Partnering to Reach the Unreached

Matthew 28:18-20 shares the words of Jesus, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus is our authority. He calls us to make disciples of all nations. Jesus did not die for merely one ethnic group, even though He was called King of the Jews. Jesus’ Lordship extends around the whole world. To make disciples of all nations is to make disciples of Jesus in all people groups and ethnicities. Listen to this truth from Revelation 5:9-10,

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.

If God calls us to make disciples of all peoples and He promises He will be with us, then there should be no question that Christians should be about reaching the unreached with the gospel. This does not mean every Christian should move overseas but it does mean every Christian should be praying for those who have not heard and believed in the truth of God’s Word. Therefore, I would like to share with you a video about the Somali people, an unreached people group (of approx. 17 million). By watching this 9-minute video, you can help get the gospel to these people. The video is in the Somali language so while you will not be able to understand, still watch it. From the images you can see the story of salvation being shared.

See, by simply watching this video, you have increased the likelihood that Somali speakers will see it as they are strategically targeted with a Facebook ad.

Yes, by simply watching this 9-minute video in Somali you will increase the likelihood that Somali speakers will see it as they are strategically targeted with a Facebook ad. In addition to watching this, would you please share it with other people? Grace and peace be with you!

This post was inspired by a blog post at Radical, the Bible-teaching ministry of David Platt, president of the International Mission Board. To find out more how you can specifically pray for the Somali people, click here.

A Heart for Haiti

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“This will probably be my last time here.” I spoke these words seven months ago after returning from my second mission trip to Haiti. I had lost focus on that trip and was uncertain what the future would hold after graduating this upcoming May. The last two trips took place in the summer so I figured the next opportunity for our church going was the following summer. With that in mind, I was sure this was my last trip to Haiti. But God knew better.

I was approached only a couple of months after this incident and asked if I would be interested in going to Haiti on a medical mission trip in February. My role would be to serve as the spiritual leader of the group, pray with patients, and lead our team’s devotions. Looking back, I can see the Lord’s hand in this. I agreed to join the team and began to prepare for the trip. Then, last Monday we went.

Words cannot describe this trip. It was an incredible and amazing time. It was a joy to be a part of a great team. Having the opportunity to pray with the Haitians and lead three of them to Christ is something I will always hold dear. The spiritual dryness I have faced the last few months has been replaced with spiritual zeal and has reignited my awe for God. I have really developed a heart for Haiti. Knowing that my focus was off on last year’s trip, I made it a priority to keep my focus on God this trip. To say the least, it was proven to be fruitful. My heart has grown for Haiti, for the Haitians, and for those who serve there. The relationships you make, whether it be the translators, the missionaries, or the people, you are reminded you have family down there. As I am not even a week removed from this trip, I am already missing serving, praying, and fellowshipping with the people in Haiti. So, seven months after thinking I had went on my last Haiti trip, I am here to say, Lord willing, I will be making many more trips to this place to serve. This is because I have a heart for Haiti and have family down there now.

People on Mission

969216_10102670350328468_30627000_nSince returning back from Haiti this year, God has been teaching me a few things. He has shown me where there are idols in my life and where I need to grow in my walk with Him. Consequently, both deal with relationships. I have spent way too much time focusing on trying to find a relationship with a girl, even trying to force the issue when it is sometimes not there, and not spending nearly enough time in devotion to God. On the flip side, though, God has also been teaching me to be more intentional in developing Christlike relationships and to help others grow in their faith. Thus, God has impressed upon my heart this issue of relationships.

It is with this, then, that I would like to focus on the latter of what I have learned. Indeed, behind all the busyness of school work and excuses, I admit that I have not been intentional on building disciple-making relationships. I am starting to realize this more and more. We need community as brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to be involved in one another’s lives. That is what disciple-making is all about. It is about doing life together and help each other grow in Christ. To state it another way, we are people on a mission. We are on a mission to show people Christ so that they may come to know Christ and together we can grow in Christ. This is discipleship.
With this in mind, it may seem proper to ask, “What does a maturing disciple look like?” While, there is no set formula and no one right way of doing discipleship, I would like to set forth an approach I have recently taken:

A maturing disciple is one who knows the Word, grows in the Word, shows the Word, and goes with the Word.

The “Know, Grow, Show, Go” approach will be discussed in detail more and fleshed out in later posts, but it will suffice to say for now that each of these are important in disciple-making. In order to be people on mission we need to know the Word as well grow in the Word. When we are doing those, we will surely show the Word and ultimately go with the Word. This is what it means to be people on mission.

Haiti, Day 7

[This is the last post from the Haiti mission trip.]

Monday, June 11th.

I cannot believe our last day in Haiti has arrived. The week has went by so fast. I am kind of ready to go home and see my family. However, there is another part of me that wants to stay here and minister here. I am torn. As long as God sees it, I will be back next year.

