Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
13 Oct 2021
When we went onto the mission field in 2018, we knew we had the added challenge of going with a child with a disability. Ben, the eldest of our four children, was diagnosed with autism, global developmental delay, and visual impairment when he was four years old. When we reflect on the past 16 years of early intervention and therapy, we are amazed at how God provided expertise, help and resources at just the right times they were needed.
One of Ben’s main challenges lies in his communication skills. Often, Ben would have little or no inhibition in approaching a new person to ask a list of very direct and personal questions like, “Are you religious? Do you go to church?”. There have been many occasions when we, his family, would cringe when this happened, because we feared that people would react negatively to these questions. Instead, we have been surprised on many occasions when people genuinely evaluated their spiritual lives, talked about their past experiences with God, and even said, “Yeah, perhaps it is time for me to go back to church”. God uses Ben’s lack of inhibition (and gentle nature) to make those direct questions feel non-threatening to stir people’s hearts towards Him.
While we were on the field, we noticed that Ben would ask these same direct and appropriate faith questions to new people we were meeting and trying to build relationships with. Initially we tried to discourage Ben from asking such questions to avoid unintentionally offending people. However, the Holy Spirit convicted us and helped us see that God was using Ben and his lack of inhibition to penetrate some tricky spaces. Ben’s questions opened many opportunities for spiritual conversations with many people from various religious and cultural backgrounds. We were lacking boldness, but God was using Ben to lead and teach us how to engage with people.
Another one of Ben’s challenges is his tendency to repeat the same question or say the same sentence over and over again, which drives us all crazy most times! We have been back in Australia for over a year due to COVID, and the most repeated question Ben asks since we’ve been back is, “When are we going back?” He asks this same question numerous times a day. He also constantly repeats, “I really love being there.” God is using Ben’s ability to be singularly focused and hyper persistent about going back to our country of ministry to constantly remind us of God’s call for us and to be steadfast to return to the field in His good time.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus says, “My gracious favour is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” Jesus is working His great purposes for our family through Ben’s weaknesses. Ben is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator God. All glory to Him alone. Amen!
- M & S. Pioneers workers serving in SE Asia
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