One of our Austin Stone partners recently traveled to the Horn of Africa to share the hope of the gospel with the people there. She worked with orphans and distributed food to entire communities, but says her favorite part of the trip was using the specific gifts God has given her:
Although I cherished every moment of my time in Africa, I felt especially at home during our time working in a small clinic in rural East Africa. Since the town is so far removed from any major city, hospital or source of clean water, the clinic sees a lot of gastrointestinal disorders and malnutrition. I recently graduated from nursing school and had always envisioned myself in this exact position, administering antibiotics and nutritional supplements to starving families for the sake of the gospel.
But this wasn't as glamorous as I had pictured it in my head. No matter how many times I've watched commercials asking me to sponsor a child in need, I was not prepared for the heartache of seeing a severely malnourished three-year-old little girl crumpled in her aunt's lap because her mother had abandoned her.
However, it did feel like God was allowing me to use the gifts he's given me to be a part of what he was already doing to glorify himself among his children in Africa. This is what Paul talked about in Ephesians when he said, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 4:10-11).