Posted on 30 May, 2016

Mark Webster

The other day, my wife was just sitting down to work on a study assignment when the tranquillity of our home was disturbed by an exclamation of frustration.

“I can’t find my pen! You know, the one with the stylus tip on the end.”

Study, and in my case work, was temporarily abandoned while we turned the house upside down searching for the missing pen. Eventually, it was located tucked under an open magazine on the coffee table in the living room. Balance was restored and our lives could move on.

When disaster or misfortune strikes, or for that matter even when we face relatively minor mishaps that reshape our lives in some undesirable way like my wife’s missing pen, we have a common human response. It derives from a deep desire for things to be the way they were before. A desire for restoration.

In my work with ADRA I see plenty of things that need to be put right. Peoplesuffering because of natural disasters, or conflict, or grinding poverty, or just because they’ve become political pawns trapped by forces beyond their control. It is a constant reminder to me that our world is not as God intended it to be.

The author and theologian G K Chesterton wrote, “…that all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past.”

He is suggesting that as we seek to make a better future a reality for those we are called to serve, we must remember that our task is one of restoration. Of bringing the world back into the way God intended it to be.

I hope that you, like me, will be inspired by the stories of restoration and hope that we have to tell.


Mark Webster
CEO, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia