A thin and exhausted woman stood in front of me. She glanced at her children, unkept, dirty, high on glue and looked back at me. Her kids were refusing to come home because of the environment there but they were also on a highway to self-destruction sleeping on the streets. Despite their “colourful” character, they had already stolen a piece of our hearts. We had been taking food and love to the kids in the local park. These kids were notorious at that time and we had been pouring all we could into their broken little empty hearts. Street-wise, with all the tricks of the trade, they set us on a fast track course in loving unconditionally. It’s easy to say those words however when your love is tested at every turn, it’s another ball game. Well, I guess not another one. But the real one.
When God gave us the name “His Heart Ministries”, it came with a huge responsibility. I feel it constantly. We cannot carry that name unless we do everything we can to truly be the heart of God. That takes a constant refining and re-firing. Some of the disappointments that arise can cause us to become cynical or natural in our thinking. However, the heart of God hurtles towards brokenness and rejection with love and redemption.
“Please come and teach my children about Jesus” she pleaded.
We walked the narrow path to her house, winding through small homes, propped on hillsides made with various pieces of iron patched together anyway possible. Yasmin and I had no idea what we would find. With no local language and no interpreter we were well out of our depth. Stepping up into a little corrugated iron house, we found there was no room for our feet. The floor covered with children expectantly waiting. Word had got out that we were coming!
We worshipped. No one else sang. How could they? They didn’t know the words. Most of the words didn’t mean a whole lot to them anyway. So we closed our eyes and set our hearts on Jesus. His presence flowed in that tiny broken house and His love began pouring over hearts. Parents stood outside peering through the windows. Hungry for something real – God was wooing them to Himself with love.
We told of God’s love but we had no local language, except a few phrases we had learnt out of necessity with the street kids. Words like “No, Wait, Later, Let me see, What is your name and I love you”. These words although good didn’t go far in communicating about God. Some of the kids tried their best to translate. Talk about in over our heads.
No option but to SHOW His love. Explanations wouldn’t cut it. We had to BE Him. Unconditional love was tested over and over. We had to show that His love never stops and neither would ours. Although in the natural so much was missing in this picture His love and presence got under the radar and their hearts began to melt. Pastors had been coming and going from this area for years. Burnt out and discouraged they would leave. But the simple, true message of the gospel was being preached – mostly without words. The love of God – so radical and so great it is irresistible.
It’s not complicated. Let’s love.
“Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words”