Jordan and Shawna Stilley
Ever since I first heard that over 40% of the world still doesn’t have access to the gospel of Jesus in their language and culture, even 2000 years after Jesus instructed his followers to make disciples of all nations, God hasn’t let me forget it. Because of language, cultural, and political barriers, the gospel doesn’t just spill into the places these people live. Most of our ancestors only heard the good news because believers took the time to find a way to share it with them or circumstances put them in places with Christians.
Since first learning these things, I’ve been trying to follow God’s reminder through Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ” and that now “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors”. God’s given me chances to reach out to Chinese students in college, inspire others here in Cedar Rapids, pray for and support those who have been sent out, and even spend several months among some of the people in the 40%. Even though it’s pushed me outside my comfort zone and felt overwhelming at times, God’s always been there and I’ve never regretted anything I’ve done for Him.
Now, after asking God how he wants our family to follow him in this season of life, we feel led to move to [and find a job in] a European city where refugees from the 40% are pouring in, looking for a new life. Many of them are hungry for Jesus and are starting to follow him for the first time. The process of preparing to move our family across the world and live among different cultures is often intimidating, but we are reminded of Jesus’ prayer request recorded in Matthew 9: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” We’ve heard and seen that the harvest is abundant among these refugees, but there are not enough of his followers there to reach them. Even though we feel inadequate, we’re trusting that Jesus will work through our weakness and the whole body of Christ to fulfill his mission.
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