“SENT,” Siloam’s theme for 2020, is a word that voices what is at the heart of our reason for being. Our ministry at Siloam Missionary Homes involves receiving the missionaries whom God sends us for a while, caring for their needs the best we can, with the goal of “sending” them back to their field of service refreshed and renewed.
It surprises me that so few people – including especially Christians, I might add – know the origin of the name, Siloam Missionary Homes. Some think the ministry’s name is Shalom Missionary Homes, the Jewish word most people have heard. “Siloam” is a three-syllable word (ssih-LOH’-uhm) derived from the Hebrew, meaning “Sent.”
Where do we find the word “Siloam?” Three times in the New Testament: Jesus mentions the tower of Siloam in Luke 13:4, but the main reference is to the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem in John 9, verses 7 and 11. These verses are part of the account that tells how Jesus, “the Light of the world,” anointed the eyes of a blind man with clay and sent him to wash in the Pool of Siloam and “he came back seeing.” As the Holman Bible Dictionary points out, the One whom God sent, in turn sent the blind man to the Pool of Siloam (“Sent”) and obeying Jesus, he gained his sight. He saw the light and the Light of the world.
I encourage you to meditate on Siloam’s theme, “Sent,” remembering also that after His resurrection, Jesus had a message for His disciples (then and now): “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). As the Father sent the Son into the world, Jesus Christ has sent us, His present-day followers – across the street, around the world – to proclaim His name, to give them the opportunity to see the Light of the world.
H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care