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Present Your Body a Living Sacrifice... and Watch What God Does with It

The doctors said that my dad would never walk again. After teaching all day in one of the remote churches high up in the mountains in Haiti, he set up his jungle hammock to spend the night. But he severely injured his back when rats chewed the ropes off one end of his hammock. As he was recovering in Michigan, all of us kids pitched in to help make ends meet for the family. At age 17, my job was to service 650 LP gas customers. In my spare time, I pumped gas at a little country gas station. God had a plan — I just didn’t realize it!

Decades later while doing construction and maintenance here at the Ethnos360 Training Center, I received a satellite phone call from missionaries in Africa. Following their contingency plan, they had stashed an emergency supply of diesel fuel for their Land Rover in the jungle halfway to the northern border. But they just heard that the rebels were coming from the north! They urgently asked if I knew how to make diesel fuel in the jungle!

Decades earlier a semi driver had coasted into that little country gas station, his fuel tanks empty. Little did I know that he was part of God’s plan. Since we didn’t sell diesel fuel, he bought specific quantities of motor oil and kerosene which we kept on hand for heating the farmers’ milking parlors. I watched him carefully mix the two, pour it in his tank and drive away.

Every small village that I had visited in Africa sold kerosene at the corner store to light their homes. And almost everyone kept used motor oil to help repel ants and termites. After I explained how to filter used motor oil with a roll of toilet paper, they were soon ready to evacuate to the south.

Some may say, “It just so happened,” but I believe God had a plan.

A few years ago, I was helping in the mountains of Asia Pacific. One of the ladies was suffering from the severe effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, but every time she was flown out for medical attention, the symptoms would fade. But way back at age 17, while helping the family make ends meet, I was taught that LP gas pressure must be adjusted precisely to 0.41594 pounds per square inch to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Because of her high elevation in the mountains, her gas oven was receiving far more gas than it could burn. The unburned gas created huge amounts of soot in the oven — and deadly carbon monoxide.

But as part of His plan, God also provided a way to measure the gas pressure very accurately without all the fancy tools, and I learned this when I was in charge of the 650 LP customers when I was 17. We tied a scrap piece of clear plastic tubing to an old stick, filled the tubing half full of water, and measured the distance the water moved as we adjusted the pressure. That night, after we cleaned all the soot out of her oven, I was treated to one of the best pieces of freshly baked pie I have ever had!

I know it’s not glamorous, but it was an outhouse that God used to challenge me to offer my life to help others on the mission field. There was only one more place on his property that one missionary could put his outhouse, so the hole had to be deep enough that it would never fill up. But because termites were a huge problem, he really wanted a concrete floor.

After receiving many conflicting recommendations for the size rebar he should use, he finally chose to buy railroad rails for reinforcement. He did the best he could, but even as a teenager I realized there must be a better way! God used that outhouse floor to challenge me to “present my body as a living sacrifice to God,” as Paul mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. God had a plan for my life, and He also has a plan for your life. And only God knows how He will use the lessons you are learning NOW to be a blessing and a help in years to come.

Have you considered presenting your body as a living sacrifice?

 Tim See,
Retired volunteer/consultant with Offgrid Tech

Tags: Consider This, Ethnos360 Magazine
POSTED ON Jul 08, 2024 by Tim See