Too Much to Do, Too Few to Do It, and Too Little Time

I hadn't been back in my beloved country of Lebanon many days when, one night as I leaned back on my bed to sleep, a sniper's bullet shattered my bedroom window, lodging itself deep in the wall across from my bed. It was a startling "welcome home" message.

Why would I return to Lebanon from a place of relative safety after years of absence? Because I knew in my heart there was too much to do, too few hands to do it, and too little time to reach my country for Christ. In the years since my return, I've witnessed the Lord's powerful hand of protection and provision.

When I was initially asked in 1999 to take on the responsibility of the Arabic-language ministry of Insight for Living, I thought it would entail only translating and voicing Chuck Swindoll's sermons. Little did I know that God would use Insight for Living Arabic as a well-placed bullet to penetrate the hearts and minds of Arabic-speaking people around the world. Though forced off the air for a time due to lack of funding, the Arabic radio broadcast of Insight for Living, Nafitha Ala l'Hayat (A Window on Life), is now back on, thanks to a gracious gift by one of our donors. Additionally, we maintain a growing Web site, reaching Arabic speakers all over the world, even in closed Arab countries. I have had the privilege of translating and publishing three of Chuck's books. And God has also blessed the ministry by making a way for the gospel of Christ to be broadcast on television throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

As the ministry has grown, however, my family and I have found that one cannot win the lost when their physical needs are immediate and pressing. Hunger and hurts are distractions from the gospel. So we have taken our efforts a step further. Mona, my wife, started Safe Haven Home for Girls, which provides a "home away from home" for girls who have suffered physical or sexual abuse. We are so grateful that Stonebriar Community Church, where Chuck Swindoll serves as senior pastor, has become a strong supporter and partner of this ministry. Our work in Lebanon, however, involves more than Mona and me; it's a family affair. Both our kids have graduated and are serving in the ministry. Rana Marie, our daughter, is a medical doctor and is working in one of the most impoverished areas in Beirut, providing medical assistance to those who lack health care. Our son, Joseph William, is serving in our youth ministry.

The premise for our life's work is, "So much to do for God, so few who will do it, so little time to get it done." When we hear about lives being changed in Lebanon, people getting baptized and joining local congregations, and churches growing as they use the biblical teaching being proclaimed over the radio, through the written word, and through hands-on ministry, we will gladly risk our lives so others might know Jesus. Won't you join us through your prayers and financial support? We only have one shot in this life to serve Christ.

Copyright © 2009 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.

About the author


Charlie Costa

Charlie Costa is pastor of Insight for Living Arabic and the voice of Nafitha Ala l’Hayat, the Arabic-language broadcast of Insight for Living. He also serves as the chief magistrate of the Family Court for the Evangelical Community in Lebanon. He is engaged in planting churches in the Middle East and is a published author as well as the pastor of Ras Beirut Baptist Church in Beirut, Lebanon. Charlie also acts as the supervising editor for Chuck Swindoll’s books translated into the Arabic language.

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