Tag Archives: Missions

Who Will Go for Jesus?

When Did We Become Passive?

Father, since when and why have we become so passive?! Have we been like this all this time?

At the beginning of this ministry, I asked long-time ministry leaders and volunteers to share their salvation testimony. Having known them and served alongside them for a decade, I was excited and confident that they would be more than eager to grab the opportunity to share their story beyond their spheres of influence.

Their response was the exact opposite. At first, I was disappointed but as I think about it, I get more confused.

We are part of a local church where the Bible is faithfully preached. We were taught about the Biblical basis and the importance of evangelism and missions, there are a lot of equipping classes and training about evangelism and missions, there are numerous ministries and church activities that allow us to apply what we’ve learned apart from sharing the Gospel and witnessing to our spheres of influence at home, school or work.

I was in a ministry which multiplied from one Bible study group to about a dozen, and it was all because of building relationships and witnessing to friends in the workplace.

So I do not understand where their response is coming from. It’s not that they are unwilling, they’re just busy. Unavailable.

Unavailability is one of our challenges in encouraging others to take part in the different tasks in the ministry or in helping meet the needs of others in the church.

So how come they responded the same way? Do they realize it or are they unaware? Is the task too demanding? Is it because of the unresolved misunderstanding?

Writing one’s salvation testimony is just a one time work, not a lifetime commitment. And this is the testimony we had written and had shared before, I suppose, and we’re commanded and taught to share with others. So I really don’t know what’s the challenge.

After two months of asking people and following up on them, the Lord reminded me of a Bible verse so I moved on and asked Christian friends from other churches instead.

I was surprised they were more than willing and excited to do it. This was God’s affirmation that whatever work done for Him is His work. He planned the content, provides resources, and brings people to contribute. He has firmly and faithfully shown, week after week, that He is in control and will provide for every content He wants written or shared.

An affirmation and reminder that no one is indispensable in God’s work. In the absence, unwillingness or unavailability of one, the Lord provides another. He will never leave Himself without a witness. Jesus said even the stones would cry out if people keep quiet. And the whole creation speaks of His glory.

Why Have We Become Apathetic?

In August, someone sent a personal testimony that said: While at Bible school, I heard about people around the world really wanting to get to know God but there weren’t enough Christians willing to go.

I’m aware that there is a greater need in other parts of the world, that very few commits to serve as a cross-cultural missionary, and Christians do not share the Gospel more than we ought to. At the same time, I thought most “committed Christians” are ready, willing and available especially for the Gospel, and my experience with believers in my local church is an isolated case.

This statement coming from someone I know who lived on the other side of the world reflects what I have seen this year in this side of our world with regard to witnessing in our Judea and Samaria. This awoke me to the reality of how Christians respond to the Great Commission.

I thought the greater need for the Gospel in other parts of the world was mainly because of their resistance to the Gospel but now I understand it is because very few believers have the heart for the world. But how can we see the need of the ends of the world when we are passive even to the needs of our Judea and Samaria?

It made Jesus’ command in Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2 so true, real, relevant, imperative, urgent, living and active — to beg for laborers to be thrown into the harvest field!

Do a lot of Christians know not only the command but also it’s relevance and the state of the world? And if we are aware, what are we doing about it? Now I understand why missions-minded people are at times frustrated.

Indeed, a Christ-centered theology is a missionary theology.

How, why, and since when did we become so apathetic? Is it because of lack of awareness or lack of heart or both? Do our hearts break what breaks Yours?

How can we be so consumed of our own lives? How can we think only of our own selves, family, career, welfare, and advancement? Sometimes we even take pride of our ministries and programs in the church when we can’t even intentionally and effectively reach out to our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and have forgotten that You also told us to go to the ends of the earth. Jesus, You are the God of the whole world not just of our family and our city!

Who Will Go for Jesus?

Looking back at the pain that happened in the recent years, I now find the reasons for my tears seem so petty compared to the greater need of a quarter of the world population who have yet to hear Jesus’ name for the first time, and the sacrifice and persecution that a handful of missionaries and believers endure for the sake of the Gospel.

If there’s very few who are willing, available, see the need, have the heart, and committed to finishing the Great Commission, then who would do the remaining and still extensive task? Who would go for You, Lord?

Here I am, send me! I want to go, Father, please I beg You to throw me into the harvest! I want to go to a people where no one has heard Jesus’ name, where the Gospel is most needed. I want to share in the suffering of a handful of believers who sacrifice their whole life for the sake of the Gospel. Millions of people have been waiting for 2,000 years. How much longer do they have to wait?! Thousands die every hour, there’s no time to waste. The remaining task is still so immense, it cannot be done by only a handful! Throw workers into these unengaged unreached people groups, Father. Throw me!

