The following is a written piece from one of Abogar International Ministries’ board members. We hope to post more blogs from diverse perspectives, and are happy to post this blog as coming from board member, Lun Jiang…
A Big Mouth With A Big Heart.
My brother in Christ, Jesse Rivers, is never shy to describe himself as being blessed with only two talents… “a big mouth and a big heart”. That leaves in my mind a cartoon-like picture of him; a quite lovely one, with 1/3 of him being the mouth, 1/3 of him being a red colored loving heart, and 1/3 being cute little legs, arms and the rest of him.
My first encounter of him was as the Uncle Jesse of my favorite Christian family in town, the Medefinds. Honestly, I was not impressed that night. He seemed just another talkative person. Soon I realized that I was fatally wrong, I underestimated what a big mouth can do, when God uses it.
The following Sunday morning, I heard Jesse sharing his big heart for orphans with his big mouth, for the first time. My eyes opened as I heard about his childhood. He described how he was beaten up, never had a warm family, got sent from one place to another without anywhere to call home. He also shared how through all this he came to know God’s love, through the people who cared about him like Christ. This time I had to wipe away my little smirk of arrogance. Instead, my heart was filled with sorrow, jealousy and joy at the same time.
I was sorrowful because I found someone who suffered way more than I had. Being the only child from a generation of selfish people as the result of the single child policy, I always felt entitled to being spoiled. Somehow among all the things I had: a loving family, a good education and many teacher friends, I felt deprived of a perfect life. But here is Jesse, who struggled throughout his childhood for somewhere to call home. I was sorrowful because I never realized how much I have had.
I couldn’t help but to be jealous of him, though he doesn’t have all the toys I have in my life. But he somehow is so rich that he would lavish his life on the orphans in Guatemala and Latin America, as I hold on, quiet tightly, to the bells and whistles of my life. I was jealous because he is not as rich as I am, but his generosity comes from a wealth that I cannot accumulate in this world. And I know that no matter how I try to hold on to this life, I would only end up losing it. But Jesse has lost his life for a higher calling, and he is enjoying a kind of happiness that we who hoard things in this world all deeply yearn for.
So I asked Jesse a question, and encountered a joy that I couldn’t expect. I asked him: “Are you jealous towards the kids who grew up with you, that had good family and lots of possessions?” His answer was simple and sincere: “No, I feel happy for them, and I thank God for the fact that, they could have what I didn’t”. Is there a better way to heap hot coals on your enemies head? How can you defeat a guy when he is happy for the people that he could have been jealous of? So I went away from his talk lighthearted and perplexed.
Soon afterwards, Jesse asked me to join the board of directors that help serve in Abogar. Not sure about how I could help, I had to trust his judgement, and that of the other board members. I found in them a group of people so selfless and loving, that words cannot express my joy when I get the chance to work with them. The meeting day of each month for the board becomes the thing I look forward to. As we call in from all over the world on that day, I feel surrounded by a family that comes from my real future. And it gives me such a hope. Of course Jesse, with the talent of a big mouth, will show up and talk for two hours without stop, but somehow, all of us, miraculously enjoy it. Through all the months, miraculously, no one missed a single meeting.
God uses Jesse’s big mouth and big heart for His glory. He has His ways of using all of us, and He is indeed a miracle worker. We just need to give our talents to Him to use.