What would you say if your son or daughter came home to tell you they think God is leading them to be a missionary?What if that place God is leading them to is Saudi Arabia? Iraq? Sudan?
As Magdi found himself at the end of his rope, he wept in his bed. He was an innocent man being falsely accused of murdering his troubled cousin. The city buzzed with life outside his window like it does every Thursday night but he felt terribly alone. All of the Hindu gods he had prayed to had left him hopeless and in the dark.
Twenty years ago, a sixteen-year-old girl living in a rural mountain village was kidnapped in the middle of the night. Terrified, she spent three days with a family who intended for her to marry their son. After negotiating with her family, she was a married woman. The first ten years of her marriage were marked by extreme poverty, fear, and pain. Her husband soon became an alcoholic who spent his days gambling away their small income. Struggling to make ends meet, this young girl who was now a mother spent many days wondering if life was even worth living. Would killing herself take away the pain?
We live in an anxious world. In our fast-paced culture, it’s easy to let our minds take control and live by feelings rather than the Word of God. I would argue that anxiety is one of our greatest debilitating factors we face as Christians. It keeps us from ever truly finding rest. It keeps us from moving our lives where God may call us. It keeps us from walking across the street and meeting a neighbor.
One of the most humbling experiences in missions is listening to the people who went before you. They are the rock movers who gave their lives to making a way for the gospel to penetrate some of the darkest places. Some people ready the soil, some people plant seeds and others get the joy of seeing a harvest. Be humbled and encouraged by these people who God worked through greatly. God did the work, these men and women simply made their lives available for Him to work through them.
This past week our team traveled to the mountains and spent the week trekking through villages. About 30 years ago, a team of workers said “yes” to God’s call and brought the Word to a small minority group living in the mountains. While it was a long process filled with trials and persecution, today this people group has churches. They have pastors. They have the Bible in their own language.
Cafe 1040's mission was formed around the reality that there are almost 3 billion people who have little to no access to the gospel. That’s 42% of the entire world’s population and the majority of these people groups all live in one area of the world – the 10/40 Window.
Today, we get join together for the International Day for the Unreached.
A light musical alarm sounds in the background as I sit up to the small beam of sunshine poking through our window. The hot morning air, combined with the humidity, makes for an unusual awakening. As I push off my mattress to stand, I think to myself how different it feels than the air I am used to in Canada.
Life on the field can be challenging, exhausting, and difficult. In the midst of that, many missionaries feel forgotten by their church and friends back home. The Great Commission is not a solo task. Even the work of individual missionaries is not solo work. We are all called to engage. Sending is the role that some will play. It is the work of a community of believers.
American Dream, Support Raising, Church: these are a few of the many obstacles that young adults experience in going overseas long-term. These were also my obstacles, but when I was 23, I did not know that I had obstacles. In fact, the term “obstacle” was unfamiliar to me. However, through a series of experiences overseas, this term revealed itself to me in a way that I was not prepared for.
Home Stays are one of the most powerful tools our program offers to cultivate a love for Muslims in the hearts of our students. There is an amazing transformation that takes place in your heart when you are given the incredible gift of hospitality at the hands of people most often described in our media as terrorists. The hospitality of this culture is indescribable.
Sam grew up as a self-proclaimed redneck mountain man. In the hills of West Virginia, he was always outside learning about the land. While studying agriculture and irrigation in his college years, Sam was drawn to Cafe 1040's mentorship program and spent a semester in North Africa, where he clearly felt God calling him into missions. But he wasn’t sure where. Or how.
As an organization that desires to see all people groups reached with the gospel of Jesus, we want to empower the next generation of missionaries to go and tell the story of Jesus in some of the least-reached places.
We, along with the rest of the missions world, have noticed a disturbing trend: the general absence of men on the mission field.
Long skirts with tennis shoes, shaggy, unkept hair, khaki cargo pants, don’t act like you’ve never pictured a missionary this way before.
We’ve all fallen prey to this stereotype. For so long, “missions” was just a department in the church where people who can’t fit in with their own culture try out a new one.
In early November we took our students to a city about 3 hours outside of base town. There we met Magdi, who was our tour guide and gracious host. He's an upper caste Hindu, with strong family affiliation. Our first night with Magdi and his family, one of our students was able to share his personal testimony. Unexpectedly Magdi began sharing about dreams he has personally had about JESUS.
Before this trip I always knew this verse and knew what it meant, but I had never truly experienced it. I had never really suffered. But since I have been in South Asia I have lost two people who I deeply loved back at home. I don't know if I could put into words how much losing them hurts and I probably won't ever be able to. But something amazing happened when I was grieving.
Here’s a question society loves to answer for us. Just google it. There are pages of ways to not be forgotten and advice on forming your personal brand. It’s at the heart of most marketing. Buy this product and you will be known for this or work at this company and people will think you are that. As humans, we are created with an innate desire for purpose, for an identity. Throughout life we find it in different places: as a professional, parent, student, athlete.