As for today, beach day was fun. Getting to spend time just to relax and reflect was an enjoyment. One of the things I am glad this week has produced, in terms of within the team, is getting to know others better as well as re-establishing good friendships. To be specific, it was fun to bicker with Jordan again. I did not realize I had missed our friendship the last few months as we have both been busy with other things but I apparently have. To be able to recapture some of that friendship this week, only if it last for this week, was an encouragement to me. It is always nice to know someone else around your age who wants to follow God passionately. It is always nice to serve with a team like the one we have had this week!

Haiti, Day 6

Sunday, June 10th.

What an amazing day of worship. These people have so little compared to what we have yet their worship to God is much more powerful! It was just a blessing to hear these people sing to our Savior! It also reminds me that this is just a picture of what heaven will be like. That is when people from every tongue, every tribe, and every nation will worship God together. It was just awesome to get a glimpse of that.

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We also visited Chambrun today. At the orphanage, I played soccer with one of the kids. (Man, are they talented!!) It was great to hear one of the little girls there sing. She had Jordan and me sing along with her to “Open the Eyes of My Heart”. To hear her voice was one thing but to understand the context in which she was singing it was another! What faith!

Haiti, Day 5

Saturday, June 9th.

Today was our last day of VBS. It has definitely went way too fast. I feel like we have hardly been here, and I am no where close to wanting to leave at this point. As I felt earlier in the week, I am pretty sure I will be back in Haiti. My favorite part of the day was hearing the Haitian children sing in Creole as well as in English. (Just as a sidenote, their version of “Jesus Loves Me” rocks!) I was amazed when they sang “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” in Creole, French, and English. I can only speak English and yet a 14-year-old can speak three different languages. Never the less, it was a blessing to hear the children sing.

I also enjoyed the fellowship I have had with the team. Getting to know the Beals and Bergens better have been a blessing as well as getting know others such as Ann, who has kept me laughing! 🙂 It has just been a great time and I have had fun. I love the team God has assembled together!

Haiti, Day 4

Friday, June 8th.

This morning was a good time of fellowship as we spent time painting. I enjoy it how we are getting to know one another better. We have quite a group of characters. (Looking back on the trip, the whole group seemed to be a group of characters, if you know what I mean!)

The village we went to was a bit different than Onaville. Still, it was fun to get to be around more children. One particular Haitian boy stayed close to me for the majority of the time. While other children were fighting to get in line for water, he was simply waiting at the back of the line not worrying because all he was concerned about was holding my hands. He is one of the many children I wish I could take home with me. I do not know his story and am not sure how bad his living condition is…and that troubles me. As we left, I gave him my name tag and let him keep it. Later on, I started to wonder if he even has a place to sleep. I started to feel sick to my stomach, realizing some of these children have it so rough down here. But God is not finished in Haiti!

Haiti, Day 3

Thursday, June 7th.

Today was another great day! To be able to be around the children was once again a joy as they came and just wanted to sit with me. The simple smiles on their faces puts a smile on my face. But to remember their living conditions is a struggle. I know if Crossroad plans on coming back, I will be joining them, Lord-willing. I just feel like two days in the same village is not enough! To see these kids and then leave, not knowing if you will ever see them again, is hard to deal with.

The communication is still a problem. I wish I could understand what the children are saying in Creole language. They want to carry on a conversation, but I cannot since I do not know their language. I know when I come back next year, I will be sure to have a better grasp on their language.

Haiti, Day 2

Wednesday, June 6th.

Today was our first day out doing children’s vacation Bible school. Nearly 200 children showed up. 20 came to the front during the invitation and made a profession of faith. It was amazing, and it is my prayer God will continue to work in these kid’s lives. To see how a simple wave of the hand to say “hello” could bring so much joy and a smile to these children’s faces really took me back. I still do not think it has hit me that this is all the Haitian people know. The poverty is on another level here. It causes me to think about my own life…I argue over having my own room yet these people live in houses that are probably the size of my room. It is eye-opening.

Another thing that hit me occurred during our group time. We were all sharing our highs and lows for the day and it seemed apparent that many of my fellow friends were convicted of having a selfish attitude. “It is not about me but it is all about God” seemed to be a repeated phrase. It convicted me because I feel the same way that I was making this trip more about me than God. My focus needs to be on Him and giving Him the glory! That is what I hope to do the rest of this trip!

Haiti, Day 1

[This is the first post from a 7 part series of journal entries from the Haiti Mission Trip.]

Tuesday, June 5th.
Today was quite a whirlwind. I accomplished two things I had not previously done. I flew in a plane and went out of the country. I thank God for both of these opportunities He has given me. The flights I was on allowed me to see the beauty of creation. It is no doubt that there is a Creator…creation begs for it. The sights were beautiful. On the other hand, though, traveling outside the country has opened my eyes. My perspective has changed as I am in a different culture where poverty is present clearly. I cannot understand what these people go through and how they live. We have so much in America, and yet we are so unappreciative of it. Coming back to my point, I do believe this is where God has placed me for this week and I cannot wait to see how He works. I do not think I fully realize where I am at. Maybe that will start tomorrow as we begin ministering through children’s VBS and medical missions. May God get the glory. Amen!