Sept. 3, 2020

Ken Isaacs on Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:5 – “Loving God” - S1E43


Mark is delighted that the man he believes is ‘the world’s most foremost humanitarian’ is his guest on the podcast today. Ken Isaacs has worked with Samaritan’s Purse, has more than 30 years of experience working in the relief and development communities, and this work has taken him to 150 countries in response to global emergencies resulting from wars, complex crises, famines and natural disasters. Among his many other achievements, he has worked in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, coordinated relief efforts in Liberia during the Ebola crisis, and established an emergency field hospital on the outskirts of Mosul as Iraqi Security Forces fought to regain control of the city. His effectiveness in each of his many assignments has earned him the nickname, ‘The Indiana Jones of the Christian Relief Movement’. The passages he has chosen to discuss today are Leviticus 19:18, and Deuteronomy 6:5.

Their conversation starts with Ken summarizing the passages, sharing his reasons for selecting them, explaining why he risks himself in accordance with them, and exploring with Mark the notion of loving others and yourself. Drawing upon his vast humanitarian experiences, Ken offers some examples of helping both those who commit horrible things and their victims in the same way, how people respond when feeling God’s love through him and his team members, those who are evil and how he has negotiated with such individuals, and the impact of what he terms ‘speed prayers’. The episode concludes with some news regarding Ken’s memoir, the lessons that he has learned about mankind, and Mark’s recommendation of the film ‘Facing Darkness’. It’s not everyday that one is introduced to a person who consistently sacrifices their safety and security to bring God’s love to those who have suffered the most in this world, and that’s precisely why Ken’s story of living out these passages is one that so sorely needs to be heard and spread throughout the world today.

Quotes:

“You have lived it in the most intense possible way.”

“I feel called to the world.”

“It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that I get paid for what I do – I love it that much.”

“Not only are you helping those directly, but I’ve met several younger people who you’ve inspired in your line of work to do things that are well beyond what…they would have considered their capabilities to follow you into loving the stranger.”

“Who are these people who are helping us? We have been trying to kill them.”

“You have to show love yourself, even when it’s hard.”

“Everybody is one person, and you want to be one person all the time.”

“Even the most cold hearted people typically have some soft spot in them.”

“You need to appeal to either the optics of what they’re doing, or you need to appeal to what is to their advantage.”

“Pray to God and ask Him for wisdom in all that you do.”

“There is no limit on the depravity of man. What one man will do to another man, or to a group of people, is absolutely unbelievable, and I can’t get that out of my mind.”

“We like to believe that the default position of mankind is goodness, but I disagree strongly with that.”

“God is an all loving God…no matter what anyone has done, if they seek a relationship with God, that door is open.”

“You have so internalized and so lived the love of the stranger and the love of the neighbor.”

Leviticus 19:18 - https://www.sefaria.org/Leviticus.19.18?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Deuteronomy 6:5 - https://www.sefaria.org/Deuteronomy.6.5?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

For More Information About African Mission Healthcare and to Donate visit: https://africanmissionhealthcare.org/donation/gerson-ubs-matching/