Two ILI Regional Conferences were scheduled. The leaders were ready for training, and the facilitators had booked their plane tickets. Then, the weather took a turn for the worst. Rain came down in torrential form, rivers overflowed, and floods destroyed homes, claiming many lives. The ILI Myanmar Team was faced with a tough question: Is leadership training still the priority given these circumstances?
A TIME TO HELP
This was the situation the ILI Myanmar Team faced just last week. Their decision was simple and pretty obvious: This was no time to learn about leadership in a classroom. Instead, the team gathered resources and raised enough money to buy a significant amount of food and essential supplies.
The leaders who planned to be trained at the conference surprisingly received a different kind of training. They joined facilitators and international guests and traveled to the most affected areas to help those in desperate circumstances.
COMPASSION FOLLOWED BY ACTION
One of my favorite words in the Biblical Greek is "splanchnizomai." The word appears several times throughout the Gospels and translates to "compassion." This kind of compassion is much deeper than a feeling of sorrow for someone’s plight. In fact, the word is related to one’s inner organs, and literally means to have an intense feeling of sickness in one’s stomach.
Throughout the Gospels, every time Jesus felt splanchnizomai for a person or situation, He acted to resolve it. When He saw the helpless crowds like sheep without a shepherd, He challenged the disciples to pray and preach the Kingdom (Matthew 9:36-10:1). When He saw the widow burying her son, He raised him from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). When He saw the hungry crowds listening to His teachings all day, He fed them (Matthew 14:13-21).
THE BEST LEADERSHIP TRAINING
The ILI Asia Pacific Team may not have hosted the conferences they planned, but their mission to equip leaders was still accomplished in a very practical way.
- They sought God’s presence and discerned His will – Intimacy with God
They responded to an urgent situation with compassion as Jesus would – Passion for the Harvest
They saw a need and acted on it – Visionary Leadership
They acted on God’s vision, serving those in need and transforming the world around them – Biblical Leadership (Spiritual, Servant, and Transformational)
They preached the Gospel with their actions in a time of great need – Culturally Relevant Evangelism
They raised the necessary resources and managed them wisely to the glory of God – Faithful Stewardship
The ILI Asia Pacific Team may have cancelled their conferences, but they managed to equip leaders and give them the opportunity to be the hands of Christ to those in need.