IT’S POSSIBLE – YAYRAS THOUGHTS ALOUD
Watching from a distance, she, like countless others, never stopped praying and holding unto Gods promises; yet those dark moments often came. Will all nations truly hear the gospel before the coming of Christ? Is it true that 41% of the world is really Unreached? For several years we have kept evangelizing, sending missionaries, giving in cash and kind for lost souls to be won and tirelessly doing all we can. Will it ever end and will we ever make a difference? What happens to those who died without even knowing and hearing that Jesus ever existed? Coming to think of it, the complications of life and complexities of human nature makes it a herculean task to transform even one human being; not to talk of the over 2 billion people who are supposed to be currently Unreached on the globe! Is this really possible?
Then she begun to look closely. The fiery voice of the Muezzin1 was calling, diligently, for the daily Salat2 and the faithful were religiously responding to the Adhan3. Alas, even in this obscure place mosques everywhere were bursting at the seams! In the midst of it all, there were consultations, incantations, dance, rituals, sacrifices – blood, libations and some more prayers - in shrines and anywhere of choice! That’s all these people knew and it did not matter where one belonged. You were either of Bolon or Senufo heritage and it was unusual not to be a Moslem or idol worshipper. But as she kept looking she begun to hear another call for prayer; fiery also, but different. It broke the jinx. Another group was emerging. Under a tree they gathered, singing, dancing, praising, worshipping, studying and praying too - but in Jesus name. The numbers begun to increase, slowly; a day at a time men, women and children defected from Islam and idolatry. It was as if a strong hand was drawing them! Baptisms of water and fire were becoming regular. Lifestyles were changing for the better and the village was noticing. The air begun to be heavy and tense as heads turned. Danger was looming. Then the amazing happened. She saw the chief of the village giving the choice piece of land which had the coveted well to them. They had his blessing and were accepted! With this, the tension was quenched. A little here and a little there, out of their seeming poverty, this new community raised a building for worship and a home for their leader on their gift of land. Like an unstoppable blaze they won others into their fold regularly. This was really comforting. It seems possible she thought. If it can happen in Sougoma, this obscure Burkinabe village, then it can happen anywhere no matter how impossible it might look!
Looking beyond Sougoma, she heard Jihadists raining fear and anxiety on a cluster villages, far down the African continent in a place where rain and drinking water were essential commodities. Tisiguru and her sister villages were hot, arid and patched. Why must such deprived, poverty stricken people be terrorized anymore? As for the women they were almost second class citizens and considered property of men. It is sad. Not in today’s world she thought. Then, as she kept looking, she heard motorbike engines, heralding the arrival of another group of militants- sent to usher in times of refreshing. They engaged several with news of liberation and new life in a savior – Jesus Christ. Daring the cultural status-quo, they even offered this good news to women too! Soon, from their breasts, springs of living water begun to burst forth as they huddled together often to learn more about how to follow the Savior and liberator. Slowly and gently, like ripples, the message was reaching different tongues in these villages and beyond, bringing peace in the midst of unrest, ushering in a new way of living and challenging fear, marginalization, mindsets of inferiority, inequality and so much. It looked like there was a force behind all this and it was not only comforting but unstoppable! Really, if this is also happening in Islam endemic Niger then it’s possible anywhere and everywhere; she thought.
Turning to the east she saw men, screaming - on radio, television and on social media. They were making promises and claims in the name of God which were barely hard to reconcile with His written word. They were called “men of God” though mostly succeeding in getting their victims disillusioned. It was a mess. Then she saw a group of 60 other men who also deserved to be called “men of God” but were barely noticed - crying to God, discussing, brainstorming and seeking to find solutions to the menace being caused by the former. Besides they were exploring how they could work together in harnessing limited resources to see the gospel-truth proclaimed across Turkana, Kenya where all these were happening. Meanwhile in their villages special effort was being invested quietly in discipling leaders who will also disciple others and teach others to do the same. Churches, with biblical teaching, no matter how small and rudimentary, were being planted and new life was screaming quietly, in these unlikely places, for all to see. Again it seemed there was an unstoppable stronger voice behind all this ; bringing with its tones absolute comfort. Silently, she observed, the peoples are being reached and the great commission, no matter how humungous, must be truly possible.
So she looked into the scriptures again and noted how true they are. “…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Jesus, the Lord of the harvest, has spoken and so shall it be, no matter how difficult and complicated it might look. Let’s persevere in prayer, faith, evangelism, discipleship, sending missionaries, giving our lives and resources, encouraging one another and doing all we know how till all have heard!
1. The Muezzin is the chosen faithful who does the Islamic call to prayer
2. In Islamic tradition, Muslims are called to the 5 scheduled daily prayers called salat.
3. Salat is done by a formal announcement, called the adhan. The adhan is also used to call believers to Friday worship at the mosque.