True Service In Desperate Circumstances

a Guest Blogger 06/28/12
Category: Faith ; 17 comments

From the LYWB.com Team: We love our readers! We especially love that so many of you are passionate about God and His truth! More and more we want that passion to move you to action in the lives of those who need Jesus. That may be someone across the hall, across the street, or around the world.

To help you gain a bigger view of what God is doing elsewhere and what He could do through you, we wanted to pass along this post from Ashley Mazelin. Ashley saw service up close and personal during a trip to Romania. As you read her story, ask yourself, "Do I serve like the Romanians Ashley encountered?"

The car jolted back and forth as we swerved along the mountain road covered in potholes on our way to church that night. Romania was gorgeous, surrounded by majestic mountains and dotted with waterfalls. Even more gorgeous than the land was the heart of the people. Having come out of communism only twenty-three years ago, the people I met had been wrought with heartache and the Christians had known persecution firsthand. But because of this, they knew true joy in freedom to worship God and in following Him no matter the cost.

RomaniaPhilippians 3:7–9 says, "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." This verse came alive to me through the Romanian people. Even the kids at the orphanage where we were staying welcomed us into their lives and impressed upon us a love greater than we had ever expected. They showed us what it meant to put others first, taking care of everyone else before themselves.

One of the orphans who impacted us the most was Cipi. He was twenty-one and a sophomore in college—my exact age and status in school. He had a break from school and came "home" for a few days. Instead of coming home to rest and hang out with his friends like most college students do, he came to take care of the kids living there. He translated for us from English to Romanian, played with the younger kids, broke up arguments, kissed them when they cried, helped them get ready for bed, and basically just parented all twenty-two of them. He never took time for himself to study for his upcoming exams or relax. And ... he did everything with such joy.

Cipi was not the only one who demonstrated this lifestyle. All of the older kids parented each other and loved each other even though they weren't even related. The three people on staff also demonstrated what it meant to put others first. We learned that they only make the equivalent of $200 per month working at the orphanage, which is not enough to support their families. On top of that, most of them use at least half of that salary to pay for college tuition for the older orphans. Because of this they need other jobs to make money, which takes more time away from their homes and families.

I remember clearly the moment when one of the staff members revealed to us that he had not had a day with his family in nineteen years. He had tears in his eyes as he told us that his own children were worse off economically than the kids at the orphanage. He was so desperate that he was considering putting his own kids in the orphanage. If he quit working at the orphanage, he knew no one would step up and serve in his place because there were not enough leaders. The remaining staff members would feel the weight of his absence and have to take on more responsibility. He was literally sacrificing his family to obey the calling that he felt God had on his life. Yet you would never know that because he served with such joy and happiness and never complained.

The bus came to a sudden stop, parking in front of a small church building. The pastor and his wife came out to greet us. We had met them before—he pastored four different churches in four different villages, and we had been to each one. It was apparent that he and his wife knew everyone in each congregation and were very involved. They were devoting their lives to service, even when it was hard.

Because of the previous persecution of Christians, the churches were small but the people in them were very dedicated. They sang in worship with all their hearts, and even though there were only ten or twelve people in the congregation, they were louder than all fifteen of us Americans combined. This is because they know what it is to risk everything to follow Christ. They were heart and soul dedicated to Jesus. Some of them had spent time in prison for following Christ. Others had lost friends or family in the name of Christ. They knew heartache—but out of their heartache grew an even deeper love for Christ. Their passion burned a flame into my heart, a flame that asked the question, "What are you willing to do to follow Christ? Does it include losing everything?"

It's a question I'd like to pass along to you. What are you willing to risk to follow Jesus? Who have you seen risk it all for His name's sake?

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Bethany
    Thank you!!
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 2:15 am
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!! This is something that the Lord has really been teaching me a LOT of lately, and it is really good to have these lessons reinforced by other Christian young women who have this same desire to serve the Lord with EVERYTHING they have, and to sacrifice everything they have for the Lord. May the Lord RICHLY bless you!!!
    Julie
    Loved the post!
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 7:38 am
    I love hearing about mission trips. It's so wonderful when such a prosecuted church is so dedicated and full of love.
    I have a friend who is Romanian. He goes to college here, in the USA but every summer or break he's off to Romania where he goes to help his family. He is a Christian but I don't know if his other family members are. His name is David, please pray for him and his family.
    Chey
    Thank You So Much!!
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 7:40 am
    Wow what a testimony! People who go on mission trips usually come back changed and inspired to live for Christ. Jesus says "Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

