Don’t you just love it when you crack open your Bible and it speaks directly to where you are? It’s like, “hey, God, thanks for knowing exactly what I needed when I needed it.”
That happened to me this morning.
I opened up to where I had left off reading in Romans and the words that followed confirmed the passion in my heart and added to the excitement of the weeks to come.
Romans 15:20-21, written by the Apostle Paul, says
“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.'”
In three short, but seemingly long, weeks I will be traveling to East Asia to do just that. The area that we’re going to is considered unreached, which means that the people there aren’t just choosing to not believe in God, but they don’t even know there is a God. Living in America under the “freedom of religion,” makes it seem pretty darn impossible that there’s people who have no knowledge of God, Jesus, or anything of the sorts. There’s no way, right?
Unfortunately, that is the frightening reality in EA and in many other places around the world. When my friend Kenna went to EA on a summer mission a few years ago she had the opportunity to share with a girl that there is something, someONE, bigger than herself to put her faith and trust in. When she explained that this is Jesus, the girl asked Kenna if he was her boyfriend. Jesus? Boyfriend? Ha! That seems funny at first, but once you move past surface level and realize that there are in fact people who have no idea that there’s more to life than just living and dying, the joke is no longer funny.
Already, my heart breaks for people who don’t even have the opportunity to know God and how much more will it sting when I arrive there?
Luckily, when I am weak, Jesus displays his divine strength (2 Cor 12:10). He gives rest to the weary and burdened (Matt 11:28). And the God who can calm the raging waters (Matt 8:26) is surely able to open the eyes of those who do not yet know him (Isa 35:5, Acts 26:18).
The reason we have a long term team in the city code named ‘The Hood’ (code named for the team’s safety, named after the actual name of the city- not because it’s a ghetto) is to build up the ministry there and get new students plugged in. During our Vision Trip, I will be helping them do this, along with five other people on the VT. A long term team (STINT team = short term international) will continue to be sent to The Hood until this location is completed. What classifies a ‘completed’ city is that the movement and ministry there is strong enough to be upheld by the native people.
A couple verses later, Romans 15:23, Paul writes
“But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions…”
My prayer is this. That there would be no more work to be done in EA, because there are so many ministries and movements being lead by the native people that our long term teams no longer need to be sent.
After reading- Would you consider joining my support team? First, and most important, would you join me in praying?
- That God would prepare our Vision Trip team to be used by Him to bring Him glory
- That God would begin to work in the hearts of the students we will meet and that we would witness people accept Jesus as their savior
- For the STINT team to continue to press on, stay encouraged, and grow in community with one another and the native people
- For the details of the trip- for safe travels and good health
- That our work in EA would be completed and movements would continue to grow and expand
Second, if you’ve been wanting to respond to God’s command of “Go,” I want to give you an opportunity to do this. There are a few ways to answer this command, including going and sending. I am fortunate enough to be able to go, but not all are in a position to. That’s why sending is such an important piece in being missional! If you’d like to be a part of expanding the Kingdom by financially supporting me, and therefore sending me to EA, you can do so here: give.cru.org/0669490?q=0669490 Just make sure to put my name, “Alyssa Zelm” in the comments section!
If you have anymore questions or comments, I would love to talk more with you! Just shoot me a message or phone call!
Thanks for reading just how good our God is. 🙂