Monday, March 17, 2014


The story of Nathan Barlow is remarkable.  He was a missionary doctor to Ethiopia who dedicated his life to helping the people deal with a miserable condition known as ‘mossy foot.’  This disease, caused by fungi spreads as tumorous, cauliflower-like lesions, beginning with the foot; but can spread to the leg or even the upper regions of the body.   Use your imagination.  It sounds awful.

When Dr. Barlow had to leave the mission field for a short time because of a tooth infection, he instructed his dentist to pull all of his teeth and fit him for dentures because he didn’t want to leave his life’s work again, not even long enough to deal with something as minor as a toothache.  Later in his life, his adult children tried to get him to retire and return from the field in Ethiopia.  He chose instead to die among the people whose physical and spiritual suffering he was committed to relieve in the name of Jesus.

It’s amazing that one who would make such heroic sacrifices would live his life in obscurity.  He is the example of one who was willing to do whatever he had to do to reach people for Jesus Christ.  And so reviewing his biography, we measure our own willingness to make personal sacrifices to bless people in the name of Jesus. Nathan Barlow did what he could, where he was with what he had.  We must do the same.

Pray with me…. Father, our sacrifices of time, energy and resources to serve others in Your Name pales into insignificance when we hear the stories about what others have done.  Thank you for the reminder today of how high the bar has been set… especially by the sacrifice of the One whom we serve and in whose Name we pray… even Jesus.  Amen.

Pastor Ken

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