"I could tell there was something different about you as soon as you got on the boat."
Most of our work this week has been in afternoons and evenings. So yesterday morning we went on a short boat trip up and down the Douro River. It flows through the heart of the old city and out into the Atlantic ocean. The houses and churches that are built up along the banks were built from the 1200-1700s.
Since Michelle (missionary we are working with) has been on the boat many times with other groups she struck up a conversation with one of the men working onthe boat. He is from Bulgaria. He said that he had faith at one time when he was younger but that now he has an emptiness in his heart. He wants to know how to fill that emptiness and he knew we would know since we were different than the other people who come and go on the boat rides.
Before we left he had made arrangements to talk to Andy when he wasn't at work. How cool is that?
What did we do that was different? We were happy. The Portuguese people as a general rule are not happy. He could tell we liked each other. We were polite. We didn't push our way to the front of the line. Basically, we were acting like Christian people showing God's love for each other and those we met. And actually, before this trip, most of us didn't really know each other. We just have that common love for Jesus and therefore a love for each otheer. This is how you are a witness "as you go."
This is how WE should ALL be as we live our lives in Clarksville (or wheverever you live). I don't know how many times I have read something on FaceBook and thought "Really? Do you really want to say that as a Christian?" Hang on or quit reading. How can we make a difference in our society when we are just as rude as our non-Christian neighbors when our food is bad or the line is long or the trafiic is too crowded and we get cut off or.... You get the idea.
Our world is looking for love. They just don't know where to find it. We can't say on Sunday that we love God and love our neighbors and then Monday through Saturday act as mean as a snake.
Can you imagine what an impact we would have on Clarksville and on the world if the Fruit of the Spirit overflowed through our lives? (Here they are if you have forgotten them.) Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Self-control.
Well..... preach yourself your own sermon that you need to hear. I'm tired! It's 9:15 here and we've been going hard all day so it's off to bed.
There are some pictures on FaceBook.
I'll post more later when I can.