My view is limited. It's easy to get focused on the things in my own little world. I take things for granted. And don't give much thought to the fact that things are done differently in other parts of the world.
A missions trip to the other side of the globe, however, gave me a new perspective. South Africa. A beautiful country with some similarities to the United States, but vast differences. A country still adjusting to the abolition of apartheid. A country of stark contrasts.
As my husband, Steve, and I got ready for our trip, we planned for some of the things we'd encounter. Adapters for electrical outlets were purchased and we prepared ourselves for driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Little things I don't pay any attention to when I'm in the states. But during our stay, there were some bigger things that caught my attention. Things brought to my attention by a big God!
We were privileged to be part of a team working with the Xhosa people. Our hosts described the people as, historically, "A tradition-keeping, culture-clinging people, who don't really appreciate the 'white man' interfering with their ways." But God is bigger than tradition, and has used this dedicated couple to begin Bible-believing churches in a number of the Xhosa townships.
The townships exist outside most of the larger cities. The poverty within these settlements is heartbreaking. Poverty and wealth often exist within a stone's throw of each other. The people living in the townships need hope. The hope of the gospel.
The family currently ministering there, shared some sobering information, "We are the only white people we know of ministering (establishing Independent Baptist churches, and training pastors) in the townships of Port Elizabeth and probably most of the country," (words in parentheses mine for clarification). In spite of the odds against them, no obstacle is too great for the Lord. The prophet Isaiah penned these encouraging words, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it," (Isaiah 55:11; KJV).
In the townships of Port Elizabeth, this has translated into the salvation of many Xhosa men and women, the establishment of many Bible preaching churches, and the training of Xhosa men to take over the works that have begun. Yes, things may be done a bit differently in South Africa than they are here in the states, but the same God who is mighty to save here, is offering salvation to the precious Xhosa people of South Africa. And one by one, they are accepting His offer!
*On Sunday, 7 people accepted Christ in one of the township churches.
Do you have a tendency to get stuck in your own little world? What step will you take today to re-discover the all-powerful God you serve and share Him with others?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for opening my eyes to Your greatness. Forgive me for minimizing You. Help me to live out Your great commission, to go and tell others about You. In Jesus' name, Amen.