July 12, 2016
“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16, NLT]
Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most profound. This verse is a great example. Less than 30 words, it carries a message that has and still can change the world: “God loves us so much that he gave…” If you, like me, sometimes find yourself despondent or discouraged by the profound brokenness so evident in our world today, we need to remember the power of this simple message. “God loved us so much that he gave!”
In point of fact, effective love is always tied to giving. It’s giving that makes all the difference. Consider IOM associate missionary Mary Purvis for example. Mary spent her earliest years in central Mexico on the mission field with her pioneering missionary parents, Bill and Esther Haring. There, living in an impoverished Turascan Indian village, she learned by example what it means to give. Years later, after her own children were grown and on their own, her heart was captured by similar scenes of poverty she saw in Guatemala. Responding to the call of God on her life, six years ago she sold and gave away most of her possessions, and moved to Guatemala to serve the poor. Today, “Guatemala Landing Zone” helps to feed almost 200 children and their elderly grandparents five days a week. Mary also raises funds for children’s educational scholarships and facilitates multiple short-term mission teams as they join her in ministering to the Guatemalan people.
Photo one: My wife and I and a couple of long-term IOM supporters recently had the joy of spending a week with Mary and her team on the field. What an honor to know her and call her friend!
Photo two: Mary Purvis, Founder and Director of Guatemala Landing Zone
Photo three: Amy McCarty at the feeding center
If I had the time and unlimited space, I could fill page after page with similar stories of IOM associate missionaries who are giving their lives to demonstrate the love of God to a broken, hurting world. They are serving people of many different races, in many different countries and cultures, in almost every part of the globe. They all have one thing in common, however. They have decided to give their lives away to demonstrate the love of God. But they are not just doing “good works.” Rather, they are giving away what they have received: the good news that God loved the world so much that he gave his Son. That gift—the gift of Jesus—is both a short-term answer and the ultimate hope of our hurting world.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your giving as well. Your support of IOM missionaries is helping to make a difference all around the world. If you’d like to know more about IOM associate missionaries, browse our new website at IOM–online.com. By the grace and gift of God, I remain
Your fellow servant,
P.S. During the next six weeks I will travel to Birmingham, Atlanta, Washington DC, Cambodia, China, and Mexico supporting IOM’s mission to “Serve Those Serving Jesus Around the World.” Please remember me when you pray.