Any challenge can feel impossible to rise above in moments of despair and difficulty. But equally, almost all obstacles are capable of overcoming with hope and help.
Our partners in Pakistan recently shared this story:
Hira is a young, divorced woman who suffers from polio which affects her ability to fully use her right hand. While she had an older sewing machine and knew sewing basics, because of her disability, she was not able to stitch the garments necessary to contribute to her family financially. Through her relationship with Mission ONE partners and their sewing center, she was able to receive a new sewing machine that is easier to use with her disability and will allow her to continue to make and sell garments in order to help her brother attend school.
On the surface, it would be easy for Hira to feel as if her hardships were insurmountable. Faced with a debilitating illness, divorce in a culture that doesn’t always support unaccompanied women, and struggling to do the work that brings in an income, many would give up under these circumstances.
While the elements of this story may seem simple. After all, a major problem was solved with a single purchase, it’s worth examining all the ways God was at work.
Acknowledging Circumstances without Succumbing
In Hira’s story, it would seem all the odds were stacked against her. Facing any of her challenges would be emotionally, financially, and spiritually taxing. It would be understandable to many if she simply accepted her circumstances and allowed grief to overtake her.
But she doesn’t. She pursues her skill for the sake of her family nonetheless.
The story doesn’t include how Hira came to the Mission ONE partners. Perhaps she’s a member of the local church, or maybe she just heard there were people local to her that helped out those in need. Either way, she came to them willing to share her story and ask for assistance.
No one can “do it all” alone. And while there are so many options for where to turn to when we’re in need (friends, family, church members), it’s always God at the core of this request. God guiding us to those who can help and God giving us the strength and humility to accept when we’ve taken things as far as we can on our own.
Finding a Fix
There are big hurdles at play for Hira that can’t necessarily be taken care of with one solution. But there was something that could be done. In order to make money she needed to be able to sew and a more accommodating machine could do that for her.
Too often, we look at a laundry list of problems and shrink under the weight of all that needs solving. But big changes can come from a relatively small fix. The Mission ONE partners worked with Hira to find a way to make a meaningful impact with one manageable solution.
Having a Higher Aim
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this story isn’t what Hira overcame, but rather what she was working toward. Her desire to contribute financially to her family for her brother’s education was beautiful and altruistic. It hits on a truth that recurs throughout the Gospel.
Acting out of service is the number one way to make this world more like the Kingdom. It would be understandable if all she wanted was for her own circumstances to improve, but she was thinking of others. And when we operate from this place, problems tend to be resolved in a glorious fashion that only He can design.
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3 Ways to Honor God on Your Next Mission Trip
We're sharing three things you should consider before you organize or participate in an international mission trip, seek to do work in the multicultural neighborhood in your own city, or embark on any cross-cultural partnership.