Thursday, March 11, 2010

Working with Needy Pastors in the Philippines

by Steve & Rita Read

Psalm 39:4 ESV. O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!

Pastor Frank Pata, a poor Filipino missionary pastor trained by ACTION missionary’s, Steve Read’s, dad went home to Jesus last November at 50 years old. A life well lived. Faithful. Steady. Humble. Steve officiated Pastor Frank’s wedding 13 years ago and now his funeral last December 1, leaving wife and 2 small sons.

We thank God that He measures things differently than we do. In this world, Pastor Frank may have seemed foolish to give up a successful business career to pastor the poor. Many of his health issues were a result of lack of sufficient funds for medical care. He died a pauper to this world. And yet, we know God looks on the heart, character, faithfulness in the face of hardship and poverty, on who a person really is. Wealthy in God's sight!

I (Steve) preached at Pastor Frank’s small congregation recently. He reflected on the significance of moving ahead in ministry; God’s love empowers His mission purposes through His church. It’s who we are, God in us, that makes a difference.

Lord, our time here is fleeting. We want to make it count. Teach us to measure it as you do—by the heart, by love, growth, faithfulness, steadiness and humility.

Psalm 51:10 (NIV). Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

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