Two Sundays ago, our Director of Missions presented an overview of the state of our world. We learned some really hard realities about places that the gospel has still yet to penetrate, about billions of people living in these areas with zero access to that life-giving gospel, and about the extreme lack of Christian workers willing to go to those places and bring that gospel to those people.
We also heard from a number of our Watkinsville partners who are living around the world on mission, including the ________s, a family of 5 that is working to penetrate the darkness of East Asia with the light of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. About 10 years ago, ________ attended and served at Watkinsville as a college student; she married ______ and they moved together to East Asia, during which time they had their now 6-yr-old son ______, their 4-yr-old son _______ and just recently delivered a little baby girl, now 2-month-old _______.
Many of you already know the _______s, but for those who met them for the first time in that video Sunday, I wanted to introduce this family to you - they are some of our dearest friends, greatest encouragers and most passionate people I know, living on mission and sharing the gospel with anyone who will listen in one of the least-reached parts of the world.
OK, you're tired of it already. I know. What's with all the blanks? Well, the thing is, the ______s live in a place that is pretty hostile to the gospel. The leaders of their country do not want people talking about Jesus, and they work pretty hard to keep people out who might do that. So the ______s have to be pretty careful. And so do we. It seems funny, but this is not a joke - many fellow workers have been kicked out of this country in recent days, and this family has been investigated by the government once already. The battle still rages, the gospel still offends, and we are still to be wise as serpents while innocent as doves.
So what does life look like for this family as they try to live under the radar in a semi-closed country? Well, _______ teaches at a local university, which gives him access to thousands of students. He cannot legally share the gospel with them as a teacher, but that won't stop him from leveraging his position to encourage discussion, curiosity, questions and one-on-one conversations. ________ home-schools the boys, but don't think that means she is "on the sideline." If you know her at all, you know that everyone in her path has probably heard about Jesus multiple times, from her meat-man to the lady at the salon and everyone in between.
The boys go to a local school for part of the day (mainly to help them learn language) and are homeschooled otherwise. The ______s will have neighbors over for meals, will host Christmas parties and share the story of Jesus, and will use whatever they can in their daily lives to introduce whoever they can to the saving gospel of Christ.
So, yeah, you figured it out. The magic of being a missionary, the secret to success, the key that unlocks the door to unreached people and separates overseas workers from the rest of us "normal" Christians. Geographic location.
Think about it - what did I describe to you? A normal family of disciples, living life, buying food, going to school, working a job, spending time with lost friends and introducing them to Jesus whenever their is a chance. The ______s are simply living as disciples of Jesus, and they happen to live in a place considered unreached with the gospel, among a people that have no access to that gospel - people who, unless they hear it from the _______s, will likely live the rest of their lives and die without ever knowing that there is a personal, creator God who loves them and has made a way to be reconciled to them.
If you are a disciple of Christ, it means that your purpose in life is to know Him and make Him known in the places that you live, work and play. But in light of the realities of the world, the lack of access to the gospel and the disparity of workers willing to go, have you asked God WHERE He wants you to live, work and play? Have you laid everything on the table before Him, willing to go anywhere and do anything for the sake of the spread of his fame and the glory of His great Name to the ends of the Earth?
There is nothing different, special, or 'super-Christian' about the ______s. They are simply a family that asked God that question, and obeyed when He said "go." Have you asked? Are you listening?
If you would like to know the ______s even better and know how to pray for them, email firstname.lastname@example.org and he can set you up on their monthly updates. For now, here are a few things they asked us to pray for:
- Ask that God would be glorified during this Christmas season and for His glory to be made known to many in this city! Pray that Jesus is treasured in our hearts and increasingly in our children's hearts!
- Good health for our family as we have been battling sickness recently.
- That God would bring relationships to us (newborn life and homeschool each afternoon keep me -- ________ -- at home mostly...thus making it a challenge to be out & about meeting new people!).
- Ask that God would show us who & how we can invest deeply in here. With our situation, it's probably best for us to go deep with a few.