This Christmas, many lay missionaries—and many of our ministry partners—will be spending Christmas out in the field, ministering to the poor they serve. These disciples of Christ might be serving hot meals, visiting the elderly, or doing other meaningful work on behalf of the poor on Christmas Day in addition to celebrating Christ’s birth.
Here’s an excerpt of a conversation we recently had with John Bland, founder of our longtime ministry partner Amigos for Christ in Nicaragua. John explains how Christ calls us to help each other and spread the gospel all year long, which is why he ended up in the mission field bringing food, housing, water, and hope to the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua.
There’s a definitive command in the Bible to help your brother. Jesus said it on numerous occasions, so for us the backbone of everything we do is Christ-centered, and what’s actually come to pass and how this has played out for us is, it’s the best way to get a chance to build relationships with people and have the credence.
When you spend a lot of time digging ditches with people and doing the basics, working alongside people and getting to know them, if you want to share the gospel with anybody, they’re gonna know you already, and that’s a big deal, because if they know you as a person, it’s like you telling them, “Man I saw the most awesome movie.” If they know you already, they’re gonna have some credence to that, what you’re saying.
Sharing the gospel is the same thing. If they get to know you and know that you’re really in it for the long haul with them and not just short time. If you’re there for the long haul, and really get to build into them as people, then you start doing programs with them that give them an avenue…to help them to see that yeah hey there are some very tangible things that God is doing, and one of the tangible thing is he’s sending a group of people to come help, and that’s kind of what we want to be for them.
Thank you to John and his team at Amigos for Christ for all their hard work this year bringing relief to the poor. Thank you also to all the Catholics who’ve helped John and many other lay missionaries in developing countries through their support for Cross International Catholic Outreach!