Africa is a continent with massive needs, providing wonderful opportunities for serving up the Gospel with compassionate care for God’s glory.  

We should not settle for doing little for the kingdom of God if we can do so much.

On the other hand, we should “not despise the day of small things” even if our deeds seem small (Zechariah 4:10). The boy in the Gospel of John had only a small lunch of five loaves and two fish, but in the hand of the Messiah that met the needs of 5000 men, women and children. 

While in Africa, Doug & Margaret Nichols, former International Director of Action International Ministries, were busy doing small things amidst bigger things.  This is what he wrote:

“My wife held a little AIDS baby for about an hour. Did this baby know what was happening? I carried another baby around the AIDS hospice facility for about an hour and sat with another sick little boy who hugged up next to me. He did not understand a thing I was saying as I sought to reach out to him from the Word of God and sang, ‘Jesus loves the little children.’  We may not have made any difference in the lives of these children, or did we? 

Margaret and I were on the streets of Manila with a young Action missionary from Minneapolis. We bought lunch for 20 boys for about 25 25 cents each. Did this make a difference? Most of the boys ate quickly and scampered off, but a few few remained behind and were thankful. Five US dollars to buy a large lunch for 20 boys is a small thing. Did it make any difference?  

In Uganda we visited a church-based, community school in a building with no roof and a dirt floor. Almost 500 children were gathered in that one room.  I saw a little boys with an open infection above his eye. I put a little antiseptic cream and a band-aide on the wound. This was a small thing. Did it make any difference?  The boy seemed appreciative, and repaid me with a smile and a hug. 

An Action Zambia team leader and I conducted a three-hour seminar for pastors and Christian workers. The seminar, along with a snack and soft drink for each came to a total of $20.  Less than 50 cents each. Such a small thing.  These pastors appreciated it, especially the teaching from the Word of God. Some of these pastors go without food weekly so their wives and children can eat. 

Many times in missions and ministry, we think only the people who are well-educated, knowledgeable, articulate speakers in a second  language can sing, lead and give counsel to every problem.  Many of us are not in such categories.  But we can do small things. We can sit on a corner with a street child and give some bread and a soft drink while sharing the Gospel. We can hold sick children in any number of orphanages in Lusaka, Zamiba or Kampala.”

In 2004–when the Nichols were in Africa and Doug wrote the above piece–there were 13 million AIDS orphans in Africa and thousands of untrained, needy pastors. Would you prayerfully consider taking your abilities, talents, background, finances and/or expertise and give it to the Lord Jesus Christ to serve in world missions?  He will multiply you into the lives of many with His love and compassion for His glory. 

Someone said years ago, “’A little from our world makes a big difference in theirs.’”