What it means to be a Christian

A couple of days ago we were having our daily meeting at 10 am when a man not known to us came to the door. He was shaking and was asking to see the bosses. We realized he probably saw the sign for our foundation on the door. Peggy translated that he had a son in the hospital who had a tumor and had undergone two surgeries. He did not survive the second one and died about an hour before the man came to us. He was trying to get enough money to meet with his wife in the capital and get his son’s remains.

We struggled through our tears at this story and agreed to help him. We gave him the money he needed and something to drink. We also gave him some hugs and told him about our church. It all felt like we could do soo little. We could not even imagine the pain in shock this man was feeling. But we did what God asked us to do and the man left with maybe a glimmer of hope.

This is what being a Christian is all about to me: loving and taking opportunities to help those. In this case God brought the man directly to us. And an interesting thing is that the amount of money the man asked for was the exact amount he had counted that we raised from a recent conference. It was just sitting there waiting for this man to come.

About Mark Henke

Mark Henke has been an active member in New Hope Church in Canton, MI for many years. Some of his responsibilities included teaching Kids' Sunday School and directing the Free Methodist Bible Quizzing team.
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5 Responses to What it means to be a Christian

  1. Becky says:

    Hi Mark, We are so thankful you and your church were available to help this man in his hour of need. God bless you all! Mark, we think of you from time to time and also keep you in our prayer time.

  2. jonathan and debbie crocker says:

    Mark – pretty awesome that you could be there and minister to this poor man. It is another demonstration that the Lord has a plan for all these things and we just need to be faithful. Thanks for sharing this story!
    I hope that you post if you see him again.
    What is is that you most appreciate about Bulgarian culture? Is it more personal and relational than Michigan? In my times in Europe it seems that some folks know better how to slow the pace down, particularly on Sundays, and just make it about people.
    We’ll continue to pray for you. Nice to be able to read your blog and get the updates — don’t stop!

    Jonathan for the Crockers.

    • Mark Henke says:

      There is a big difference in the Eastern European mindset vs. the Western European and American mindset. In the west there is a big focus on results, on projects and on getting something done. Here it is more about the process, the people. Neither one is wrong but it is nice (and sometimes frustrating) to be able to focus on relationships and the journey. It is definitely a lesson both Al and God are teaching me! I really have a weak point with patience and its been an invigorating growing experience! We have not seen hat guy again yet but if we do I will definitely post about it 🙂

    • Rusty Richards says:

      Jonathan is absolutely right about how folks in other cultures tend to focus more on relationships than we in America typically do. I knew Jonathan and his wife Debbie (assuming it’s the same Jonathan and Debbie Crocker!) when my wife Mary and I were serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators and living in Long Crendon, England in the late 1980s. I think of the many folks whose paths I’ve crossed over the years – among them Jonathan and Debbie – but with whom I’m no longer in touch, because I got caught up over time with the pressures of the moment rather than with the people God had brought into my life. Glad I ran across your blog – hopefully Mary and I can reconnect with Jonathan and Debbie as a result. Thank you, Mark, for touching the lives of the people of Bulgaria, and for offering a forum for your readers to touch the lives of others as well. I can be reached at rusty “dot” richards “at” gmail “dot” com.

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