Stories of Impact
From Impossible Places
The Bible is full of amazing mission verses. As a matter of fact, from Genesis to the end of Revelation we find the heart of a loving God pursuing his precious creation! It is our privilege to continue sharing that Good News message with a lost and dying world. The most notable and arguably the first and greatest missionary of all-time was the Apostle Paul!
Paul was relentlessly obedient to the heart of the father. The calling to take the Good News and message of salvation where it had never been before. In fact, his words in Romans 15:20 that formed his bedrock principles should continue to be a primary consideration in every international expression of missions today:
“My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.”
Considering it is some 2,000 years after Jesus gave us the assignment to reach every nation, we have plenty of work ahead of us. One main reason is that much of our efforts have contradicted Paul’s message of prioritizing taking the gospel where it has never been. Instead, 99% of our resources of missionaries, Bibles and dollars are going to where someone has already shared and even started a discipleship making movement. May the Lord help us to allocate to places in the world that would make Paul proud and be expressions of Romans 15:20. Places like Mauritania for example.
One of our partners who has worked in this precious and spiritually desolate place of West Africa recently shared the degree of darkness. He said, “until just recently you barely needed 2 hands to count the number of Christians in the country.” This breaks our hearts but becomes almost embarrassingly troublesome when you consider there are 4.6 million people living in Mauritania!!
This Islamic republic has rejected Christianity with a passion and made life unbearable for those courageous and brave enough to stand for Jesus. But the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are unstoppable forces for even the harshest of regimes!
Over the past 6 months we have heard of Treasure listening groups spawning 30 different house churches!
What a miracle in a land that is much more welcoming of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) than followers of Jesus.
One of our brave leaders who estimates he ‘walks’ 2,000+ miles per year doing friendship evangelism, encouraging new believers, and distributing Treasures had a recent request. We fully expected it to include a motorcycle, computer, cell phone or even new shoes. Those are all common items we provide to help national leaders do the job. But his request did not include any of these items. He simply wanted more Treasures and training for his newly emerging leaders!
What an absolute privilege that you and I have to stand in the gap with these legendary mission leaders, men and women who embrace Romans 15:20 despite being listed on ISIS ‘hit lists’ and facing regular death threats for themselves and children.
Will you pray for their protection, boldness, and courage in the face of unimaginable persecution?
Your fellow servant in the harvest,
Greg Kelley, CEO
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