In the movie entitled Sergio, a United Nations diplomat travels to several nations trying to broker peace between warring groups. There is one scene that takes place in the nation of East Timor in Southeast Asia. Sergio is in a remote village trying to talk to the local people about how they have been affected by the rebels and the Indonesian military occupiers. As he stops to talk to a widow in a small hut where she is weaving, he gets into a lengthy discussion with her about how she had lost her farm, her husband, and her children to the civil war. The climax of this conversation comes when he says to her, “What do you want for your future?” The clock seems to stop; at first the widow seems to ignore him. But Sergio asks her again, “What do you want for your future?” This time, she lifts her head with tears flooding her eyes. She replies to him, “I just want to be seen.” The conversation ends as he turns to walk away, and the camera captures a tear running down Sergio’s face.1
In her despair, this widow’s words speak of the internal desire of every person to be recognized as a person whose life matters, who is considered as one who has basic rights and needs, and knows that others realize he or she exists. This widow’s words are actually indicative of the words of Jesus to the questions posed by His disciples, Thomas and Philip. They have been so concerned about where Jesus was going and the need for Him to reveal the Father to them, they miss, like so many others, the reality of who Jesus was and is today. How it must break the heart of God that His own creation cannot see Him. Long before that widow in East Timor said those haunting words, Jesus had been saying to those who followed Him, “I just want to be seen.”
The Tragedy of Not Seeing
In Matthew 13:13–16, Jesus directs His words to His own disciples,
Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: `Hearing you will hear and shall not understand And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear (NJKV).
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the BEAUTIFUL story
Obed Natán Chic Itzep was born in the city of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla, Guatemala. He has served the church as a children’s and youth pastor, a clerk in his local church, and district Youth Ministries director. In 2019, he was appointed senior pastor of the Tierra Verde Church of God of Prophecy in Siquinalá, Escuintla, Guatemala.
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP - PRAYERFUL LEADERSHIP
Look at the first two words in this article’s title, “Spiritual Leadership.” Now replace the word “spiritual” with any word that denotes effective Christian leadership—authentic leadership, compassionate leadership, visionary leadership, anointed leadership, fruitful leadership, compelling leadership, servant leadership, etc. This simple exercise reminds us that consistent, fervent prayer is essential to effective spiritual leadership.
Prayers Heard, Prayers Hindered
Caleb Madara Dondo serves as COGOP Kenya Task Force vice chairman. Brother Dondo is a teacher with a passion for teaching on the Holy Spirit, giving, and prayer.
Local Church Outreach 2020
As the coronavirus made headlines near the beginning of 2020, I heard an amazing message of compassion and care concerning early Christians running into the plague to minister with kindness to make a difference in the lives of those who were sick and dying. They were willing to move to ministry, even when it threatened their own lives. The message contained a powerful illustration of how those of us who follow the teachings of Christ respond in counter-culture ways to minister to those who are suffering and in need.
The Bible tells us to pray with all kinds of prayer (Ephesians 6:18). But not every kind of prayer is effective prayer. Sometimes, our prayers resemble a flea-market auction. We barter. We negotiate. We up the bid. We say, “I’ll become a missionary if you’ll heal me, God!” Or, “I need more money, more money, more money—I’ll tithe 15 percent!”
Consider Your Ways
When my wife and I first got married, we knew very little about managing money. We certainly did not pay attention to the verse found in Proverbs 22:7 that says, “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender” (NKJV).
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Bishop Tim McCaleb, general presbyter for Asia, Australia, and Oceania, became a licensed minister in the COGOP in 1980. He held pastoral positions throughout Tennessee and Illinois before his appointment as state overseer of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Texas. During that time, he also participated in Assembly committees such as the Bible Doctrine and Polity committee and was Servant Partners Director for the International Offices. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Houston Graduate School of Theology. He is married to Sheena and they have four children and many grandchildren.
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