Last month, I had the privilege to go back to Brighton Academy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and serve there. I have been involved with Brighton Their World for more than four years and I am still humbled each time I get to work with them. Every time I return to Ethiopia God teaches me something new. This trip I learned about humility and service.
1 Peter 4:8-10 tells us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”
We are called to serve others. It’s an act of love and a reflection of our love for Jesus Christ. Our service is an act of obedience to God.
How awesome is it that the creator of the universe uses us to further his kingdom? Think about that. God allows us to serve for his glory and honor. How humbling is that? I think it’s pretty awesome. We should be thrilled every time we get a chance to help out a fellow human being.
When I go to Brighton Academy I have the honor of serving the staff and students. I get to help the teachers. I get my tail kicked in soccer by a bunch of elementary age kids. I get to talk to the parents of students. The best part is that I get to see their joy. I have the chance to hear how thankful they are that their children are receiving an education and that their family is receiving clean water.
During this last trip, I kept asking God, “Why me?” Why do I get to experience all of this? The answer is obedience. I was called to serve and I obeyed. I argued at first and then obeyed. I am truly humbled that God allows me to experience this.
God could totally have chosen someone else to work with Brighton Their World. He could have picked someone with more power and money, but then that person would try to take credit for everything done. Instead he chose a guy from Covington, Georgia to go to Ethiopia and share His love with everyone. This way only God can receive the glory.
I can’t do what God has done at Brighton Academy. If I opened a school in Ethiopia it would probably fail before the doors opened. God, on the other hand, can do anything. He can open a school in Ethiopia and grow it to almost 300 students in a year. I can’t.
When we serve others and are obedient to what God tells us to do we receive a joy that makes no sense. We get to see first-hand how God does things. We get to see a heavenly economy trump a worldly economy. Then, we have the honor of telling others about how awesome God’s work is. We get to share stories of his love, mercy, and restoration with believers and unbelievers.
We all have opportunities to serve God’s kingdom. There are plenty here in Covington. If you have a chance to serve do it. Don’t miss out on getting to see God work first hand. John Wesley said, “One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us.” Bottom line, when we serve others we serve God. Don’t miss out on that.
Andy Butts was born and raised in Newton County. He is the youth pastor at Journey Church in Oxford. He loves God, his wife, his children, food, Ethiopia, and Star Wars.