The Weaker Members

A testimony from a WIM missionary

See 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Recently at a prayer meeting in Mexico, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. As the ‘bread’ came around, the person on my left made the comment, “This is the first time I’ve seen tortillas used in place of bread.” This is the story of why we used tortillas.

In November of 2016, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which means gluten causes a reaction in my intestines. This is an autoimmune disease and my body thinks that the gluten is an invader and my body attacks my intestines. It is painful and the allergic reactions are serious.

This means that even a small piece of bread (like many churches use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper) can cause an allergic reaction that will last at least a week. I hate to be the guy at the restaurant asking questions about the menu and explaining this, but that is me now. It also means that I abstain from taking the Lord’s Supper when there are no other gluten-free options.

Our missions agency, World Indigenous Missions, has values that we abide by. One of those values is “Committed Relationships,” and simply put, we do our best to love one another and to treat one another as family. This is not a fact to memorize with the mind, but it is something that we do our best to live out practically in the details; sometimes the details are small, like a crust of bread. That crust of bread can cause a painful reaction to a person with Celiac, or it can make the Lord’s Supper a time of healing.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” At that particular prayer meeting, our president, Chris Briles, joined us, and I mentioned that I would probably abstain from the Lord’s Supper. He told me that he would take care of it.  When he came around with the bread, I only saw one basket and I thought that he had forgotten. When Chris came to me, he looked at me and smiled. To my surprise, I looked down and saw pieces of corn tortillas. It was in this context that my friend made the comment about this being the first time that he had seen tortillas used in the Lord’s Supper. I told him, “You don’t know the half of it! Those tortillas are for me!” Instead of suffering and pain, I experienced honor and healing. These are fruits of Committed Relationships. Thank you, Chris, and thank you to everyone in WIM for your godly example.  

2 Comments on “The Weaker Members

  1. Interesting, I had never thought of this Gluten issue before.
    Do the Catholic style Waffers affect you in the same way? This is what we use and I’m curious about this?
    Thank you!

    • Yes, the communion wafers have the same effect, and this was actually a clue in my doctor diagnosing the problem.

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