Go ahead….grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell while you chew on what I am about to tell you. It is not an easy topic to comprehend much less pen into words. Until just recently, I did not even fully understand it and I am still discovering the truth that lies within Romans 12:2:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 NKJV
One of the most common sought-after questions in life and one that I personally wrestled with for years is “What is God’s will in my life?” The answer to that proverbial question lies in Romans 12:2. However, notice in the center of that verse that the mind must be first transformed. Transformation begins with salvation and is fueled over time by the power of prayer and the word of God in scripture.
Next week I depart for a week in Cucuta, Colombia with a small team from Immanuel Leidy’s church. Leidy’s has teamed up with another local church in Cucuta to support a food kitchen project called “Samaritan House” near the Venezuelan border as part of the refugee relief effort in the region. You may ask, as I have asked myself, why in the world am I getting involved in this when we are in the final stages of preparing to move to Thailand for long term service? Life is hectic enough with moving twice in the past month and life in general.
The answer is quite simple; my heart was breaking for the plight of Venezuelan refugees. The more I learned about the crisis, the more I prayed and the more I felt God calling me to do something. Waking before sunrise in the quiet of my study I knew it was God’s will for me to do something; but what? About this same time, I was meeting with the Pastor at Immanuel Leidy’s Church in Souderton, PA and he shared with me how it had also been on his heart recently and it just so happened they were starting the “Samaritan’s House” project and taking a team down in August. One thing led to another and now the plane tickets are bought, my bags are packed, and mosquito repellent is ready!
As I step back and ponder how this all came about, I realized that through the past few years, God has transformed my mind which was naturally focused on self. He takes us from only caring about ourselves to caring about our neighbors to caring about people we don’t even know. How amazing is that! Praise God!!
In the same way, God has made clear to us His good and acceptable and perfect will with the mission to Thailand. He is calling us to serve long-term in SE Asia. My prayer is that we will continue to have the courage to walk through the doors that he opens.
Dr. Steve and Kelly Marks, along with their 2 children, will be serving with Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) in Thailand. Steve was first involved with CVM in 2006 on short term missions to Central America and Southeast Asia. Steve has spent 29 years in mixed and zoo animal medicine. Steve has a passion for using veterinary medicine to build relationships and share the love of God with others. Kelly is a homeschool mother with degrees in Science Education and Pharmacy. She has a passion for children’s ministry.
The Marks are currently raising support to work in Chiang Rai, Thailand and surrounding areas. Dr. Steve will be working to develop long term partnerships formed through veterinary education and the care of animals. Kelly will be a volunteer teacher at the Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS), where their daughter, Anna, will be attending school. Find out more about the Marks here. Donate to support Dr. Steve and Kelly here.