A few months ago, I had an opportunity to go to a country that is more than 80% Buddhist where someone is going to be born, live and probably die without having an opportunity to hear about Jesus. These are places we joke about with stories of asking someone if they know Jesus and they tell you to check with the neighbour maybe he may know this Jesus otherwise he doesn’t exist in the neighbourhood (it’s not funny anymore for me because this is real, I have since repented of my ignorant ways).
In this particular country I got an opportunity to meet BOON-MEE (not real name), a young man most probably in his mid-twenties and have a conversation about Jesus and Buddha. BOON-MEE has never had someone communicate what the gospel is. Somewhere in the middle of our nice, lively and open conversation with a little laughter here and there, BOON-MEE made a shocking revelation (in his little English) to me that it was impossible for someone to die for another. This was after telling him someone died for our sins that we may no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us and was raised again. This revelation took me back a little by the fact that actually it’s true there are those who have never had opportunity to hear this precious gift we carry in our earthen vessels. I unfortunately didn’t have more time with BOON-MEE but that was enough to expose me to the world of the unreached peoples in a new dimension.
Since this particular experience my heart has been burning with deep questions; where is the church (you and me who call ourselves believers)? Knowing I come from a country that is 80% Christian, blessed immensely with a spiritual heritage and our fellowship/church testimonies clearly tell of our material progress and yet we still do nothing! Is it ignorance on our part or just because we don’t know better?
We can do something! Jesus actually expects us to do something by the time He says, ‘Go make disciples of all nations’ (mathew28:18-20) he was very serious about it. We can choose to be a part of what God is doing around the world to redeem and bring the lost into His kingdom. I personally refuse to settle for less than what God desires for the lost world; I refuse to keep the blessing to myself. How can I live with myself knowing I have the antidote to the rampaging disease and sickness of my neighbour and do nothing about it? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, He is what the world is yearning and longing for. The Samaritan woman was waiting for this same messiah; the saviour of the world and right there on the well Jesus says I am He. And it’s this same message Jesus asks us to take the privilege to bring to the whole world of lost Samaritan women (and for that matter men). It’s this same task Paul was speaking of that we have been given a message of reconciliation to appeal on behalf of God for men to be reconciled with him (2cor5:18-21).
As Africans we have a part to play in the evangelization of the world, we cannot afford to sit back and ignore this. We can longer give excuses that we have no resources, which is usually an excuse to pursue our own selfish dreams and ideas of life. I only seek to remind us of what is on the heart of God. God is calling out there for a man who is after his heart; who will be is hands and feet, who will be his voice calling to the lost world. His frontline man/woman who will go for HIM to the Karamajongs, to the south Sudanese, to the north African Arabs, to the Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, to the unreached peoples of this world in different contexts. A praying man/woman who will stand in the gap long enough to see the harvesters sent in His harvest field till the harvest comes home. A man/woman who will invest his/her God given finances to this work seeing many African missionaries sent, supplied and equipped to touch the lost. God is calling out there for pastors and church leaders who will start discipling, challenging and channelling their congregation’s strength, gifting’s and resources to this amazing work. For missionary organisations and church mission committees to rise up everywhere to connect, mobilize and coordinate this work. For student movements that no longer seek the American dream but pursue the God dream.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS?
One thing is clear for me, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
PS: The writer is a missionary serving among the karamajong people with The Frontier Mission Team (FMT), a Great Commission mission agency that mobilizes, equips and sends missionaries to unreached peoples where they join a team of missionaries with a vision to see an African messenger working among the unreached peoples of the world raising multiplying disciples to the glory of God.