Are you one of those people who work behind the scenes in ministry? You quietly go about the work of keeping things running smoothly, week after week, and never crave the spotlight? I just want to take the time today to recognize people like you. Without your contribution, ministry wouldn’t work. You’re just as much the hands and feet of Christ as the person who is called to be the voice or face of a ministry.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to return to the Caribbean island of Bonaire to help celebrate 50 years of gospel broadcasting with TWR Bonaire. Each night across Latin American and the Caribbean, the message of God’s light and truth was shared and lives were changed.
I arrived on Bonaire in 1985 with my young family to serve with TWR as a diesel mechanic. For the first 6 years I worked at the transmitter site making sure the power plant that generated electricity was well maintained. We maintained vehicles and oversaw the mechanical part of the operation. It’s hard to get much more behind-the-scenes than that as a missionary, but I was happy serving where God needed me.
My co-workers weren’t missionaries for the most part. They were local Bonairian staff. One of my great joys was serving with these people who played as great a role in ensuring people heard the Gospel as the career missionaries did.
They are dedicated, hardworking, committed men, who in many cases gave up other opportunities to make sure Bonaire kept broadcasting the Gospel. Often, people back home think that missionaries are the special ones, but it took a dedicated team of local people who also sacrificed to make it happen. People whose names and faces probably didn’t make it into our prayer letters or the missionary updates in our sponsoring churches.
I want to recognize these men, and all the national staff working in missions, for their work in fulfilling the great commission. Without them, and other local people like them, Bonaire could not have been a beacon of light for the last 50 years.
Each of the speakers at the celebration was asked to share stories of changed lives. One story was from a family in Antarctica; the mother in the family was very depressed and desperately needed encouragement. It was Christmas time and we had special programming airing from Bonaire. The family tuned across the dial and heard a voice that was familiar to them. It was their cousin on the radio, and from the brief message the mother received the hope she needed. God worked a miracle in the mother’s life. There were stories from Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela , Jamaica and many more.
The highlight of the weekend for me was reconnecting with some of my old friends who worked as hard as I did to keep Gospel programming going out each night.
Is there someone working behind-the-scenes in ministry, in your church maybe, who shows up faithfully and does what they’ve been called to do? Take a minute this week to thank them for their service. They’re not doing that work to get earthly thanks, but everyone likes to hear they’re appreciated.