“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
The Church is supposed to be in constant motion to see the above call realized. The apostles took it in and, as documented by someone, did their roles to death.
Stephen was cast out of the city and stoned to death. About 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom during this time (about 34 A.D.)
Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his request, because he said he was unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. The people led him to a private place outside the city where he gave his neck to the sword.
John, the “beloved disciple,” was the brother of James. Although he suffered great persecution, including imprisonment, where he wrote the book of Revelation, he was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.
Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” He was a missionary among the Aucus of the Huaorani people of Ecuador. He was only 29 years old when the martyrdom happened by the Curaray river among four others. He gave up his youth to venture into the wild because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A college graduate, he probably seemed foolish to his contemporaries. He went anyway. Maybe the parents thought he was not serious and called relatives to intervene. (My emphasis added) His mind and his heart settled on this truth.
Members of India’s Naxalite political group have killed another evangelist in India’s Odisha state. Pastor Saanvi had shared the Gospel in villages near his home for the past six years as a bi-vocational minister, even planting house churches in two of the communities. That report is as recent as 17th October 2019.
This post cannot fit all the God stories we have, but the message is clear, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus was not writing to white people or Europeans. He was calling all who would respond to his message of salvation to a “going” kind of life. The call is to go until stopped. We have had many people coming from Europe and the Americas to preach the Gospel and do missionary work. Looking at Kenya today, we have the Gospel such that we have enough workers to send out in the fields. We have local missionaries on the ground in different places, and many more are going out into other countries. However, the number is not as significant in comparison to foreigners doing the same work here. Is this missionary thing for the white man alone? Why have we stood afar like spectators, yet the task remains for all who are obedient?
1. Racial skew
This is mostly not from foreign missionaries but the locals. There is an inadequate theology of Missions in the minds of the locals (most Kenyans) that purports that the Americans, Britons, or other Europeans have the DNA for missions in them. We need to rise and start seeing ourselves as men and women empowered by the Spirit of Christ. We have the power to be witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and all over. (Acts 1:8)
2. Monetary grounds
That the value of the dollar, the pound or Euro they have, places them to do the work, is a fallacy. It is not about monetary prowess but heart devotions. Many Kenyans live almost below the poverty mark. The other majority comprises the middle class who live in the pressures of proving a point to people who do not care about their status. An over-concentration on looks and worldly accolades has caused the hearts of many to grow cold. The case is similar for the wealthy. They worry much about their account fatness and social approvals. We need to rise above our challenges and see the big picture- the evangelization of the world. As young as we are, we need to see how we can use our resources for the sake of the Gospel. Those who have to set aside money and support those who want to go. That is the synergy that brings impact and transformation. On the other hand, many Africans think that the white man has money. Okay. Maybe the value of foreign translates into much more these sides. But isn’t that a beggars mentality? Why do we keep depending on donor funding to do everything? I believe that in a small way, we can change the shape of things. Just as the missionaries go to their kindred and raise support, we need to pray that our kindred will capture the heart of God and support the work of the ministry. It all starts with young hearts transformed. Arise and work!
3. Missiology Monopoly
Many people think that missions can only function from the West downwards. Since the days of our youth, we have always known missionaries to be white men and women. Growing up, all I knew about missions was that it was for the mzungu. It never crossed my mind that a mwafrika could do missionary work. I have met many here in Kenya. God has used these to let me know that no race or tribe has a monopoly over this matter. God is in charge and his partnerships are not biased to certain people. If we see what God sees, we will know what he knows.
Kenyans are doing this Great Commission. We need people to support monetary wise. Born again, men and women who need to start seeing how to plough into the missionary enterprise. Young people with the call for missions need to arise and, by faith, take up the challenge and preach Jesus to the lost tribes in Kenya. Missionary work is not a white man’s job. God used them to bring the Gospel to us. We are thankful for that. Now it is time for us to take the mantle. They have passed it on, most of them, faithfully. We need to run and pass it on in due course. Why not take some time and consider your role in this venture! Maybe you need to send cash in support, prayers or visits. It is our time!
Are you there wondering what your role is in the spread of the Gospel? Please check out our devotions on Missions on our Kuza app in the Google play store or Apple app store, and you will be greatly encouraged and challenged. Download the app and read “Missions.”