Who is ministering to who

Written by Jon and Carly Brown

Sometimes we are discouraged and have to fight through emotions, spiritual funks, tough relationships, and all of the tremendously difficult situations around us. I (Jon) was a very disciplined, routine oriented, religious person who had worked in banking for ten years. I kind of lost the ability to feel, but now in our new life following Jesus and seeking His direction and presence, I feel so much more. That being said, it has been a tough couple of weeks.

All around us people have been sick (no, not with coronavirus) and facing real difficulties of lack of resources to care for physical problems. We had a serious outbreak of dengue, which hit our house too. We took turns being bedridden and very ill for almost three weeks. We even saw our littlest member of our community get really sick with pneumonia and then maybe dengue. I kind of got sick spiritually through all of this. I am weak.

God though, is NOT weak. He is so faithful if we will just fight for Him, His presence, and following Him. In our weekly meeting with the young men in the youth prison, we played some games this week and one guy turned out to be really good at the hula hoop. Even though we had shared a Bible passage and a little word, I felt that I should share about loving God as our response to Him loving us. I talked about the cost of our salvation and that being a follower of Christ is not just a decision, but it's imitating Him, it's a lifestyle.

Our new friend who was really good at the hula hoop responded to my invitation for people to respond to Jesus call to take another step of following Him. Three young men wanted to respond and raised their hands and agreed to pray for more hunger, more desire and looking for ways to obey Jesus and not just agree that Jesus died for them. What happened next was beautiful.

This young man came up to me and shared a story of how he was sick with dengue, but while he was feeling really awful he started praying one evening. He couldn't stop. He felt that the words just kept pouring out of him. More than an hour went by and he kept praying. He felt alive and energized with the power of Holy Spirit. In the morning he was completely healed. I was so encouraged to listen to him.

I go into the prison to try and encourage these young men. I tried to listen to Holy Spirit, be prepared, and fight through my discouragement. Then Holy Spirit used this young man and his passionate response to encounters with God to encourage me. I told him that I really needed that as I had been feeling discouraged and he told me that he was inspired by people like us who bring hope to those in prison.

So, who did the real ministry that day. I think it was the same as every time; God is the one who really ministered in love to both this young believer and to me. Thank You God. I am nothing without you.