Photo by Duncan P. Walker
Whenever I spend time in Asia, God reminds me of things that He is doing around the world. This past summer God reaffirmed a lot of things we are doing as a church in trying to reach the nations with the Gospel.
The reminders that God reiterated to me are:
2) OPPORTUNITIES. God is opening up many doors for us. In Indonesia, we had the opportunity to influence a whole denomination in Papua. The denomination has invited us to help teach and train their leaders, and especially their youth, so that there will be transformation in the area. It is our hope that the next generation can be reached with the Gospel. God is also opening up opportunities for us in Hong Kong. The need for the Gospel to penetrate into this global city is tremendous. In particular, there are many Chinese students from mainland China who are studying at the nine universities in Hong Kong. Some recent statistics show that about 20% of undergraduates and 80% of graduate students are from China. This is a huge harvest field. If we reach Hong Kong, we will be able to reach China and beyond.
3) OPENNESS. Everywhere we went the hearts of people were open. As we served and loved people, God used us to build bridges. We were surprised to see so many people opening their hearts up to us. It was as if God was preparing the people so that we can minister to them. I was also blown away by the number of people that I had conversations with in Indonesia and Hong Kong. They were so hungry for the Gospel message. A religious spirit always puts people in bondage, but a Gospel-centered message will set people free. God is opening the heart of people to experience genuine freedom that can only come from the Spirit of God (2 Co 3:17). People are famished for community; and they want a greater purpose in life. This is where a strong biblical community, which displays and demonstrates God’s love will be able to make a difference.
4) OBEDIENCE. If we are serious about reaching the nations, then we will need people who will obey God’s call. Too often, people have excused themselves from living out the radical message of the Gospel. But Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mk 8:34-35, ESV). For some reason, as I am meeting various people, it seems like people who have resolved to surrender their lives for Jesus and the Gospel, are the ones who are experiencing incredible things. God is building powerful testimonies in their lives about what He can do with people who are fully surrendered and obedient to His call. If we are going to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation, then we need people who will obey God’s commands.