The following story happened many years ago, back when there were only four computers for all of us to use at the Philippines country office. But the lessons we learned about unity still resonate strongly in my heart.
It was crisis time. Our country director had just retired. We were not sure who would replace him or if the new boss would be a good leader for us.
Back then, the three departments — Program, Sponsor and Donor Ministry, and Finance — played a unique game of volleyball. It wasn’t a ball we would toss to one another, though, but blame!
When things did not go right, Program people would have the loudest voice. Sponsor and Donor Ministry often felt enslaved by the Program guys. The quietest of the three departments was Finance, but because they held the budget, they often had the final say.
One day during office devotions, we reflected on Nehemiah chapter 2. We reflected on the broken walls of Jerusalem and found a great similarity to the broken lives of thousands of children in our country.
God enabled us to realize that we needed to stop our bickering and endless assigning of blame. Instead, we needed to work together to help rebuild these broken lives. We did not have a leader yet in the person of a new country director, but we could still work toward a new heart of unity and oneness in the office.
After reading the passage in Nehemiah, we all humbly came before the Lord to repent of our disunity and to pray, “Lord, we will arise and help rebuild the broken lives of children in our country.” From meditating on the book of Nehemiah, the Lord taught us that when God’s people humble themselves through unity, the gates of hell cannot prevail against His mighty work.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. . . . Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. –Nehemiah 2:17–18, NIV
Prayer: Father, there are millions of children today whose lives are as broken as the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time. We humble ourselves, repentant of our eagerness to find fault with each other. Thank you for replacing our hearts of stone with new hearts willing to work together.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Menchit Wong is a Child Advocacy Director in our office in the Philippines.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.