For countless generations, the Gumuz people of Northwestern Ethiopia have been oppressed by a spirit of fear. This fear of being cursed and of death, has paralyzed the communities and kept hearts trapped in the darkness.
Yet despite this, God has placed some men of peace among the Gumuz; local elders who have been willing to listen, draw alongside others and not let fear determine their actions. For the past 11 years, these faithful servants have been introducing the Gospel to the Gumuz.Read More
We had decided to go further into the Maasai bush. Our teams would walk miles to reach the more distance villages called “bomas”. It was going to be a long day. Shortly after beginning our work with the animals, a team-mate came up to me with a problem. It seems all the remote Maasai warriors that he was encountering that morning didn’t speak any Swahili, and he didn’t have a Maasai translator! I didn’t have one to give him, so we prayed and went about our business trusting God.
About 15 minutes later, I was walking through the field gathering sticks to try to help repair the corral when a young Maasai warrior approached me. He introduced himself and struck up a conversation with me…in English. As I stood listening, he began telling me about how the Lord had delivered the Hebrew people from Egypt through Moses across the Red Sea. He talked for quite some time. Then he began telling me how desperately the other Maasai warriors need to hear about Christ. I was speechless!Read More
By: Dr. Wendell Cantrell
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, Phil. 1:9
Our current theme is Abounding Love. We will take the next few Heralds and focus on this divine attribute that our Lord has blessed us with. We will begin by remembering a true hero of the faith that died this month. Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick-fil-A fast food chain went home to be with the Lord on September 8th. He leaves behind his wife and 3 children. His son, Dan, has taken over as president. I think there is real value in learning to examine a life well lived for the glory of the Lord. In this issue we will explore what abounding love looked like in Cathy’s life. We will investigate his philosophy of work, his servant heart, his generosity, and his family’s discernment on a difficult issue.
Work | Truett’s franchise was an amazing success, but what distinguishes his life isn’t his business success, but his faithful witness in the midst of that success. His restaurants were closed on Sundays from the very beginning. He felt strongly that his staff needed a day of rest and worship. This prerogative has been jealously guarded, even though it meant sacrificing a day’s profit each week.Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose says, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted us.” Two thirds of his managers grew up in the business. They worked for the franchise in high school and college, enjoyed the work, and made a career of it. Over the years they learned how to take care of their personal lives, and then Cathy knew he could trust them to take care of the business. Often people would ask if they had to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A. He would say, “Not at all, but we ask that you make your business decisions based on biblical principles. There seemed to be no conflicts when we told people of various faiths how important it was to stick to the Scriptures in business decisions.”
Servant Heart | Cathy had a tough upbringing. In the early 1920s, his father lost their farm, and he never really recovered. His mom was the breadwinner, having to often work on Sundays. She insisted that the kids go to church, regardless. Cathy trusted Christ at age 12. A key verse he focused on in childhood was Proverbs 22:1, A good name is more desirable than great riches… This is pretty amazing, given the fact that he ended his life as a billionaire. Business success didn’t affect Cathy’s service in the local church. He taught a children’s Sunday School class for 50 years!
Generosity | The Cathy family spent years touching thousands of lives and turning a business profit into an eternal investment. Through their WinShape Foundation, they opened long-term foster homes throughout the Southern U.S. Hundreds of kids have been able to grow up in loving, two-parent families. They’ve also received help with college funds and help (matching funds) with their first car. The Cathys also opened summer camps, have donated millions for scholarships, and have even started a marriage enrichment retreat. To encourage fostering, Cathy would say, “Children will never believe in the covenant of marriage unless they see it with their own eyes.” (1)
- We all observed and heard on the news of this family’s commitment to traditional marriage. A comment by their son, concerning same sex marriage, landed their family and company in hot water. There were protests at numerous Chick-fil-A locations. Some mayors even threatened to block new franchises from opening in their cities, until they were reminded again of freedom of speech. When this was all happening, we need to remember that Truett Cathy was already in his 90s. It was his son, Dan, who stepped up and spoke of the family’s convictions. He had the opportunity to befriend an opponent during this time, an activist leading the group called Campus Pride. This friend said the following, “He never wavered on traditional marriage, but expressed sincere interest in my life. He loved and respected me as a person despite our differences.” This gracious action was obviously a reflection of his father’s legacy. He had spent his life abounding in love for others, whether it was his family, his employees, or orphans he touched through his generosity.
My prayer is that we imitate godly men or women such as this. We likely won’t become billionaires in veterinary medicine. The lesson for us is how abundant love such as this can literally be a powerful apologetic for the gospel, regardless of how good business is. We certainly want to share verbally as we can, but a life of abounding love speaks volumes as well.
What might abounding love look like for one in our profession? This is certainly a discussion worth having and I encourage you to reflect on it. The list could include:
- Reaching out to hurting staff or clients.
- Staff devotions.
- Gracious love for our family even in the midst of the drama brought on this fallen world we are in.
- Support for a CVM field staff member whose abounding love has taken them to challenging environments.
- Join a short-term team that can carry this abounding love worldwide.
I will close with this quote from one my favorite authors, who was one of the greatest apologists of his day. I quote him often as I tell young married couples, “Your marriage, when love abounds, can be one of the strongest apologetics for the gospel your family and friends will ever experience.”
“But after we have done our best to communicate to a lost world, still we must never forget that the final apologetic which Jesus gives is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians.” Francis Schaffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster
1) Breakpoint, by Eric Metaxis, Sept 10, 2014Read More
Are you a “missions-minded” vet student in your 3rd or 4th year of vet school? Do you have 4 weeks available to serve on the field? Do you want to receive hands-on training/one-on-one mentoring from a CVM Long-Term Field Worker? If so, then CVM’s Mission Apprenticeship program may be for you!
Applications to the Apprenticeship must be received by October 1, 2014 in order to be considered for the 2015-2016 school year.
This past June, Elizabeth Wall, a 4th year vet student and a CVM Missions Apprenticeship participant, traveled to Bolivia where she worked alongside CVM missionaries for six weeks and explored the call to serve in overseas missions.
Elizabeth was kind enough to share her thoughts on the experience!Read More
This past June, Jennifer Merkle, a first year vet student from Mississippi State University was given the opportunity to serve on her first short-term trip with CVM. Jennifer and her team (2 other vet students) spent a little over a week working alongside CVM’s long-term missionaries Dr. Rick and Mary Ervin. Jennifer was kind enough to answer a few questions for me!