November 26, 2018 4 min to read
God’s Concern for Families
Category : Testimony
Dr. Ravi I. Jayakaran, President/CEO:
In Acts 16:31 when the desperate jailor cried out and asked what he must do to be saved, Paul replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
I believe that God has a special concern for families (because we are all a part of some family), and that His plan of salvation surpasses single individuals and includes their families and extended families. In our own family, when my paternal grandfather received Christ as his personal Savior, it cost him his inheritance. He had broken with centuries of traditional allegiances to his Hindu ancestors, and for all practical purposes was considered dead to his family! But God gave him a new family and through it a very large extended family. Because of what Christ had done in his life, generations after him now have access to the gospel and are coming to know Christ as their personal Savior even after he has been long gone. I keep hearing of nephews and nieces and extended family members coming to Christ all over the world.
When we believe in the Lord and receive Him as our personal Savior, God extends the offer and promise to our extended family too. This is because they are part of our Oikos or extended “influence group.” Our special connection gives us a right to speak to them. This is why it is important to share our personal experiences with them, and also pray fervently for their salvation.
At Medical Ambassadors we have many programs that are focused on families or parts of the family. We have programs for women and girls called Women’s Cycle of Life (WCL), Children’s CHE, Families Matter, and curriculum for the Men Matter program is being developed. Even the CHE and Disability program focuses on how to integrate special needs family members and how to make them a valued part of the family.
The family is the basic building block of society; hence, healed and transformed families result in communities being healed and transformed, and society per se is impacted. A believing couple can, through the relationship between husband and wife, portray beautifully the love that has eternally existed in the triune Godhead. It is a powerful witness to others who are part of the community.
I recently heard the testimony of one of my colleagues – Erica Pippert, who is the Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa with her husband, Kevin Pippert. Erica is a fourth generation South African of Indian origin. Here in her words is her story:
My family comes from a Hindu background and my parents were practicing Hindus. After my parents were married, my dad took to drinking heavily. He would come home from work, eat dinner and leave again till the early hours of the morning. He was gone on most weekends while my mum was left to take care of my sister and me. This had a tremendous effect on my mum; she became fearful of being alone all the time, which also made her physically ill. She had reached a point of hopelessness and despair and made the decision to end her life but decided to do it with my sister and me as well. (Divorce was not practiced in the culture.) Her plans were interrupted on the day an uncle, who had only recently become a believer, was prompted by God to visit my mum. He shared the gospel with her and prayed with her. Something unusual happened that evening and the following day, because my dad came home but did not go out again and was sober. My mum took the opportunity to share with him her experience, at which time he shared that during the week he had been attending an evangelistic crusade and had responded to the call to accept Jesus and was delivered of alcoholism. That Sunday our family went to church for the very first time, and our lives have never been the same since, because we live and exist to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Erica’s story is a beautiful illustration of how God cares for families. I am fascinated at the preciseness of His timing, grace and intervention. Do you have family members who do not know the Lord? Reach out to them and tell them how God saved you and what God has done in your life. Then pray fervently for them and their salvation. God loves families and has a special plan and provision for them. I pray that He will do something special for you and your family!
Photo: Erica, center, with her mother and sister
I’m interested in helping the families through the programs Ravi mentioned: