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Back from Peru, and thankful for the body of Christ

April 2, 2019 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don't need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don't need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1 Corinthians 12:14-22)

On Tuesday, I returned along with the rest of our team from our mission trip to Peru. It was an incredible week, and I will have much to reflect upon and sort out over the next few weeks. But for today, I just want to reflect upon Paul’s words on the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, and thank God for how He uses every part of His body to accomplish His good work.

Taking part in a cross-cultural missions experience requires the whole body to work together. We would not have been able to go were it not for all of you who generously gave financially towards the trip. We would not have had any spiritual impact were it not for the prayers of all who lifted us up to the Lord. We would not have been able to accomplish much were it not for the leadership of our brothers and sisters from First Church in Wethersfield. We would have not been able to communicate were it not for our Peruvian translators. And our work would have had minimal impact were it not for those who went before us and will continue the work while we are gone, both Compassion International and the churches in Barranca and Supe.

As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12, the body needs every part, and every part is indispensable. I was privileged to bring my two oldest boys, Ryan and Will, on the trip. Because of their age, they were able to connect with the kids from a different perspective than the adults, and were able to be more active with the children during the play-times than any of us older folks could do. Our other two team members, Kim and John, were able to bring their unique gifts and personalities to this week in a way that helped them to connect with their sponsored kids and the other children and adults we met along the way, as well as to help our team get the most out of our time down there. And when the pastor of First Church had to leave the trip early, I was able to step in to preach and teach in the evening services, using the gifts and experience God has given me.

Paul uses the metaphor of the body to help us understand how we all belong to each other in God’s kingdom, and how indispensable each of us is. Thank you for your contribution to this mission trip. Please continue to use the gifts and experiences that God has given you to bless other people. We all need you!

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