Abusa is the Chichewa word for pastor. The Chichewa language is widely used in the African nation of Malawi where my brother-in-law and sister-in-law serve as missionaries with the International Mission Board. On my desk sits a handmade sculpture of an abusa given as a gift by Billy and Susan. This little authentic piece is precious to me because it is a constant reminder of the sacrifice so many of God’s people make for the Kingdom and how very blessed I am to pastor where the Lord has placed me.
It is important we do not forget the Lord’s favor. It is what energizes the service of countless believers serving in the hard places of the world. So many with so little do so much because they feel so blessed. So should not we who have more than most ever will do abundantly more?
Another reminder of abundant ministry cultivated in humble supply is the Bhutanese gathering which meets at Pittsburgh Baptist each Sunday. This growing group of thirty believers springs from the dedication of one of our member families, Deo and Rajani Lagoon and their three children, Juliya, Victor and Alvin. I recently read a brief account of this family’s struggle to live its faith in Bhutan and inspiring perseverance to evangelize expatriates from their homeland in Pittsburgh. It is a testament of sacrifice, providence and prayer.
The Lord has blessed us with unprecedented opportunities to engage in cross-cultural ministry. Every month there are four different language congregations meeting at Pittsburgh Baptist Church. The Tamil Church celebrated its sixteenth anniversary of worship here on Saturday, October 22. The group’s love for Jesus was punctuated by song, testimony, praise and preaching. On October 30, our Ukrainian partners decorated the sanctuary in their traditional Thanksgiving adornment recognizing God’s favor.
This is a weird time in our country and city. A huddle of malcontents “occupy” a small privately owned park in downtown Pittsburgh railing against the system which provides them the right to rail. Their bizarre attitude sits in stark contrast to those who sacrifice for the privilege to come to the United States of America, in large measure, to be able to worship the Lord and live their faith because of a system that offers the opportunity to do so.
As Thanksgiving nears I encourage you to take the occasion to reflect on the Lord’s goodness. I know of some people from Bhutan, India and the Ukraine that will do just that.
On a personal note, Diane and I express our deep appreciation for the opportunity to serve Him through Pittsburgh Baptist Church. As our fourth anniversary of ministry here approaches we count it a great blessing to be part of what God is doing in this corner of the Kingdom. If you have a favorite pair of jeans that fit just right every time you put them on you know how it feels whenever I come to the church. I just feels right. There’s nothing better than being where the Lord wants you.