By Donald Kamese
In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself stranded in complete darkness for two nights! On one occasion, strong storms and widespread flooding knocked out the power in Texas while I was visiting. On the other occasion, we lost power at my home in Mexico for no apparent reasons.
Both instances left me engulfed by darkness and stumbling through the house, unable to see the path that lay right beneath my feet, unable to envision where my next steps might lead.
As I pondered these things, I realized that I had been in another type of darkness not so very long ago—spiritual darkness.
That’s where my wife, Becky, and I were as we prepared to travel to the United States to visit some friends last December.
We were stumbling through life, unable to see the path that God had laid out for us, unable to see where our next steps might lead.
Both our ministry and support seemed to be in a stagnant state and going nowhere fast. We had moved to the Circle of Silence to make disciples and spread the Gospel, but due to cultural tendencies of the region and general suspicion of outsiders, these things take time.
It is a delicate process. Contacts must be made. Relationships must be carefully established. Trust must be earned. Then, and only then, can we begin to ease into a conversation about Jesus and the good news.
On the flip side, missionary work requires both dedicated funding and dedicated prayer and, though the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few. (Matthew 9:37).
Those are just the cold, hard facts of the missionary field. Though we had met many, many people over the course of the last year who had expressed great excitement about the work we were doing in Mexico when face-to-face, the follow through was, to say the least, sparse. It felt as though as soon as our last goodbyes were spoken and the door shut behind us, the spark and promises fizzled and died.
Yes, we were discouraged.
With these burdens heavy on our hearts, we packed our bags and prepared for our Stateside visit. We were struggling to share our vision beyond the borders, but God had a plan yet unrevealed. Little did we know that during this particular trip God’s light—his passionate people—would shine through the darkness and turmoil of our storm. We would meet an answer to our prayers in a way that only God could orchestrate.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-1
As we planned our trip, I sent out an email to let our friends know. We received back an email introducing us to a man named Kevin and asking if we would like to get together with him for dinner. Apparently, he was working on the startup of a nonprofit called TogetherAir, and it was felt that Becky and I might have some valuable contacts that could help him out. Of course, we said yes.
Within two hours Kevin had responded back to my greeting email.
Dear Donald and Becky,
Do you need a place to stay while you are here? We have a room in our house where you can stay. We also have our car available for you to drive while you are here if you need it.
We were stunned. We had never met this man and his family. We were captivated not only by their uninhibited generosity but also by the obvious risk that they were willing to take by allowing complete strangers to stay in their home and use their car.
It quite frankly did not sound like these guys lived in the Western World with which we were acquainted, a world of closed doors and suspicious hearts. Rather, their openness was reminiscent of a popular Mexican saying, “Mi casa es su casa!” My house is your house.
We wondered to ourselves, who are these people?
“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11
Love at first sight.
The moment we pulled up at the Griffin’s door, we immediately felt something new and refreshing. Their children had created posters with sweet messages and placed them at the roadside to welcome us. It really touched our hearts—the darkness was being displaced by light.
Inside, they offered us free reign of their home, their food, their car. We were shown to a guest suite with a private entrance and a king-sized bed all to ourselves.
As we broke bread together, we chatted easily like old friends. Though we had only just met, our souls knew one another. We were brothers and sisters, not by blood, but created in Christ to do His work together. We were touched by their passion for service and for Jesus and immensely encouraged by their faith and fortitude of spirit.
We could not deny the fact that we shared the same passion—knowing Christ and making Him known! Becky and I shared with them our vision for the Circle of Silence and the people of Mexico. Kevin and his wife, Angelia, shared with us that they had been fervently praying for an international mission to throw themselves into wholeheartedly.
By the end of the night, there was no doubt that God was the orchestrator of this meeting—a meeting that would be the birth mother of Vida Impact Missions.
For the first time in some months, we were greatly encouraged!
Over the last six months, we have grown to know one another even more. As we continue to get to know and work with the Griffin family, God is affecting our lives through their willingness to let God’s grace shine through them and to get their hands dirty as we serve together.
Kevin is now the U.S. Director of Vida Impact Missions, and Angelia is the secretary/communications director. We share one heart, to serve God with our lives. We share one mission, to make Him known throughout the nations. We share one father, God who is Heaven.
They are more than just Vida team members; they are friends. And they are our dear brother and sister in Christ.
They, along with our other friends and supporters, have helped us break through the spiritual darkness we were experiencing and have reminded us that, when we let our light shine through God’s grace which is in us, when we place our lamp upon the stand and shine before men, we impact the lives of those around us. When we serve without boundaries and take the risk of loving neighbors as well as strangers in our lives without fear or reserve, we are touching Heaven and changing the world for eternity.
You see, darkness cannot exist where there is light. It is physically impossible. Light drives away darkness, forces it to retreat, scatters it before it’s glorious rays of hope. All it takes is a willing heart and an open door.
So, dear friends, let there be light!
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10
How has God used others to bless your life? Please leave us a comment here and share your story with us!