An Uncommon Life November 29, 2018
By Freda Emmons
Good Samaritan Ministries Contributing Author
Jesus told a story, of an uncommon man. He was identified as a Samaritan, from a group of people who were ostracized and devalued in the culture to whom Jesus spoke. It didn’t seem to matter to Jesus from which group he came from, but rather the uncommon lengths this man was willing to go, to give tangible compassion to one who was suffering. He rose above the roots of his upbringing and gave of his time, resources, and great love. Jesus offered this man and his selfless actions as a model for the fulfillment of loving God with your heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbor as yourself. This is the foundation for Good Samaritan Ministries.
Jesus Himself was an uncommon man. He challenged everyone who would listen, to consider an extremely different way of living, to love those who hurt you, to give to those who take from you, to feed, clothe, and care for those who most people would shun as uncomfortable, dirty, miserable, and pitiful. He selflessly gave of Himself all day long, every day, without any demands for his own safety and care. Indeed, He gave His life, to make it possible for all of humanity to be reconciled with God, if as individuals they receive His gift. This is the man we serve, this uncommon man, who instead of lifting up His own deeds, told a story of another man and suggested we do as he had done, that another person may be healed.
Is it any wonder, then, that Good Samaritan Ministries would begin with a humble teacher, housewife, and mother, all rolled into one beautiful soul? She responded to The Call of Jesus in her life, to go and teach nothing but the Bible. In doing so, she uncorked a ministry of unprecedented power and glory. When such a person is so devoted to following every word of God exactly, removing all preconceived ideas that may have cluttered the mind, there is purpose, direction, and great power.
There are very few individuals who endeavor to follow the calling of the Lord so tenaciously that entire cultures are profoundly changed; Bettie Mitchell is one of them. It is absolutely unheard of that entire ministry centers would be staffed, furnished, and flourish completely by volunteers giving of their time, money, and compassion-stuffed energy, that in an international ministry meeting the needs of literally thousands of people at no charge, in twenty-six countries, only five staff positions are paid. The challenge is simple, but extraordinarily profound; Bettie challenges every person to give more than they even think they are able, to strive to give in every way possible, that the suffering of another person may be alleviated. Being a Good Samaritan burst forth Bettie from a suburban home to an international traveler, not for the simple joy of traveling or exploring, but for the purpose of being a living example of Jesus’ compassion in the midst of a tumultuous world.
Those who have joined Bettie in the call to be Good Samaritans are remarkably uncommon men and women doing astounding acts of courage and compassion. In the midst of a country so torn by war, hatred against Christians, and violence that they have to sleep on the floor to avoid being shot as they sleep, one man continues to train volunteer counselors, who minister to those who are broken and hurting emotionally, physical, and spiritually. Another man lives with his wife and children in a hut with a leaky roof and yet, has given the fullness of what he had, land, to Good Samaritan Ministries, for a school to be built and poor children educated. Many who minister in various communities throughout the world invite into their own homes those who have suffered rape, physical assaults, tremendous poverty, and horrendous emotional trauma. Groups of Good Samaritans form together satellite clusters, to focus fundraising for individual countries, funding for counseling, education, and the effort to meet whatever the need is with the resources to provide for that need.
There is no surprise whatsoever, when those who are ministering – giving so much of their lives and resources and are caught in the backlash of Satan against all that is of love and grace, that the prayer of Good Samaritan Ministries is also overwhelmingly uncommon. Homes lost in flood, famine engulfing the people, being thrown in prison for no reason, having your belongings taken by governments and groups, having acid thrown in the face, suffering in accidents and illness – these are all suffering Samaritans have endured. E-mail prayer support is consistent and informative. Innumerable individuals dedicate themselves to upholding the ministry and individuals of Good Samaritan Ministries worldwide. This is not a simple, easy prayer uttered in half-hearted, flippant attitude. This is the deep, gut-wrenching prayer of people with such tenacity that they will not stop until they see the glory of God displayed through Good Samaritan Ministries. Even then, the prayer will only turn to praise, not stop completely. Samaritans also join together for intense hours of prayer, for the interceding on behalf of so many who are suffering. These people do not stop. They are like the woman Jesus told of, who kept coming to the unjust judge for justice for her cause. He finally had to relent, just to get her off his back! Samaritans are ever before God, listening to His wisdom for every individual in counseling, for every physical and emotional issue that arises, for every provision needed. They do not quit because the provision is not in front of them; they pray, trusting and taking every step the Lord directs, until that provision is made clear. Then they act and wow, the things that are accomplished! Lives are blessed, healed, and uplifted. Scripture is uplifted as truth and light for the path of life. Cultures, even Arabs and Jews, Christians and Atheists, Men and Women, Adults and Children, are respected, valued, appreciated, and taught in compassion and love, how to communicate disagree respectfully.
This uncommon life to which we are called is exhilarating, absolutely fulfilling, and wonderfully compassionate. It is the fulfillment of the first verse of Romans 12, the giving of our minds, bodies, and emotions as a living sacrifice to God.
Freda experienced physical and sexual abuse. She was broken and confused for years. As a young woman, she sought counseling for 12 years. When she began to grow in her Christian faith, she realized the depth of healing in the words of the Bible. She then combined tiny steps of healing with those comforting Scriptures and wrote Flame of Healing: A Daily Journey of Healing from Abuse and Trauma, a devotional with a journal, for in-depth, personal healing. Flame of Healing is helping people in 6 countries to heal from deep emotional pain from abuse and trauma.
Freda is also an inspirational speaker, addressing issues of abuse and trauma with compassion. She is a wife of 39 years, mother of three adult children, grandmother of one, and a child of God.
Her second book, Resurrection Hope, is a Christian novel about Heaven, angels, and living in the Presence of God. Freda’s website is: www.fredaemmons.com.