It’s so exciting to see when an influential leader has an “Ah-ha moment”! As we, the CPD, become more and more aware of the opportunities around the world to bring Gospel access to people who have never heard the name Jesus, my prayer is that we would engage these opportunities head-on with enthusiasm and generosity. I hope you enjoy another “eye-opening” update from our recent Vision Trip to Europe. Happy reading….
To the ends of the earth,
The team standing in front of Martin Luther's pulpit in Wittenberg, Germany.
The author of this story, Perry Alexander, is on the far left.
“It’s About The Kingdom Not The Politics”
It was an “ah ha” moment. Who knew that a missions “vision trip” would…quite frankly… give me better “vision”. I get it now. Do you?
Like perhaps many of us here in America I was looking at the largest movement of people en masse since World War II from a political standpoint. I was viewing German leadership’s decision in 2015 to open up their country’s borders to whoever wanted to come in from North Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere as a dangerous and shortsighted decision.
An estimated 1 to 1.5 million basically un-vetted migrants have entered Germany, and tens of thousands more have entered other parts of Europe as well. EU Counter-terrorism sources estimate that there are now 50,000 Muslims living in Europe. The full ramifications of Germany’s decision are yet to be played out, but it might not bode well for Germany or the E.U. But that’s speaking from a political perspective (understanding there are many viewpoints on this issue).
But one of our C&MA International Workers in Europe challenged us to look at the situation from a Kingdom perspective rather than from just a political one. And now I have better “vision”. Now I am excited (in a good way) about this historic mass migration of people, this 21st century “diaspora” (scattering).
You see (note the vision pun), as was pointed out to us on this vision trip, Acts 17:26 tells us that it is God who determines when and where people live and “the boundaries of their habitation”. And we learn in verse 27 that God sets and removes boundaries in order that people might seek Him and find Him! God is moving millions of people from lands where they have limited or no access to the Gospel, to lands where they can hear the Gospel openly and many for the first time! My eyes have been opened! What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we have to share the Gospel with Muslims from around the world!
This 21st century diaspora has similarities to the 1st century diaspora. When we continue reading beyond Acts 17:26,27 (where we are told that God sets and removes boundaries in order for people to find Him), we come to Acts 18:1-3 where we meet a Middle Eastern refugee couple from Pontus (located in modern day Turkey) who have fled as refugees from Italy to Greece. In Greece, this refugee couple, Aquila and Priscilla, meet the Apostle Paul, and this is presumably where they were saved. Later on we find this same Middle Eastern couple sailing to Syria with the Apostle Paul, but stopping off in, and then staying in Ephesus (located in modern day Turkey) where they share the Gospel. Middle Easterners getting saved in Greece and returning to the Middle East to share the Gospel with other Middle Easterners! It happened in the 1st century and it is happening again in the 21st century.
And now I SEE it! Now I SEE the diaspora, this massive movement of people, this removing of borders and boundaries, from a Kingdom perspective. Praise be to the Lord for this unprecedented opportunity for me, for you, for us as a denomination, to share Jesus with some of the previously most unreached people on the planet. Yes, I now have better “vision”, what about you?
-Pastor Perikles Alexander
Kailua Community Church