Do not grow weary in doing good.
Eighty seven faces stared at us as we stepped off the boat onto the muddy Amazon shore. The village chief stepped forward and said, “Welcome” in timid, broken English. Thus began our fifth and final day on our medical mission trip down the Amazon River in Peru.
It was the summer before your fifth grade year, and your first trip out of the country. Your assignment was to play soccer with the village children. My assignment was to do whatever was needed.
I went with grand visions of how I was going rescue the people. I pictured myself as Billy Graham speaking and the whole village giving up their pagan ways. I pictured myself as the Crocodile Hunter jumping on the back of a hungry crocodile just in time to stop it from chomping one of the sick children being cared for by one of our nurses. Then I would say, “I’m no hero…I just did what anyone would have done.”
Back to reality. Each day the group leader gave out assignments. On the first day he read my name and said, “You will be working in the Servants Station.” That sounded good and christian to me. Then I found out that my job was to wash feet…all day long.
Day 2 – “Mike Thomas you are assigned to the Servants Station.”
Day 3 – “Mike Thomas…Servants Station.”
Day 4 – “Mike Thomas…Servants Station.”
We reached day 5 and I was growing weary of washing feet. I have nothing against feet, but most of them had never worn shoes so they were pretty dirty. “Mike Thomas you are assigned to the Servants Station,” said the group leader for the final time. About three hours into it, I had enough. I felt like I had wasted the entire week. I had not saved any souls or rescued any children. I left the Servants Station and took a walk to try to find something amazing to do before we left. Surely God had something great for me to do.
As I walked around the small village, I watched a man have an infected tooth pulled. I saw a young boy take a pill to protect him from malaria. I saw an elderly lady put on glassed and see clearly for the first time in her life, and she just laughed. I saw you running and playing soccer with a group of boys.
I made my way back to the Servants Station. It took me by surprise to see that we had the longest line. I saw the smiling face of a small girl as she walked away with clean feet and a new pair of flip-flops. The smiling face of someone who felt truly cared for. It hit me hard right in the middle of the chest – I was a part of something bigger than me. I just had to take a few steps back to see the big picture.
No matter how hard your task may be – do not grow weary.
No matter how long it takes – do not grow weary.
When it seems you will not make it – do not grow weary.
When it seems like no one is noticing – do not grow weary.
“And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9