shares that joy with those around him.  It has been a learning experience for us to work alongside Dancho.  We see a humble man who despite his own difficulties, is constantly looking for solutions to deal with the poverty others in the community are facing.  With Dancho, the needs of others always come first.

Working with Dancho, and our own feeble attempts to try walking in his shoes, has meant a great deal to our own spiritual growth.  We see what it means to be poor in personal possessions, but yet to be a humble servant of God and to share the riches of God’s love with others.  So much can be learned by trying on trying on someone else’s shoes.  You never know what surprises might await you!

Your gifts to the World Mission Offering (WMO) enable us to walk along-side Dancho and many others in Bulgaria.  Your gifts also allow you the opportunity to step into somebody else’s shoes, whether they be Dancho’s, those of a young Roma child learning to read, or a pair belonging to one of the many individuals touched because of the ministries of YOUR International Ministries missionaries.  The WMO is vital to the support of missionaries and ministries around the globe, and 100% of your gift goes directly to this cause.  On behalf of all IM missionaries serving around the world, we thank you for prayerfully considering your contribution to this year’s World Mission Offering, and thank you for partnering with us to share the love of God around the world.
   WMO:  More important than ever!