Monday, August 07, 2017

Reflections on Asia, Part 1

The mission team from Prince of Peace arrived home late Friday night.  We were able to share briefly with the congregation during yesterday’s worship service.  However, I thought it might be good to share some additional thoughts about the trip here.

If any of you are wondering why I seem vague when it comes to the location of our visit, it is due to security concerns.  The country we visited is closing to the gospel.  They do not allow people to enter the country with the intent of sharing the Christian faith.  And for this reason, even though we are home safely, we want to protect our ministries there. That being said, if you know the location of our visit, please do not post it in the comments or on social media.

I had the privilege of visiting this ministry in 2014. This meant that the sights and sounds were all familiar to me.  I also knew some of the people from my previous visit.  However, for most of the team, it was all brand new.

The first thing that stands out is that Christians represent only a small portion of the population. Hinduism is the dominant religion.  Hindu temples and idols are seen everywhere.  And, although they too are a in the minority, the Muslim call to prayer rings out from the mosques on a regular basis.  

Entering this society as a believer, knowing  Christ’s call to make disciples of all nations, you can’t help seeing the great need for Jesus that exists in this nation. The people are stuck in the futility of a belief system that requires them to earn their way into a higher caste or existence.  And, for this reason, we wanted nothing more than to share the hope of the gospel with the people.

We, of course, had the privilege of proclaiming the gospel in this setting.  We were able to share with the children at the orphanage and the school through Bible classes, youth nights, and classroom instruction.  We were also able to share in various communities as we visited several congregations, taking part in prayer meetings. We shared devotions, messages, and were asked to pray individually for those who came forward (which was just about everyone).

I can’t help noticing that this is something we take for granted here in the United States.  We don’t seem to grasp that the need for Jesus is just as pressing here in our nation.  We don’t seem to grasp the fact that the people of our nation are equally lost.  And although we know we are called to share the gospel right where God has placed us, it doesn’t seem as pressing. Everyday life seems to take priority over the eternal welfare of those who surround us.

Even if you weren’t able to go with us on this trip, I pray that this takeaway would ring true in your heart.  I pray that each one of us will understand the need that surrounds us on a daily basis. And I pray that we will not ignore it.

I pray that we will make use of every opportunity that presents itself to share the good news of Jesus with those who do not know him.  I pray that we’ll make use of every opportunity that presents itself to build up our fellow believers. I pray that the Lord will place in our heart the love he possesses for each man, woman, and child within his creation.

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