Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why focus on the unreached?

Picture a pie that is untouched except for two cuts that form a half-inch sliver-piece.

The world is like this pie. In terms of those who have never heard of Jesus--never heard the gospel--that sliver-piece is like North America. The other 98% is the rest of the world.

The statistics are similar for poverty. Even in terms of population, North American makes up no more than 6% of the world.

One of the top two commandments is "love your neighbour." So as Christians we better be doing that - loving those around us. And as most of those--you--who read this blog live in North America, that means serving God and sharing Christ where you are. That's what I tried to do while I lived in Toronto (though with much failure). There is no excuse for doing otherwise. People matter as much in North America as anywhere else. And we can only live on one 'sliver' of the world at a time - be that Canada or America, or Saudi Arabia or Tibet.

Whatever you do, don't forget the rest of the pie. Don't restrict your vision to that (small) piece of the pie and think that's all there is, or all that matters. And don't succumb to thinking that North America is the most needy place on earth. This is a comforting, but totally-false excuse.

There are 68,000 mosques in Afghanistan and not a single national church with a sign out front displaying the times of the services. No non-Muslims are allowed to enter the holy city of Mecca in Saudia Arabia. There is not a single known believer (or missionary) in Socotra, Yemen. (Imagine that.) The 10/40 Window (North Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia) contains upwards of 96% of the unreached people in the world. (See/click the map.) Missionaries have been working in Turkey for over 100 years--in fact, the Church was once strongest in Turkey, home to Ephesus--but there are only about 3,000 Turkish believers there. As I type, Christians in Pakistan are being threatened with violent death unless they convert to Islam.

Plan of action. Be honest with yourself: how are you doing? Who do you spend your time with? Where does your money go? If you live in the West (eg, North America), make international-student or, eg, new-Canadian friends. Go to a movie; have them over for dinner; go out for lunch. We generally care (a lot) more about what is part of our everyday lives, so expand your world to include the rest of the world. Go out of your way to read world news (eg, reuters.com, Google news). Ask people about their countries. Pray for the world, country by country, and expect God to do something.

If you want God's heart, you need to remember the world. Value all people equally, and remember that the statistics represent people - every one of them as precious as you.
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ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2018+

JULY


AUGUST

14-15 Tue-Wed l'ship retreat (+ below)
14 Tue (7:15pm patch prayer mtg)
15 Wed 6pm dinner w/ Peter T & HE + poss. stayover
16 Thu SL
17-19 Fri-Sun church-plant camping trip - Killbear
19 Sun 5pm fun dinner w/ VT - Burlington
20 Mon 8pm Malkutha oversight mtg (VS)
21 Tue 9:30pm time w/ JVDB (+ patch prayer mtg)
23 Thu poss. time w/ DonM/S
24-25 Fri-Sat writing training wknd - Hamilton
28 Tue 10am CCWM board mtg
31 Fri eve time w/ J/BA+

SEPTEMBER
2-3 Sun-Mon new-staff retreat - Faith Mission
3-7 Tue-Fri VT retreat - Faith Mission
21 Fri MI in-person board mtg
22-23 Sat-Sun poss. visiting AR/UJ+
27 to Oct 3 Thu-Wed Dollar-a-Day

OCTOBER
... Oct 3 (see above) Thu-Wed Dollar-a-Day
5-8 Fri-Mon Thanksgiving long weekend (Mon stat. hol.)
15 to Nov 15 Mon-Thu poss. Europe + India

NOVEMBER
(speaking at Pastor Y's church)
... Nov 15 (see above) Mon-Thu poss. Europe + India
17 Khev's conf
23 Fri MI online board mtg
29 ~J's dad's b'day (poss. party on 30th)

DECEMBER
29: KH/S wedding

2019 on
Feb 15-18: MIer conference
Feb 16: Sat - 10-yr anniv
Feb 18-22: VT retreat
Feb 22-30: time off (poss. Southern Africa)
Apr 1-3: poss. First Chair retreat
May 10, 10am: CCWM board mtg
Jun 15: poss. Prayer Journey (poss. Australia); poss. visit supporters
Jun 25-29: poss. marketplace conf. - Manila
Dec: likely Indonesia