In thousands of years of Chinese civilisation, leaders have sought Heaven’s will to serve the people. The genesis of MSI from the confluence of three quite different perspectives, might, provocatively, be termed Heaven’s will: from the medical perspective, born from three generations of Christian medical involvement; from the historic theological perspective of six generations serving in China; from the practical service perspective of decades of deep cultural understanding.
Three perspectives just wonderfully coalesced, without previous specific plan, across oceans, around a central focus to serve faithfully in China’s interior: a consequence of a wonderfully reassuring phrase, “His ways are higher than ours.” I naively thought I “just signed up” for taking lots of medical teams into China, but things immediately snowballed, just like something “from above.”
Four thousand years ago an amazing mandate was given to “bless the nations,” which soon formalised as “love God and others,” and 2,000 years ago, declared as the “great commission for all nations,” a mandate, for millions who know this, to bless the rest. A Heaven’s mandate that anyone reading this should take to heart.
MSI took this to heart, resulting in thousands of responders giving time, effort, and finances to serve in the hills and valleys of Southwest China to bless its people. What a wonderful opportunity to mobilise God’s kingdom to serve and love others! Just in the first 10 years, we witnessed 5,000 visits of diverse professions and talents from different countries, practically unimaginable, following the mandate from Heaven.
A quarter century is a timely mark to remind ourselves that, as we bring heaven’s blessings to others, blessings also come to inspire us and others to serve better, even to start other similar efforts to spread more blessings. “Provoke one another to good works, by our good works” sounds quaint, but actually is role modelling, which surpasses all lectures.
In this journey, fantastic verses, memorised for generations, all come together vividly: “Love never ceases; they will know us by our love; be salt and light everywhere; heal the broken-hearted, bind up their wounds; heal the blind; go through villages and towns; care for sheep without shepherds; teach what I have told you; go to the ends of the earth.” Search these phrases, discover again their profound implications!
But, in truly meaningful ways, these are basic MSI ethos from the very beginning, privileging us to see the authentic impact on others and ourselves: Heaven’s will, mandate, and blessings, for generations to come.