Laboring For The Kingdom16th October 2017
TO CHRISTIAN VETERINARIANS,
reference to the above text, the writer of the Book of Acts (Luke, the
physician), recognizes Aquila and his wife Priscilla as having played an
important role in laboring for the Kingdom of God. This Jewish couple
had just landed from Rome after king Claudius had commanded all Jews to
leave in AD 49.
They probably had become believers while in Rome or after their deportation to Corinth (but before meeting Paul), for they readily identified with him and were ready to support his mission during his second missionary journey. They willingly opened their house to host Apostle Paul, after he landed in city of Corinth. Paul preferred to stay with this family, not only because they were both tentmakers (Acts 18:3, but they also must have been a hospitable couple (1 Peter 4:9).
This was an encouragement to Paul after he was harshly rejected from ministering in Athens (Acts 17:32). It is noteworthy that Priscilla is listed before her husband, as traditionally would be expected (Romans 16:3, 2 Timothy 4:19). She may have had a higher social status or probably was more prominent in the tent/making business.
Aquila and Priscilla contributed significantly to the cause of the Gospel and enhanced the Kingdom of God in many ways. Firstly, they expressed their gifting in hospitality by hosting Paul in their house during his second missionary journey. They provided accommodation or lodging for him while he was a stranger in Corinth for a period of about eighteen months (Acts 18:11). Secondly, they contributed to the founding of the church at Corinth by facilitating for Paul to preach and reason in the local synagogue, where many of the Corinthians believed (Acts 18:4, 8).
Thirdly, they facilitated for Paul to work with his own hands in tent/making, perhaps for the needs of his ministry (Acts 18:3), but also setting an example for the church (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). Fourthly, they accompanied Paul to Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19) where they discipled Apollos, by taking time to explain to him more accurately the scriptures (Acts 18:26). Apollos would later be recognized as an equal with Apostles Paul and Peter in discipleship ministries (1 Corinthians 3:4-8, 22).
Fifthly, Aquila and Priscilla also hosted a house church at Ephesus for many years before returning to Rome (Romans 16:3-4, 1 Corinthians 16:19). Other early church Christians who hosted house churches included Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12, Lydia (Acts 16:40, Philip (Acts 21:8-9).
Apparently, Priscilla and Aquilla must have returned to Ephesus, as Paul sends greetings to them through Timothy (2 Timothy 4:19), where he was working as an ordained minister of the local church (1 Timothy.1:18, 2 Timothy 1:6). This couple sets an example on how professionals can be engaged with serving God, while they continue to work in their professional assignments. Professional occupations are important, not only as a source of livelihood, but they can be used as tools for purposes of enhancing the purposes of the Kingdom of God.
Thus, the Christian Veterinarians have a privileged profession which allows them to connect and engage with many livestock-related clients, especially the pastoralist farmers. I encourage the Christian Veterinarians to consider enlisting in vision and mission with the Christian Veterinarians with a Mission Program (VMP). As demonstrated by Priscilla and Aquilla, we can walk and work together as a family, for purposes of fellowship, accountability and partnership for the course of the Gospel (Philippians 1:5, 4:10-16).
Together, we can contribute to the mandate of the Great Commission to the unreached communities, wherever the Veterinary profession has opened opportunities, especially among the pastoralist communities. Together with our involvement and support in our local churches, some of the Mission Activities that VMP members could engage in and support (if Funds available), include the following:
1. Organizing annual Preventive Health Care \Outreach Missions (Vaccinations, Deworming) in preferred pastoralist areas of Narok, Samburu, Isiolo, Kajiado,
2. Digging of Boreholes and Water pans for needy pastoral communities,
3. Purchase of Water harvesting tanks, building of toilets and other needs for partnering local churches among pastoralist communities,
4. Partnering with churches among pastoral communities to support needy children with clothes, food items and toiletries,
5. Support needy students from pastoral communities for Secondary Education or Vocational Training,
6. Support Pastoralist communities in tree planting (Firewood and Fruit trees),
7. Engage in Re-stocking projects as part of Disaster management responses among pastoralist communities.
The list of activities to be engaged in, is dependent on the support that Christian Veterinarians would contribute to VMP. Part of the Fellowship activities that we include in Vet-Outreach Mission Timetable includes:
i. Preaching of the Word,
iii. Devotional Sharing.
Lastly, VMP would like to encourage Christian Veterinarians across the country to organize Small-Groups for Fellowship and Vet-Outreach Ministry Support.
We could establish VMP regional units in Western (Kakamega), Nyanza (Kisii or Kisumu), North Rift (Eldoret), Central Rift (Nakuru), South Rift (Narok), Nairobi, Lower Eastern (Machakos), Mt Kenya East (Meru), Mt Kenya West (Muranga), Coast (Mombasa).
With regard to supporting VMP financially, maybe we can consider the method suggested by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, in addition to the annual membership contributions. With your support VMP has great potential as a vessel in the Master’s Hand.
Dr. Mwangi J.N. (Executive Secretary-VMP)