Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Expanding....Vision -- The Horn of Africa

 Oooh...Somalia! Ha! For those who know me, and have spent time with me, know full well the heart the Lord has blessed me with for the Somali people. For about 4ish years now, I've had this heart and burden for Somalis; that they may come to know Christ. I've even come to the point recently that if God wants me to go to Somalia itself to do Gospel ministry there be it! Oh, and If I perish....I perish, cause I know to who I belong!
 All that is to say though....if that's where the Lord leads me. Really wherever Somalis are is where I want to be; and they are all over the place! Well over a million in Kenya and Ethiopia each in refugee camps, then roughly 98,000 in the U.K., 57,000 in Italy, 81,000 in the United States, and over tens of thousands in other countries around the world. So as you can see....there is a wide variety of where I can go here to do Gospel ministry to the Somali people.
 Yet, as of a couple days ago, the Lord has reminded me of something. Since God shows no partiality, therefore the Gospel also shows no partiality too (Isa. 45:22). I share this because many people who want to be missionaries focus on a particular people group to do Gospel ministry among. Which isn't bad at all I'd say, but you think of the Great Commission....."Go make disciples of all nations...".
 Paul is a great biblical example of a guy who wanted to take the Gospel to more than just one people group. Just take a look at what he syas in Romans 15:19b-20:

 "--so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the Gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation."

The apostle had this holy ambition to proclaim the grace of God in the name Christ to those who've never heard of the Name. You can see this in the book of Acts. Paul didn't just stay in Damascus once after his conversion. No no, being led by the Spirit he went all over the place proclaiming the Gospel. Places like Antioch, Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus. By God's grace the Lord used Paul to start or be a part in starting churches in these places. Paul apparently knowing God's heart, that He desires all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth., and is spurred on place to place, nation to nation.
 Now to give a modern day example. My older brother's pastor knows a missionary couple who have spent a good few years church plating down in Mexico (I believe). Upon the time of retirement age, instead of retiring these 2 saints instead went to Morocco to do Gospel ministry there. Boom! I love it! On mission, serving the Lord till there dying breath. That's how I want it to be! To be poured out, completely wrung out, up to my last breath; laboring with the Gospel among the unreached.
 This brings me to the reminder the Lord has put in my mind these past couple days. Yes, my heart absolutely aches for the Somali people for sure, but...there are a plethora of other unreached peoples within the Horn of Africa. Like the Garre, Dabarre, and the Tunni in Somalia; South Asian general in Djibouti; the Rashaidi and the Dahalik of Eritrea; the Kebena and the Wolane of Ethiopia. Not to mention many much more.
 So I ask myself yes I so much want to do gospel ministry to the Somalis, but all these other people groups too, who need the saving grace in the Gospel equally as much. Again the Gospel shows no partiality because God shows no partiality. Indeed Jesus died to purchase for himself a people from each one of the people groups I mentioned above. Then I ask myself, why stop with just the Somalis? Why not the Garre, and the Rashaidi, and the others. Paul had in mind Ephesus, Thessolonica, Corinth, and other places; so why not myself?
 So yes, I still do have the particular focus of the Somalis; they indeed will always have a special place in my to speak. Yet I believe the Lord is expanding my vision and heart to all unreached peoples of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and northern Kenya make up the Horn by the way)!
 So please pray 1) for the unreached in the Horn 2) the Lord to raise up laborers to bear the light of the Gospel to the unreached in the Horn 3) and that the Lord would give me guidance and discernment on where and how He want me to make an impact with the Gospel among the unreached in the Horn. For I'm willing to die, so that they may have life and have it more abundantly!

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