I looked at Benson who was sitting beside me as we jolted our way along the seemingly never-ending road. My hands itched on the steering wheel as my insides were being shaken by the northern Kenyan “road.” Benson, however, had a smile from ear to ear.
“How does this compare to your regular ride?” I asked. His “regular ride” to the unreached tribe he worked among was on top of a cattle truck sitting on the iron beams over the cargo bay for eight hours. “I feel like I’m flying,” he responded, with the smile firmly in place.
Benson was one of many Kenyan missionaries I had the opportunity to train in the years we served in Kenya. Our focus was on the unreached peoples, but our strategy to reach them was to prepare the African churches to send their own missionaries. Benson was not “reaching his own people.” He was, and is, truly a missionary–reaching out to a tribe that does not have the Gospel–a tribe with a completely different language and culture than his own.
That ride with Benson was 17 years ago. He and his family, and his church as a whole, are still committed and engaged in establishing the church among these people so different from themselves.
Our mission is to take the Church to where it is not–while helping others to do the same. The latter phrase is not of lesser value. It reflects our heart to see the Church around the world play its part in transforming their communities and in reaching the unreached. I see this being played out in the ministries of Bethany missionaries the world over.
- GHANA: Jeff has had more than 3,000 pastors and church leaders in Ghana, from many denominations, go through his Awaken to the World program, showing them the need, and their responsibility, to be engaged in reaching the unreached.
- SLOVENIA: Chris and Sabina serve faithfully in Slovenia, which has only 1,100 Evangelical believers. While pastoring in the capital city, they began to focus on bringing helming and unity to the church across the nation. They know that only a unified Church can reach the neighboring Balkan region, which remains one of the most unreached places in the world.
- FRANCE: While visiting in France, Grayling told me, “Impact is now being felt across Marseille.” He was referencing the multiple churches who have been encouraged in their ministries and purposes through the partnership of our team.
- MEXICO: Recently I traveled in the mountains of Mexico with Bethany missionaries, Lowell and Sheri. The van was full of Mexican believers from various churches, and we were heading for their monthly outreach among an unreached Indian people group. Lowell and Sheri have been going to this village for nine years, always taking along Mexican believers. They have literally been taking the church to where it is not… so the Mexican church can gain a vision and capacity, to play their part in the Great Commission.
Across the world, Bethany workers engage unreached people groups but also work closely with the local Church to see them become committed to and effective in reaching unreached peoples. The Great Commission will only be completed if we, as the Church globally, do it together.
This article is from the Spring 2018 Issue of coMission Magazine.