“Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.” Nehemiah 4 :17
There are always dangers when God’s people desire to build anything for the cause of Christ.They knew the sovereign God would protect His people, but this reality did not lead them to become passive in the battle. Rather, it led them to adopt a holistic approach to the work: the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.
A group of three young people from Olympia, Washington, planned a back-breaking trip to help the Soli Deo Gloria project in Aldeia, Brazil. The ministry needed space for storage and a workshop.Brandon and Gracie were the architects of the trip but were prevented from coming, so Ethan braved the trip alone. It was an immense encouragement to see the willingness and initiative of these young people to lend their energy, finances and vacation time to help this building project.
Monday, March 16, the same day that Brazil began to shut down, the rugged crew began to flex their muscles. The young people, like the builders of the wall, “had a mind to work.” The team led by Ethan and Darius made quick work of razing old structures, removing small stumps and chipping away ancient plaster from the tattered brick walls. After a quick few days the old was gone and reconstruction initiated.
Plumb lines, rebar and mixing mortar don’t seem to be heavenly minded tasks but God calls His people to serve Him in every area of life as a living sacrifice. Even the mundane aspects of life are to be done to the glory of God. A workshop is a place for men to mimic their Creator and produce objects that are “very good.” Jesus undoubtedly produced quality materials in the Nazareth workshop. A remodel can remind us of how God is making a broken and ruined world new in Christ. Few in this culture will applaud the noble servants who worked tirelessly. In this historically Roman Catholic country, manual labor receives the minimum of compensation or admiration. The Word, however, teaches us to do a good job out of love for God and our neighbor. God must be praised with our minds, hearts and hands. Taking up the trowel and producing good things is an excellent way to serve God in this world.
The Soli Deo Gloria project’s objective is to reform lives through the power of the gospel. Thank you for giving time, energy and resources so that the sufficiency of God’s Word can be proclaimed and so that a beautiful creation will proclaim God’s glory and majesty with every square inch of life. Though dangerous times prevail, God’s people will always pick up the sword and the trowel in service to Him. Soli Deo Gloria.