It’s a tragic scene in many places around the world, where specific people groups are singled out as inferior or unwanted or worse. Often they are so marginalized that they are excluded from access to basic human survival resources such as food, shelter or safety. Large numbers of outcasts comb the trash heaps for scraps of leftovers, consuming rotten vegetables or infested bread.
Seeing such horrid conditions can make us wonder if our good God has dozed off or has hardened His heart to the cries of men, women and children who live in desperate situations. I know I have wrestled with my own thoughts over the years as I have prayed through the names of people groups around the world and have learned about their plights.
In particular I have prayed for a group that lives outside a large city in the Far East. They feed themselves from the rubbish heaps, and typically have no access to education, housing or medical attention. They are forgotten by man.
But God has not overlooked their needs. They are not abandoned.
Christar medical workers living in the area were made aware of this group and were able to make contact. Over time they brought medical care, and over more time they began to form relationships. No one among the group had ever heard of Jesus, and thus had never known the provisions of salvation and of hope He offers. These workers were able to minister—spirit, soul and body—to many individuals. Some came to Christ and were able to begin worshiping together as a fellowship of believers—as a church.
As I have heard about the Christ-honoring transformation in this community, my amazement at God’s intervention has grown. I see that He carries out His mission to the poor, to the lost, to the abandoned in His ways and in His time. Very often He uses His people to bring not only hope but healing, not only salvation but fellowship. I am learning that it is easy to allow an attitude of despair to prevail in our hearts, but God calls us to faithfully trust, pray and respond. Should He prompt us to participate in His doings, may we be quick to obey.
Enjoying the Treasure,
Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.