Recently my family decided it was high time we stopped dreaming of doing mission work and started DOING it. We found ourselves realizing that there are certain things one can never wait to be "ready" to start (can you say parenthood??), because as much prep as we may do there are some things you must simply learn by doing. Now, that being said, there is something to be said for preparing, we must do what work we can on our end, and trust that God will do the rest. God gives every bird it's food, but he doesn't throw it into the nest. We can prepare to the best of our abilities, yet we will never be "ready". It has been said that God doesn't call the equipped, rather he equips the called. My family and I feel we have been called.
It has long been a desire of ours to share the gospel in places others may not be willing to go. At first our hearts were led to consider Alaska, but the great amount of financial help we would need was overwhelming. Then, quite suddenly, a situation came to our attention a couple months ago that had been staring us in the face all along. God likes to do that. He takes something that has been right under your nose the whole time and give you a gentle nudge and "ahem". I can just imagine God shaking His head and thinking "it's about time!".
The situation that we have chosen to be involved in is in the Dearborn, Michigan area. There you'll find the greatest population of Muslims outside of the Middle East. This all came to our attention before the horrible acts at Paris and California. Did these acts change our minds? No, rather it has strengthened our resolve. We have had an Islamic young man living with us for nearly a year now. He is here to learn English, and he has showed us his culture, and his heart. We've fallen in love with him. He has also opened our eyes to a great need.
As Christians we are to love. Love unconditionally, love relentlessly, and love fearlessly. I for one, am ashamed by the amount of fear the Christian community has poured out recently. If we look at 1 John 4:18 we see that there is no fear in love. Then we can look at Matthew 10:28, and see that we should not fear those who can harm the body. The amount of "concern" for our physical safety in this endeavor has been a bit frustrating. I will not deny the fact that there are Muslim extremists out there that want to destroy Christians. I don't have my head buried in the sand. I'd like to say though, that I do not fear death! Physical death will come to all, but I find a peace that passes all understanding in knowing that I have spiritual life everlasting. We should love our fellow man and show them the light of Christ in our actions, lives, and words. If the fruits of a Christian life are fear, racism, hate, and anger, then I think we need to take a good look at ourselves and realize that maybe we are not doing the work out Lord would have us do. Do we need to ignorantly turn a blind eye to what is sin? No. But can we take a moment and reflect on Romans 5:8? Christ died for us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS. Christ died for ALL. Our fellow humans, be they Islamic, Buddhist, or atheist, Christ died for them. We need to share this good news with them. It is both our responsibility and privilege. There will be many that reject Christ, I am well aware. Yet we need to share and shine the love of Christ to everyone. If you are a human being, then you have been created by God and He wants to share His love with you. Are we or are we not to share the good news with ALL nations?
So, now, more than ever, I want to show the world what God's love can do. At a time when people are withdrawing from sharing the love of Christ with the Islamic world, I want to stand up, and stand firm for the cause of Christ and love everyone I encounter along the way. Won't you love too?