Friday, January 30, 2009

We're Number One!

Finally, something Mississippi can hold their head up over. Mississippi is often the butt of many news stories, including things like pregnancies and obesity. But here is one that should count for something, no matter how small it is. Mississippians believe that religion is an important part of their lives.

Now I'm no fool. I know that the numbers quoted (85%) do not mean that many people are born again; I don't doubt some who said it had to hide their Bud behind their backs when they said it. But it does speak well of the overall respect my fellow Mississippians have for spiritual things.

If you check the list, you will find that the south, by and large, is still fonder of spiritual things than those in other parts of the US. Now let's tap that rich source of spiritual oil and get it spread around the world...

Can the Great Commission be fulfilled in our lifetimes?

I read an interesting article today. You can find the main article here. The main question the article asks is the one I used for a title. The short answer to the question is, yes. Key evangelical leaders see us having shared the gospel with all the world in the next decade, certainly in our lifetime.

How could we do that? Do we fly over and drop fliers and leaflets? Do we mail Bibles? What do we do?

The key to sharing the gospel with every person is not as complicated as we sometimes think it is. The key is obedience. And we are now seeing a groundswell of motivated believers around the world, heading out with Bible in hand, ready to share the good news that Jesus forgives and fills us with hope.

That is our purpose now. We seek to be motivators in South America. I met with 2 ladies just 2 weeks ago that feel called to go into the world, away from South America, to a people far away. One wants to go to Japan. She wept as she told me of her burden. Another had tears in her eyes as she spoke of reaching the Muslim world. There are others, too. God is calling. People are responding.

Pray for God to send out more laborers from South America.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Urban Aches

This week was a vision trip with the youth pastor of a Louisiana church. It was to be to give him a vision regarding how his youth can plug into what we do down here. It was as much a fresh vision for me, as I rode with him and two of our three missionaries that he connected with. I saw sights and listened to pleas for spiritual help that stirred me deeply.

Some sights were so gripping that I was forced to stop speaking. As I watched men, women, young people, and children wandering in and out of crowded housing in Lima's inner city, I choked back tears. As we drove by the transvestites, prostitutes, and drug addicts, I felt their pain and wanted to reach out to them. Watching the homeless moved me, as well.

The incongruity of the sights was equally compelling. One street would be orderly and clean. Two blocks away, garbage would line the road and people would be thicker than the fleas on the street dogs down the road. In one part, tourists gawked at the interesting sights that a Latin American city offers. In another, we had to hide our belongings from the sight of the probable thieves that watched us. In fact, one man began running up to my window until he realized we spotted him; then he darted off in another direction.

All over the city, I was reminded of two things: Jesus died to set these people free. And we need many more workers to reach them before it is eternally too late.

Please pray for God to send his laborers to the urban centers around the world. Please pray for these large, lost groups of city dwellers.