What are you doing with what you have?

When Emily and I visited Argentina back in August of 2013, we had the privilege of meeting Esteban Ramírez and his family.  We drove out and visited a ministry that Esteban had started in a new and growing community.  They had started this ministry with the goal of first reaching children, and called it “Tesoros de Dios” which means “Treasures of God.”  They met in a small building with no heat.  We visited in the dead of winter.  Esteban told me that if they waited until they had enough money they would never do anything, so they just went ahead and did ministry with what they had.  He showed me his pulpit; it was a plain wooden box.

Jeff and I standing at Estaben's pulpit
Jeff and me, standing at Esteban’s pulpit

Esteban said they didn’t have much but what they did have they wanted it to look nice, and he pulled out some white table cloths and covered the box. From behind this wooden box every Thursday night, Esteban preached the gospel to about 40 children.  During our visit, Jeff Bush asked me if I would say a few words of encouragement.  I have never felt so humbled before.  These people with so few resources were trying with all their might to do a work for the Lord, while we here in America have much but often are so wrapped up in our own lives that we accomplish little.  I felt in that moment that I should be the one sitting and listening to them.

The Ministry Team
The Ministry Team

Esteban was going every Thursday night to do this ministry with his family and many in his extended family.  They first started bringing in children, then many adults began to attend.  The rest of Esteban’s week looked like this: On Saturdays they went on visitation at their church, Lighthouse Baptist Church.  Then Sunday he was at his church teaching and helping with the music.  On Mondays and Tuesdays he attended Bible college classes.  Wednesdays he was at his church again for prayer meeting, then back again at the Treasures of God ministry on Thursday nights. Their dedication was an inspiration to me.

Emily and I standing with Esteban and his wife Felicia
Emily and me, standing with Esteban and his wife Felicia

Now the Treasures of God ministry has been turned into Light Baptist Church.  From all reports I have heard, it seems that the church is doing well.  After visiting with them I asked myself, “What am I really doing for the Lord’s work in light of what these people are doing?”  It reminded me of of the parable in Luke 12, where, in verse 48, Jesus says “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  We American Christians have so much.  A great heritage, money, the ability to travel almost any where in the world, and yet what are we doing with it? What are we doing with the opportunities that God has given to us, the material blessings, and the time that remains in our lives? What are you doing with what God has given you?

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