The Green Explosion
By Genie Summers
All of a sudden, I can see the “baby” green leaves giving a lovely hope of Spring. I love Louisiana in mid-February. Spring is already peeking out at us from barren trees, grasses that have browned, and in the outrageously beautiful blooms on the Japenese Magnolia trees and fragrant Narcissus blossoms that line the flower beds of stately older homes. My spirits rise a little, I breathe a comfortable sigh of recognition that winter is close to over and I smile at the nearness of the Green Explosion. Some years I have been on a mission in Latin America or Asia and missed this favorite time of year. I get back and everything is already amazingly lush and green, but when I am here, I am always healed, refreshed and restored by the bursting forth of Spring.
[pullquote1 align=”right” variation=”blue” textColor=”#4583e0″]For those who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays. [/pullquote1]This natural exploding annual event is a parable for me of the faithfulness of God. No matter how hard, how long, how dreary, how bone chilling the winter has been; God, our heavenly Father heals us with the Spring. Malachi 4: 2 (TEV) says, “For those who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays. You will be as free and happy as calves gamboling out of the stall.” New life abounds and we have the courage to begin anew. We can sprout new blossoms of holiness.
Our family in mission has always been keen on incultrating into the ways of the people we serve. We want to honor and respect their ways, their traditions, their cuisine, and their Christian religious practices. We want to bring new life. We share with them the good news that Jesus makes all things new. He draws them out of the bleak winter of their crises, and lets them look on the joy of surrender to Him. In that surrender, a springtime of salvation bursts in on their worlds and they become a new creation.
One of our first missions was to the Cuchillo del Tesoro in Mexico City. One of the poorest barrios in Mexico City was San Lazaro. San Lazaro’s houses were centered round a low-lying area. It was filled with fetid water, which had garbage floating in it and gave off a putrid odor. When Beau accompanied Frank to a prayer meeting there he said:
“Mom, you and Sarah better not go to that place; you might get sick. I felt sick the whole time I was there when I went with Dad.”
The people of San Lazaro were sorely tried by the fetid water and the lack of potable water for drinking. They had tried unsuccessfully to obtain the government’s help with their water problems. The first time Frank attended their prayer gathering, God promised them “living water.” The living water was the Lord’s Word spoken in prophetic utterance.
Within weeks of the faithful hearing the Word of God and attending the regular prayer sessions Frank and Beau offered, the community found themselves praising God that the government had, at last, met their need for potable water! They praised Him for draining and leveling the low spot filled with filth and connecting them to the city’s water system! God helps his poor when they unite in prayer. Prayer is faster than government red tape.
Spring came to San Lazaro, with fresh water. They planted their low lying area with blossoms and shrubs. Their kids played happily in a green space. Missionaries are ambassadors of Christ and bearers of New Life.