New Year: Same Gospel, Bigger World PART 2
I don’t know why, but “missions” is a subject that seems to make people nervous. It seems that whenever we start talking about reaching the unreached or seeing the Gospel spread to the ends of the earth, folks start squirming. For most American Christians, the thought of “having” to go to some other part of the world and minister to a people group of a different culture and language is scary. In fact, it stirs in most of us a tight-fisted attitude of rebellion.
There is, no doubt, a Jonah-type syndrome in the American church. The need is obvious, and the fields are white for harvest. And everyone seems to be looking for the first ship to Tarshish. There really are only a few laborers. I think that the very word “missions" still conjures up images of spear-chucking natives bent on killing and eating foreign human flesh. And that scares people. But we will be held responsible for what we do with the Great Commission.
Jesus gave us clear instructions before he left to have a seat at the right of God the father: We are to baptize people from EVERY language and nation. We are to teach them the commands of Christ and scripture. The American church needs desperately to realize that no other generation has had the resources that we have to reach the world.
Technology is amazing, and rather than using it simply to keep in touch with old high school teammates and ex-girlfriends, we should be seizing the opportunity it gives us to make a global impact. Through websites like www.joshuaproject.net, we can learn of needs of foreign people groups and pray and give to the work of the Gospel to reach those groups. If we are too weak-spirited to go, we should first repent of our attitude of self-preservation, and then learn how we might give to the work and support of those obedient to go and do what God has called us to do.
We can pray for these groups, pray for missionaries, and write letters of support to those who are serving in the field. We do this as a family, and many of you have taken part in our letter writing campaign at SWO Underground. There are so many opportunities to give our resources and to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are willing to forsake all for the sake of the Gospel. We ALL have a responsibility to close the gap on the 3 billion who have never heard.
This past year, we saw students from all over the United States raise more than $30,000 so that part of the Bible could be translated into the language of an unreached people group. Many of you participated in this, known at SWO as the Garia Project. I am excited to share with our readers that the project — Phase 1 — is complete. The Gospel of Mark has been successfully translated into the Garia language!
For the first time in history, this South Asian people have the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus, in their language! This is a good reminder that there are things we can do from right here at home. The fields really are white, and for the first time in history, we have the means necessary to begin the harvest. Pray about how you might give if you are not able or willing to go. SWO has opportunities for partnership in the global work of the Gospel. To find out more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.