“Well that’s good, but I certainly hope you have a back up plan!”, said a wealthy business man to me as I mopped the floors in a McDonalds bathroom. We had just finished engaging in a conversation about my future plans. I used this opportunity to explain missions and God’s pursuit of mankind to restore the relationship broken by sin. Unfortunately I don’t think he was a believer, and he certainly did not have a clear understanding of missions. This interaction reminds me of a verse. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” As I look back on the past five years of training and our one month remaining, it’s easy to think that the finish line is in view. In actuality this is just the beginning.
This is a picture of our next twenty years of ministry….
- Relationship building within the local churches here in the USA (1-2 yrs)—Preparing for the field
- Arrival to the field (3 weeks)—Adjusting to the field
- Orientation (1-2 yrs) National Language and Culture Acquisition
- Tribal Allocation (2-6 Mos)—Moving into the tribe
- Tribal Language and Culture Acquisition (2-4 yrs)—Worldview Study/Learning Language
- Pre-Evangelism (2 yrs)—Creating Tensions, Teaching Literacy
- Evangelism (6 Mos)— Building the Foundation and Teaching Creation to Christ Chronologically
- Infant Church Establishment (2 yrs)—Teaching Acts, Romans, Ephesians, Galatians
- A Developing Church (6 yrs)—Discipling Church Leaders and Translating the Bible
- And Ultimately a Self Sustaining, Fully Functioning Body of Believers—Elders Established/Itinerant Ministry
So let me ask you. Was the man in McDonald’s right? Should we have a more “logical” backup plan? Is it worth it? Looking at the difficulties, the dangers and the YEARS of work before us…..are we crazy? Are these tribal people really worth this much attention? We believe they are. Not because we affirm it to be true, but because God does (1 Timothy 2:4). He desires for the entire world to be reconciled back to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Not just America, not just the nations, but all tongues and tribes (Revelation 7:9-10). They’re precious because He say’s so, and that’s good enough for me. Even when it doesn’t seem logical.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (NASB)
1 Timothy 2:4 “…who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (NASB)
2 Corinthians 5:19 “…namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (NASB)
Revelation 7:9-10 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” (NASB)