Have mercy, Father. Have mercy on these people who have yet to hear Your Gospel. Forgive us, Your people, for being apathetic, selfish, and self-centered. Change our hearts, open our eyes to see the great need, enable us to respond the way Jesus responded to our need — with love and compassion for the lost, and remind us that His sacrifice is not exclusive to our family, friends, and community but for the whole world.

Facing A Task Unfinished | Keith & Kristyn Getty

Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

A Prodigal Child of God

I am so thankful for this opportunity to share God’s grace in my life.

I am now 45 years old. I was raised in the Faroe Islands, which is in-between Norway and Iceland. Hearing about Jesus Christ and how it is only by grace through faith in Him that we are saved from eternal separation from God, I believed and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 7 years old. I was baptized at 11 because I knew it was the right thing to do. I didn’t understand it all so clearly but I believed what I understood.

When I was a teenager I became more interested in all things that God knew would hurt me, but I chose not to believe Him. I followed my desires, thinking I knew better than God. This led my life away from God and into a sin-filled life; living for what I wanted to do. I worked hard and partied hard.

2019. Grandma’s 90th birthday. My parents, my cousin and me.

I moved to England when I was 17 and stayed there until I was 23 years old. But when I moved back to the Faroe Islands, my ‘crazy life’ continued. I even worked on a fishing trawler for two years, which was a rough life but I enjoyed it.

I was almost 30 years old when I saw myself in all the mess I had created and God, in His grace, called me back to Himself. He allowed me to see how far I had wandered away from Him. He offered me a new beginning with Him. I’m so thankful I chose His way and left my own way.

Before my new beginning with God, I had my own plans. I intended to move to Scotland maybe to study but I didn’t find anything there. When God wanted me to follow Him, I didn’t know where to go. I asked Him and He laid in my heart to go to a Bible school to learn about Him. I called a friend who had studied there. After we talked, I decided I would go. The funny thing was, I realized afterward, it was in Scotland. This was such a great gift from God. Praise the Lord!

While at Bible school, I heard about people around the world really wanting to get to know God but there weren’t enough Christians willing to go. I said, “Lord, if you want me to go, I will go.” I had peace about it so I went to England for a year to do mission training. While I was there, there was so much talk about the Philippines and I thought maybe I should go to the Philippines. Again, I had peace about that decision. I didn’t actually know anything about the Philippines back then. But now I know it is so much fun to be there and God knew I’d love it, even before I had seen a jeepney. 😁

And He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2; Matthew 9:37-38)

After mission training in England, I came to Manila in 2006 with New Tribes Mission. I did some Tagalog study and worked at our Mission Centre for 2 years. Then I moved to Malaybalay City, Bukidnon where I did some Visayan study and again worked at our Mission Center there. I stayed in Malaybalay for 6 years then I moved back to Manila to help in our office and in our Mission Center. All in all, I was in the Philippines for 10 years. For that, I am very thankful. It was more than just fun; I loved it.

Meeting interesting sisters in the Lord in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

I believe God used me in His work while I was in the Philippines and I am forever thankful. He had worked a lot in my personal life. The Philippines was the best place for me to be at that time.

Then I had peace about moving again in 2016. This time I went to Austria, in the middle of the Alps, to study at a Bible Centre. I stayed there for a year. It was like taking a year out to study, enjoy God and nature, be with a lot of Christians, and get refreshed . It really did refresh me. It was amazing.

When that year finished in 2018, I moved back to the Faroe Islands where I now live and work. I work as a building painter and the Lord has even provided me with my own place.

The Lord has been very gracious to me. Though I have not been faithful in all things, He remained faithful to me. He is still working in and thru my life, which is a miracle in itself.

Now it is 2019 and I have been back home for 1,5 years. I am grateful for this opportunity. I had the privilege to visit the Philippines again in February this year and it was of course amazing.

Hanging out again with my good friend, Rajsh, in Manila

I want to say that the Lord is worth waiting for. He said: “I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23).

I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23).

This is an amazing promise that spoke to me again today as I write this, and it helps me to wait on the Lord and hope in Him. And He promised that I will not be disappointed. Our heart’s desire is God Himself first and foremost. He is whom we were created for and our main purpose is to enjoy Him and glorify Him forever.

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. (Romans 5:10)

My home town, Klaksvík, in the background

Hi! My name is Anja Nielsen, I was born in 1974 in Klaksvík, Faroe Islands. I am an only child but I was never a lonely child. 😊 I was raised hearing about Jesus and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at an early age but I spent most of my life away from God. By His grace, I returned to Him 16 years ago and I praise Him for that.

What my future holds, only the Lord knows. I trust Him fully to guide me, provide for me. And because He has promised that He will never leave me, I know that I will never be alone. That peace and knowledge make me hopeful for my future and I praise the Lord for that.

Declare His Glory Among the Nations!

Declare His Glory Among the Nations!

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim His salvation day after day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
    His marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
    strength and glory are in His sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
    bring an offering and come into His courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness;
    tremble before Him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
    He will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for He comes,
    He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in His faithfulness.

