Monday, May 20, 2013

"Even Greater Works?"

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father. 
John 14:12 

I can only imagine the surprise of the disciples when they heard Jesus utter these words on the eve of his betrayal and crucifixion. The incarnate "Word" of God was preparing to exit stage left. And in his famously long exit interview with the disciples he made sure to tell them that they would do even greater things than he did among them.

It was the last week of August 2005 and there was a hurricane churning in the Gulf of Mexico like no other and it was making a bee line for New Orleans.  Before it's arrival it was anticipated to be the "Big One", a category 5 storm.

Many people of the New Orleans area and greater gulf coast headed for higher ground. Hundreds of thousands of them headed for North Georgia and the metro Atlanta area. They arrived, in most cases, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. In the immediate wake of the storm's devastation they had no choice but to stay in the region.

At the Action Ministries office we had discussions about what our response should be. Our primary programs were not disaster related, and our mission stated that we only served a certain geographic area.  However, we did agree that these evacuees were our neighbors.  Therefore, we decided that we would respond to their immediate hunger need.  We sent out an all points bulletin to the churches that we needed nonperishable food.  As the churches received the word, they passed it along to their members.  People responded with what they could do.

Food came in overwhelming amounts and a generous and steady supply of volunteers gave it out where the evacuees were gathered daily in enormous parking lots all around metro Atlanta. As we gave it out, we counted. This went on for 40 days before the immediate crisis morphed into mid and long term recovery.

As we began to catch our breath, I asked for a report of the number of meals that we provided. The number came back—200,000 meals, all provided by people of faith who each did what they could. A simple calculation told me that we served an average of 5,000 each day for 40 days in a row.

And then it dawned on me. Jesus told his disciples, "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father." John 14:12.

I imagine those words must have fallen originally on deaf ears. But in time, all Jesus' disciples who hear the cry of the needy and respond with generosity are caught up in what God is doing. We may each find ourselves doing "even greater works."

-- John Moeller, President and CEO of Action Ministries, North Georgia Ann Conf. Photo is of volunteers from Action Ministries Rome.

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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