Monday, September 12, 2011

The Body of Christ

At the time of independence we had an English bishop visit Juba. We had so many visitors then, it was a bit crazy. I felt like I spent half the week at the airport. But when I met this bishop, whom I not only had never met before but, honestly, had never even heard of before, the bishop amazed me by saying how glad he was to meet me and how he had been praying for me by name for some time. The bishop had heard of me in England via the community of people with an interest in Sudan.
I remember being floored by the fact that someone who had never met me before, who knew me only as a name and by reputation (always questionable in my case) had been praying for my welfare and for my work. Since becoming a missionary I have become aware of this incredible body of people around the world, the amazing community of loving, caring people who are living their faith by working in places and in ways which are a living testimony of the power of faith. It probably sounds ridiculous, but in my previous life where I was so focused upon myself and my own work I was grossly ignorant of this worlwide community, ignorant of this incredible body of people. How could this be so? I suppose because I chose to focus upon myself and chose not to interact with others.
Anyway, I was talking with my friend Jesse, an American divinity school student who was also visiting Juba at the time, about my emerging awareness of this great worldwide loving community of faith and how incredibly grateful I have been to become a part of it. It is so exciting to have made friends with people from at least four continents with whom I can share my faith and my passion for helping others. Jesse smiled and said, "I think there's a name for the community, it's called 'The Body of Christ." I realized at that moment the depths of my ignorance in not being aware of this body, as well as my gratitude that I had finally become a part of the Body and the joy it has given me to be a part of it.


  1. Beautifully expressed, Larry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experiences with us. We pray for you, too! Elizabeth

  2. The Body of Christ is precious and no matter how far it extends, it feels like family. Praying for you always! Chip

  3. One Bread, One Body. Loved this post, Larry! Praying for you in Hong Kong

  4. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from South Sudan? I understand perfectly that you think that your e-mail is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in South Sudan in order to complete my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely