Ahkole, Yamboni, and Ashenu
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them."
For my devotion time during Lent, I have been reading Andrew D Rogness' Journeying through Lent with Matthew. He has really caused me to do a lot of thinking and reflection.
His comments on Matthew 9:36 brought to mind Akhole, Yamboni, and Ashenu. They are fellow missionaries in Nepal, who came from Nagaland, in Northeast India.
In the passage, Jesus had been going through all the towns and villages, teaching, preaching and healing. Then Matthew writes that, seeing the crowds, Jesus had compassion on them. He did not do more healing; He did not do more teaching. Rather he had compassion on them. And the upshot of His compassion was what? Jesus told His disciples to pray for laborers. That prayer reaches us today.
Then, Andrew Rogness writes: "Jesus didn’t ask for someone to save the whole world. Instead, He used a simple image – a harvest, which in those days was done by hand –one bunch of grapes, an ear of corn, an olive, one after another painstaking and steadfast, bit by bit until it adds up to a whole harvest. These are the deeds of mercy and compassion Jesus calls for.
"When Einstein was asked what he thought was the greatest invention of modern man, he replied whimsically, 'compound interest.' He knew the power of adding a little bit each day and how that builds over time. Deeds of mercy compound daily."
Rogness' words took my thoughts to my friends, missionaries from Nagaland to Nepal. Then my thoughts went back farther. When we came to Royersford Baptist church in 1988, two of its members were Bob and Helen DeLano. Now deceased, they were International Ministries' missionaries to Nagaland many decades ago, making sacrifices to serve there, leaving the field without seeing much fruit from their labor.
Yet over the years, deeds of mercy and compassion done by others compounded daily, from the time of the DeLanos to the present. The fruit of them has been that Nagaland has been sending missionaries to Nepal, and other places, for over a decade now, and some of them, Akhole, Yamboni, and Ashenu, I have had the privilege to serve with side by side.
Andrew Rogness closes the devotion for that day with this: "The interest of compassion compounds. I am only one, but I am one among many."
Looking to the future, as you continue to pray for us and Nepal, the interest of your compassion can continue to compound… the legacy of the DeLanos beginning in Nagaland, now seen in Nepal, one day seen in yet another land, taken by Nepali missionaries.
However, along the same line, but with a different meaning and impact, the interest of International Ministries’ finances has not been compounding. Rather, financial resources are running thin at IM. The financial crisis in the US has now reached us. International Ministries has needed to find other financial resources, beyond the World Mission Offering (WMO), to cover our salary and ministry expenses. Part of that process involves us setting up and working with a group of people, our Mission Partnership Team, to raise a large portion of our financial needs. Because its financial problems are so great, International Ministries is requiring that we raise that amount before we can return to Nepal. So, our return to Nepal is delayed.
You can be part of that legacy, compassion compounding, not only with your prayers, but with your specific financial giving to our support. If you would like more information about how you can help financially, please contact us, or you can give through this website.
During this time of Lent, may you find encouragement in knowing that your deeds of mercy and compassion will be compounded, however small you may think they are and however little fruit you see from them now.
Thank you for your prayers for us and Nepal,