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A Healthy Balance

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  1 Corinthians 12:4 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.The Ngäbe women loved pampering and listened attentively to God’s truth.

For several years, our church and local university maintained a partnership with missionaries to the Ngäbe people of Costa Rica and Panama. We helped with five church plants and made regular trips to provide training, lead Bible schools, construct or update church buildings, and perform other work requested by the missionaries and church leadership.

After learning the Costa Rican government required churches to have a working bathroom, a construction team became a top priority. As they planned and collected supplies, the wife of one team member felt called to offer a women’s conference.

Ngäbe women have a rough life, and she believed they needed spiritual nourishment along with some physical pampering. Her vision included haircuts, manicures, pedicures, a special meal, small gifts, and a foot washing service. She wanted them to feel Christ’s love through the team’s servant role. Her husband never discouraged her, but his attitude was, Sure, sure, you can have your little women’s conference while we’re doing the real work.

When the team began washing the ladies’ feet, everyone watched reverently, including children and construction workers. With an assembly-line style, the team washed, dried, and massaged the women’s calloused feet. They polished nails and distributed colorful flip flops. They loved the women with each drop of water poured from the pans and their eyes, with every gentle stroke of the cloth, with every application of lotion or polish, and with their prayerful smiles. No life felt God’s love more than those servant women on their knees and the men who watched with hammers in their hands.

Later, several Ngäbe women told the team, “No one has ever done anything like this for me.” Team members echoed that sentiment. Never had they experienced such an event.

And the husband who minimized the little women’s conference? He believes the conference was probably God’s primary plan for their trip. However, the entire team fulfilled their call, whether through construction, teaching, evangelism, or a long overdue day of respite.

Don’t minimize other’s methods because they differ from yours. God may be calling you to a new way of feeding your world. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


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Diana Derringer

Diana Derringer, a former social worker and adjunct professor, writes for several publications. She teaches a middle school Sunday school class, sings in the choir, and participates in missions activities through her church. She and her husband enjoy traveling and serving as a friendship family to international university students. Visit her at www.dianaderringer.com.