God's the boss: Sarindra's story
By Tohru Inoue | Madagascar in Southern Africa
Sarindra was amazed when God, having saved him from alcoholism, asked him to join in the work of spreading the gospel, not as a pastor, but as a technician. Read or listen to his story here.
We might think that when we become believers we still get to choose what to do with our life; what jobs would be worthwhile to do as Christian and which ones might not feel that way any more. You know, a spectrum. On the one hand calling people as a telemarketer at dinner time, and on the other being a pastor in full-time ministry, studying and preaching his word. We want to do something meaningful with our lives; to feel we’ve somehow contributed to God’s work.
That's the journey Sarindra has been on since Jesus found him. He had been spending his days at the bottom of bottles of alcohol in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo. But that’s when God got a hold of him.
He remembers: “When I saw the poster, saying ‘There is an urgent message from God for you’, I went to the conference for 15 days. When the conference ended after 15 days, the pastor said ‘Who wants to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour?’
“My friend and I looked at each other, thinking: ‘What have we been doing here? Just getting to know the word of God, or accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour?’”
He accepted the Lord right there and then, and it wasn’t too long before God started speaking to him.
“Then, a bit later, there was a word from God that I saw in Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you…’”
That’s nice, but waiting for an answer seemed superfluous. Sarindra was already busy laying out plans for himself. Thinking of work for God that would be worth his while now that he was following Jesus.
“I was not satisfied with just accepting Jesus. I said: ‘If I want to follow God, I must study his word’. So, I did a two-year training program of studying the word of God.
“When I finished, I was still not satisfied. I said to myself: ‘Maybe I will become a pastor”, and I decided to become a pastor.’”
God calls people to be pastors. But the answer God was giving Sarindra was not that. He was saying, ‘Call to me, and I will answer you.’
In the end the doors to the pastorate closed.
“I sat down very disappointed. What was I going to do?”
He turned to look again at the verse from Jeremiah: ‘Call on me and I will answer you.’
And God answered.
Sarindra discovered that the Good News Hospital was looking for a multiskilled technician. He was amazed, remembering what he told God; what he agreed to.
“Because when I prayed to God when I was newly converted, I said, ‘If you free me from alcohol and everything else, then I will serve you and do your will no matter where.’”
No matter where… If He gives it to you, it can be used for His glory. Even if it doesn’t seem that way at first. He took the job working in maintenance at the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara. And he sees it as the Lord’s work.
Sarindra says: “My feeling is that maintenance supports and helps ensure the smooth running of all the services of the hospital, especially the preaching of the gospel. For example, if a car is being used to go and preach the gospel in a community church, maintenance must take care of the car so that the gospel can be preached. This means that maintenance is a means of enabling our co-workers to fulfill the vision of providing healthcare and sharing the gospel.”
Whether the work is preaching or maintenance, if you give your life to God, He will use you. But remember, He’s the one in charge. That means He calls the shots.
“It confirms what we do here is our mission. Because that's what I told God: if you change my life, I will do your work anywhere. The thing is this: when I work in a hospital, my boss is God.”
God’s the boss. We might not always get to choose what “worthwhile” work looks like. If you’re ok with that, you can go ahead… call on Him. He’ll answer you.
•Give thanks for Sarindra's miraculous conversion and for the way God was able to lead him.
•Ask that God would enable Sarindra and his co-workers at the Good News Hospital to continue serving faithfully and successfully in their unique and important roles.
•Ask God to lead you to serve in the place He wants you.