    Thanks for a fresh look at a true servant's heart! :)
    Mattea
    Am I willing?
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 11:31 am
    I often ask my self that question..am I willing to give everything for Jesus. That's an amazing testimony about these people from Romania. I'll be praying for those people struggling in the orphanage...especially for the man who gave up his family for God's work..I'm crying right now because it really touched my heart.
    Kathryn
    Thanks a ton!
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm
    Thank you so much for posting this. I've never thought about how much i would give up for Jesus. It is so incredible that that man gave up his family for God. Anyone who has that kind of faith in God is an amazing person and I wish i could be lucky enough to know them.
    Thanks so much for this story, it really helped my day!
    Beka
    Re:
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    Wow...thanks for sharing! That is amazing, and I pray that God would give me that kind of sacrificial love for others too.
    Tabby
    Guilty
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    I feel a little bit guilty now, because I know that I don't serve Jesus Christ like I should. I should strive to be more like the people you were talking about. Thank you!
    God's Girl :)
    Re:
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    Thank-you for this!!!! These past two posts have been even more challenging then before!!! Honestly! And this story comes close to home but not in the same way! I felt like God called me to go to Hollywood and reach out to the people. Little did I know, God had a different plan, it was going great for four months, and through that, and my folks supporting me ( a dream I had since I was ten) I had an emotional break-down and my world turned upside down and I ended up with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder something that war veterans come back with, but mine is miniscule compared to what they go through! Flash-backs hounded me for months, and months, mind-memories etc and night-mares!

    I was put on medication and I held so tightly onto the worship songs and Bible verses God was singing over my mind every-where I went even when I went to school etc! Not sure why I'm sharing this but felt like I should!

    And when your world is turned upside down, it's like you're living in darkness, and finally after nearly ten months God has brought me the treatment I needed to over-come my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder called EMDR! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!!!! I still have two more to go when I come back from a family trip!

    But, even though it's not a family sacrifice that I did, I went out to pursue a calling to see the wonderful celebrities come to know the Lord by serving at a wonderful church and looking for jobs! Then, coming back home with my life turned upside down, I look back like wow, it wasn't about me!

    That trip cost a-lot of time and money from my folks, and a lot of faith and now, with my life turned upside down trusting in God that HE Would restore me as if nothing happened and I believe HE IS! I could still use more prayers!

    But I must say, what this guy did is truly amazing and even more challenging!!!!!!!!!
    Thank-you for another challenging post, I'll bring this with me when I go to Hungary! :)

    Thank-you for the reminder, if Jesus can die on the cross and go to the deepest darkest places of Hell can't we leave our comfort zones no matter what to expect? Thank-you!!!!!:)

    I need to be more challenged and be less-self centered and focused on others no matter what the cost is to follow Jesus!!!:)
    Anonoymous
    Re:
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm
    Finally, I must say Cipi has a lot of courage!!!!!! He'll be in my prayers!!!
    monica
    moldova
    on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm
    Thanks for sharing!! My family supports children in Moldova, the country beside romania, its a lot the same there too. We have visited them several times, they are sooo sweet, makes my cry to think of how alot of them have no parents and everything is bare necessities
    Christina
    My Service and Dedication
    on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm
    I want my life to be like this. I want to live my life for the Lord, and be willing to do anything for Him. I pray that God changes my heart so i can do more to serve Him. And, just in these past two years i have seen a difference in my life. I am growing more in the Lord every single day, and i have true joy. I have given up a lot for God, it didn't seem like i would like it in the begining, but i have done it for a long time i can not see myself going back to the way i was. My best friend is a Woman After God's Own Heart, and she has been a huge influence on my llife. So has my church and the people in it, i have been blessed with who God has put in my life!
    Brittany
    Wow
    on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    I'm just really surprised and awed at what these people do! I could never be that strong enough to do all of that, but am blessed and joyful for what people can do. Especially these people and how they do their job by following the Lord. I wish I had more patience and more to do all of that.
    Annie
    a question
    on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm
    Does anyone know any bible verses, or book on the subject on Visions from God?
    Like how to determine if it is from God, and what is the purpose of the vision, etc.?
    Thank you in advanced!! (=
    Lydia
    Thank you!
    on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm
    Thank you so much for this post... I've really been wrestling with this lately... as I read the description before opening the post, I actually thought this post was about the first-century churches from Acts! The joy in the face of persecution of those in oppressed countries is a reminder and a challenge to us all; I want to serve God even when it's not convenient-even when it takes all I have. Thanks again for this-God bless!
    Anonymous
    Me too...
    on Monday, July 2, 2012 at 11:28 am
    I just got back from a mission trip to Romania too! We actually went to an orphanage and met a boy name Cipi that sounds very similar to the one you described. Where was the orphanage?
    Emily
    Me too...
    on Monday, July 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm
    I am friends with "anonymous" above haha, and I just got back from that same trip to Romania and met Cipi!! What an amazing place... I miss it so badly. You simply cannot out give those people. They are so gracious and giving. So cool that we both got to go there!
    Lorree, with the LYWB team
    Annie
    on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm
    Thank you for your question, Annie! God speaks to us through His written Word, the Bible. We are hearing of people in the Middle East having visions of Jesus Christ and coming to salvation through those. But He typically will speak to us through His Word. A vision will never contradict the Word of God. So be sure and take everything you hear, whether through a vision or through a pulpit or through this blog, back to God’s Word to make sure it lines up with God’s Truths (Rev. 22:18-19). Praying for your wisdom and discernment, Annie.

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