God multiplies in His own way. Oftentimes, we want to see the quick numbers. We want to prove to ourselves that what we’re doing is the right thing, that it’s THE God thing. We are so quick to forget, so prone to our eyes, that we miss out on what God is so intentionally leading us towards. Team Anaheim had to change their expectations of how many would show up. Funny thing is, God always shows up.
From a sign up list of a mere three, it expanded to twenty, and then to three again. But the common thread is God. It’s always God. It started out with a small group of three Muslim women who were quick to adopt Team Anaheim as one of their own to love, to serve, to do life with.
“We so often miss looking up to our older brothers and sisters, and seeing how they act and react. She was so Christ-like in her openness,” says co-leader Rebecca Cobb of one of the ladies she crossed paths with. As individuals from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, places with the possibility of persecution, Rebecca was continually awed by how easily they loved.
One night, at 5pm, there were no responses until all of a sudden 14 people signed up to fellowship. “Logistically, it’s not possible. We stopped in the car, we prayed, ‘God, please take control because there’s no way.’ But we got everyone there.”
Jesus doesn’t operate in numbers. He operates in love. The beauty of Jesus is that His culture transcends all. Rebecca reflected on how they were able “to sit and listen, deeply [getting] to know them and love them well.” That was all made possible because it started with a small number of three. Although it is important for the width of evangelism to expand, we are not called to stop there. We are called to go deeper where we plant seeds. To keep watering them, cultivating them, to harvesting them. Not to plant seeds and walk away to the next open field.
Rebecca would love to urge those of you to engage in your local communities and meet our neighbors, for so often, they will be refugees. “It means a lot to be a familiar face in a sea of unfamiliarity.” She wants to empower people to recognize the privilege of living in such close proximity to those who are hurting, displaced, alone. This is the heart and essence of local missions. “When the SMU part of missions is over, we can keep going. Ministry doesn’t end.” Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org!