Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
This verse is taken from Peter’s first letter, written to the many non-Jewish Christians in churches Peter had been called to establish in Asia Minor. Many of these churches were facing persecution and his letter was sent as an encouragement. Knowing that our eternal salvation is assured, we as Christians can use these times of sufferings to speak loudly and passionately about Christ. As we replicate His love by our actions those around will know the richness of His grace and mercy.
As we continue to journey through this pandemic, Peter’s letter of encouragement seems even more resonant. We have all read heart-breaking stories of NHS staff and care workers, putting themselves and their loved ones at risk, by just going to work. People on the frontline using their gifts to save lives and when that is not possible they show immense acts of kindness – reading letters from family members, holding phones so final messages can be heard as the person passes.
This really is the time to be God’s community. We are merely recipients of His grace and mercy and are called to use our gifts as faithful stewards to point all back to Jesus and the cross.
This week we will be sharing an update from our partners Dreamland Mission Hospital in Kimilili, western Kenya, near Mount Elgon. Their mission hospital was established in 1999 and has been training and resourcing local people to provide affordable healthcare to the impoverished communities for over 20 years. Every morning the staff team gather to praise and worship God, knowing that they serve because of Him. Their gifts, talents, buildings and equipment – have all been provided by Him and they are merely stewards of God’s grace.
Being the only local hospital with isolation facilities for miles, they are being placed on the frontline and the staff know that their call is to replicate His love through their actions. Dreamland estimate that they are about 5 weeks behind UK in term of the virus’ spread and so are preparing themselves in readiness for this work. With additional financial support from Rope and other UK supporters, they are doubling their isolation ward capacity and have purchased PPE for their staff and trained them in its use. Meanwhile, their UK based programme manager, who is a technical specialist in pulmonary disease has been spending long shifts, including weekends, away from her family, managing care for COVID-19 patients in a UK hospital, whilst coordinating from afar with the leadership at Dreamland.
He has equipped them. They are God’s community – pointing all who come suffering and in need of treatment back to Him. To those without faith Peter’s letter and message is nonsensical. To Christians it is inevitable acceptance and response to the gospel message.
You can read more about Dreamland’s response to the pandemic here.