A Beautiful Picture of God’s Expanding Kingdom

by Chris Huber, World Vision on November 17, 2015
My work as a storyteller for World Vision took me to Lebanon, New York, and West Virginia last month. I met Syrian refugees facing a cold winter with dwindling resources and Americans who have to choose between buying a coat for their child or paying the electricity bill. God offered my coworkers and me some unique opportunities to witness to life-changing work being done in His name in tough places around the world.
 
I’d like to share two particularly captivating stories; signs of an expanding kingdom…
 
During my trip to New York I met Millie, a twenty-something volunteer church youth leader. A desire to love and serve her relatively poor community welled up inside but she didn't know what to do beyond attending a Bible study.


 
Seeing leadership potential, her pastor invited her to a leadership-training workshop with World Vision’s U.S. Programs group. The dam broke loose. One year later, Millie and a small team of parents and volunteer youth leaders hold a weekly program for as many as 30 children, half from the church and half from the neighborhood.
 
They craft art projects and create a safe, organized place for the children to play and grow up together, and teach them how to follow Jesus through Bible lessons and activities.
 
A little more than two weeks earlier, in Lebanon, I met Mohammad and Elite, a young couple emerging from a dark season in their marriage. Not only is Mohammad's testimony of coming to know Jesus quite dynamic, but he no longer beats Elite to vent anger, frustration or disagreement. Once on the verge of divorce, they are now reconciled and thriving, thanks in part to a World Vision workshop they attended which taught a biblical perspective on gender in marriage.

 

Their 4-year-old daughter is growing up in a household transformed by Jesus and focused on loving God and loving others radically. Equally as inspiring is the fact that, on all levels, their church family is caring for Syrian and Iraqi refugee families in their time of greatest need.
 
As my team and I thanked, encouraged, and said goodbye to Millie and friends in their Manhattan sanctuary, these two stories lined up in my mind, revealing a beautiful picture of the kingdom Jesus promised, coming on Earth as it is in Heaven.
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