Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thoughts on 2009 and Moving into 2010

It is not a secret to any of you that I am called to cross-cultural missions. That happened long before 2009. But in the year 2009, God did some amazing things in my life. He ignited a passion in me for unreached people groups. This probably first happened at a Christian concert in a stadium in Oklahoma City. There I was, hearing the gospel message presented to thousands of people, people who live in the Bible Belt with a Christian church on nearly every corner, and the words echoing through my mind were “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once.” It struck me as so unfair that there I was hearing the gospel for the millionth time, surrounded by people who had access to the saving message of Jesus since they were born, while 2 billion people have never heard the Good News of Jesus. Completely unfair. And then I learned that 90% of missionaries today go to places already reached by the gospel. Some statistics I have found say more than that; 95% of missionaries go to places reached by the gospel. But here’s the thing, the purpose of missions is not the evangelization of the world. The purpose of the church is the evangelization of the world. So the purpose of missions is to plant the gospel in every people group so that the church can evangelize that people group. But more than 6,000 people groups exist in the world today who have never heard the gospel. This has just stirred up a passion in me for every tribe, nation, and race to be able to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. That is what God has done in my life in 2009.

So in 2010, I am going to Peru. I am going to plant churches where there are no Evangelical churches. I am going to be a part of expanding the kingdom of God where pastors there have described the social problems, including drugs, alcoholism, prostitution, and poverty. In a land flooded with darkness, Jesus Christ is the hope and the light. And when the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot overcome it.

I’ve done some research, and there are five unreached people groups in Peru. My heart is to see each of them penetrated by the gospel. And then the two in Columbia, and the four in Ecuador, across the globe, until every one of the 16,000 people groups in the world has access to the gospel. Because the gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. So in 2010, of course I want your prayers for myself and for what God is doing in Peru, but I want to challenge you to pray for unreached people groups.

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