 


Last week, the Lord prompted me to create a Facebook (FB) page. It’s part of the plan but I was not yet practically prepared; there are still a lot of things to do. But because of His persistent nudge, I did it. And I’m so glad I obeyed because of the opportunities that week. I realized this is God’s perfect timing.

I am so excited because, though it was planned, the timing came too early and unexpectedly for me. I’m also excited about how the Lord planned out not just the posts but also my activities this month.

As I include the FB page in my weekly tasks, I researched the usefulness/relevance of FB and Instagram (IG) stories in businesses and brands. One article I read quoted the population of FB users at about 2.7 billion as of April this year. I quickly checked the world population and we are now at 7.7 billion.

The contents of this blog will only reach social media and internet users. With Facebook having the highest population and others using multiple social media, it means that even if this content reaches all those users, it won’t even be half of the population!? I know THAT is a big number.

“But You promised an abundant harvest!”

The Lord’s hand is not too short to reach the whole world. He can save every soul if He wanted to! So half of the population is too small with a great God!

The passage above was the sermon today (Missions month). As if my excitement is not enough, He ignited the fire in my heart all the more through the message and vibrant worship! All I can say was yes and amen!

I remembered the 7.7 billion and lifted them up to the Lord. “You promised an abundant harvest. I don’t want a number, I want a percentage! More than half of the world population is even meager to Your power!”

As I prayed and the congregation sang songs to the Lord, I remembered my actions. I cry for the 7.7 billion people but I only share the website to a few?! Only to those who – I think – will be interested? Do I get to choose who hear God’s Word and His marvelous works? I want to see God’s promise of abundant harvest but I do not give everyone a chance to hear? Ha!

Now I feel pressured more than excited. 😆 One of the reasons this is not fully “live” is there are still a lot of things to be done. I feel like the Lord is moving too fast and I am barely catching up. But I know the content – Gospel – and my obedience is more important; everything else is secondary. So I have to make things work and use whatever is available.

Whatever shortcomings and inadequacies I or this site have are irrelevant to God’s power. This is not my work but God’s work. “So if You tell me ‘do it NOW’! Because You say so, I will.”

“What are You doing, Lord, and how do You want me to take part in it?”

GCF-Connect, Connect Agents of Change, Dr. Ronald Macam, CBAP
Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) – Connect Agents of Change (CAC) Growth Group. With our speaker Dr. Ronald Macam of Conservative Baptist Association of the Philippines (CBAP).

The seemingly gentle reminder for us to have a Great Commission mindset became more than an encouragement for me. It was one of God’s ways of answering my apprehensions.

A long time ago, I asked the Lord how difficult was it for Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father’s household?

In Genesis 11:27-12:5, it may seem that the chronology of the story was:
11:31 Terah took Abraham, Sarah, and Lot to set out to Canaan but settled in Haran
11:32 Terah died
12:1 God said to Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to the land that the Lord will show him
12:4 Abraham went

But Acts 7:1-4 recounts the chronological sequence of events:

“The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.”

When Abraham was commanded by the Lord to leave his country, his people and his father’s household and go to the land that He would show him, he did not go to that land right away. Abraham just passively went through the circumstances. When his father decided to set out to Canaan, he followed; when his father decided to settle in Haran instead, he settled. Finally, when his father died he obeyed the Lord but not completely because part of his father’s household was with him – Lot.

It was a gradual obedience on the part of Abraham but the Lord was patient and gracious in giving him time and preparing his heart until he finally completely obeyed the Lord. The Lord is faithful and His purpose for Abraham came to pass.

Then I asked: How difficult is it to leave your country, your people and your father’s household? To leave your family, relatives, friends, and all the people you love not knowing when you will see them again. How difficult is it to leave the security and comfort of familiar things and go to a foreign country you know nothing about? But then, I realized, how can I ask these things when other people even went through more difficult circumstances to leave alone and live alone?

All these questions and anxieties were overshadowed by this longing in my heart:
What are You doing, Lord, and how do You want me to take part in it?

Being reminded of the importance and urgency of not just evangelism but also cross-cultural missions has caused me to look forward to that foreign country.  Knowing that each of us is part of one Body and has a specific function, and realizing the need of other people make me forget the difficulty of leaving instead be joyful and find courage in the purposeful plan of the Lord.

***

Father, Your Word is true. You are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine and I can only stand in awe of You. Thank you for Your graciousness and faithfulness to me, for being patient with me and giving me time to be with my family, for helping me show them how much I love them, for fixing my relationship with them [which is still in progress], for assuring me that You will be the One to take care of them and not me, for how You have been faithful in their lives as well, for preparing me and my family, and for even answering all my petty questions and doubts. Sanctify me, Father, may I be useful to You and be prepared for every good work for Your glory. You are my God so may Your will be done exactly according to how You want it and in Your perfect time.

15.01.17