From Burden to Glory (by Len Winneroski)

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“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” – Frederick Buechner

The past few months have been a very special time in my life. I have developed new deep and meaningful friendships with several men who share my burden for the homeless and the hurting. One of these men is Pastor Rick Miller, the senior pastor of Eastview Christian Church, which is located in Martinsville, Indiana.

When Pastor Rick was a young man, he was deeply impressed by missionaries like Art and Ruth Morris, who spent their lives sharing the Gospel and ministering to the people living in southern India. This impression guided Rick’s life and he went on to serve as a youth pastor, a missionary and a senior pastor over the years.

Pastor Rick is the co-founder of the North India Christian Mission (NICM), which is located near Chandigarh India. He is also the founder of Stability First, which is located in the heart of Martinsville, Indiana. The NICM was established in 1997 in response to a burden that God placed on Rick’s heart for the people living in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is the area of the world located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, where two thirds of the world’s population lives, most without the knowledge of Jesus and in very difficult circumstances. Stability First, established in the summer of 2015, serves the homeless and hurting men and women living in Morgan County.

When I asked Pastor Rick how did you know that God wanted you to start these ministries he explained to me that God puts a burden on your heart that wakes you up at night. This burden leads to a vision, and after you are willing to take a step of faith, God’s provision takes over and He brings the people and resources to bring the vision to life. When you join God in His work you witness the miraculous, lives are changed, and God is glorified.

Rick is just an ordinary man who is willing to be used by God. He loves Jesus with all of his heart and he wants others to know Jesus too and to experience the joyful and abundant life that Jesus promised those who follow Him (John 10:10). I think that I could speak for Rick to say that we should all pay attention to the burdens that God places on our hearts. These burdens are a gift, that when opened, leads to an incredible journey, a vibrant and active faith, and God’s glory.

Please pray for Pastor Rick and the leadership teams who are sharing the love of Christ through the ministry at NICM and Stability First and consider how your church, or you as an individual, can join God in His work through these amazing ministries.

A Parable of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:31-45

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’

And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

Then the King will answer, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’

And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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