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God, the master recycler

In 1979, horrified by the genocide Pol Pot was visiting upon his country, I knew I had to do something. I was a senior at Wheaton College, but before long, I was traveling to Thailand and a Cambodian refugee camp.   For three months, I wrestled to show love in a tangible way to …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
In 1979, horrified by the genocide Pol Pot was visiting upon his country, I knew I had to do something. I was a senior at Wheaton College, but before long, I was traveling to Thailand and a
Cambodian refugee camp.
 
For three
months, I wrestled to show love in a tangible way to the survivors of that
horror through pig and chicken projects.
 
Along the way I saw the sex trade becoming a full-blown multi-billion dollar industry. Although I felt no particular call to Thailand, the experience marked me for life. Before long I was returning to another part of Asia as a full-time missionary.
 
Little did I guess how Thailand would circle back in my life to once again take a prominent place. Adventures sends hundreds of missionaries there (most of them short-term). And now we’re trying to send a team of long-termers to the northern part of the country.
 
Tomorrow Karen and I are making the 22 hour flight to meet our team there. The whole thing is a little overwhelming.
Have you ever had a part of your life that you thought was in your rear view mirror suddenly show up ahead of you, looming in your future? Relationships can be that way. Places can be that way. Our personal ministries can be that way. An addiction that you beat enables you to minister to others struggling to fight their way to sobriety. A tragedy can bond you with others who have gone through a similar experience.
 
God is a master recycler. He doesn’t waste anything. All the ingredients work in his recipes. He’s forever finding stuff in your past that fits somewhere in his dream for your future.
 
When he’s done that with me, I’ve been so encouraged. I may have forgotten about some past experience, but he finds a way to extract some use for it.
 
What is he in the process of redeeming in your life? Where might it fit in your future?

Comments (4)

  • God speed! My daughter, Janelle,worked in Chaing Mai with victims of human traffiking with HNGR while a student at Wheaton. Although she is with IJM at another location in Asia our hearts are still tender for Thailand. Thank you for your daily blogs! I’m personally blessed to know that God truly is “the master recyler.”

  • Amen! He did the same with me and Thailand after 30 some odd years! Amazing grace and redemption. He uses it all! have a great trip.

  • In my circles, we’re seeing a slight variation on what you describe as recycling. But rather, God seems to be calling people “out of the cave.” “Come out of your cave, David” was the call to David who had been anointed for kingship so many years before. He had slain a giant, protected flocks, and been blessed by Samuel. Yet there he sat in a cave, hiding from Saul.

    Now is a time to hear God if he is calling us out of our caves — resurrecting dreams and destinies, and yes, definitely, “recycling”!

    Good word, Seth!

  • Seth,Totally encouraging!

    I know about Gods repurpose program, because I’ve seen it and experienced it for myself. Growing up I went through so much stuff that for a very long time I tried to deny everything because it hurt to much to think about it. Then God began to place adults,children and teens in my path who had gone through the exact same things I had; It caused me to delve into the word and seek out who I truly was in Christ Jesus. The one thing I have said over and over to anyone who seeks me out wether its in an identity crisis or daily abuse physically or mentally is this: If satan can get you to lose sight of who you are and get you so distracted from what Gods word says you are, then he wins every time.

    Repurpose,Reconfiguration,Destination ….. God shows purpose then He takes the time to show how to rebuild yourself and what your identity is in HIM and then he deploys you to work in areas you never imagined yourself working.

    Seth I absolutely thank GOD that he has shown you how to minister in those 3 areas, Repurpose,Reconfiguration and Destination, because of you a new generation is going to be recycled by the Masters hand.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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