Saturday, August 11, 2007

Redeeming Communities

Tomorrow I will take my girls to Rohan where they will get on a plane and fly off to boarding school. We have done this for a couple of years now but it seems to be getting harder. I wont be back until late next week as we hope to spend some time encouraging discouraged believers in Rohan. They are having a rough time these days so I look forward to this opportunity to see them. Until I return I offer you the following:

Revelation 11: 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.’

Sounds pretty dramatic huh? The trumpet blowing and loud voices and everything. But I think that there is a subtler side to this. The kingdom of the world has become… It’s the ‘has become’ that has my attention. You see when God decided not to blast Adam and Eve into nothingness for their disobedience he made a plan. He decided to recreate man in His image. He did not decide to make another man. He took the same broken clay and reformed it through the blood of His Son. This is what we call salvation. We think we have some understanding of this but what about ‘kingdoms?’ Kingdoms, as far as we are concerned are fallen communities based on injustice and with the possible exception of our own country they will all be blotted out in favor of a new Kingdom that is coming soon. But what if we have misunderstood this? What if the Great King is going to recreate Kingdoms the same way He has recreated us? Would that change the way we live and work? In almost all Church Planting efforts for the last two-hundred years missionaries have sought to take people out of their communities of sin and brokenness and build new pure and wonderful communities. We here in Middle Earth have done our work a different way.

Kili and Fili have been followers of Jesus for a year and a half now. They remain active members of their community which is the small village called Anfalas. Anfalas was a broken difficult place from the start. Transplanted families from the mountains came down to a desert plain to try and build a life. What they found was heat and trouble. We helped them by showing them a different way of life, a life that revolved around the worship of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Kili and Fili and their wives have followed our example and are living out their faith in the village. This Spring there was an accident. Fili was down in the village well clearing out the silt when the cement ring walls slipped and his foot was crushed. He lost the two end toes of his right foot. But there is a cool side to this. The whole village took a collection and sent him to the hospital. They kept someone at his bedside 24/7 for three weeks. They paid for everything. Now several months later Fili is home but still can not work. Kili works as a day laborer and he has worked for both families all summer. He does it joyfully. He is a great inspiration to me and to the whole village. Now many of the good Muslims in this village are wondering what it is about Kili and Fili that make them so joyful, a great asset to the community, and yet they have forsaken their faith in Islam. Many others are cooperating and working together as well. The community is already transformed and yet only four out of 300 people have professed Christ! I believe that more will proclaim Jesus as Lord but not because of a logical argument or a glorious miracle- even though they have seen both- no, they are being transformed by the leaven growing and expanding in the lives of Kili and Fili. I don’t know about you but I want to see this happen in my community and in communities around the world. Can we do that? Revelation seems to say He will do that.

1 comment:

marie said...

How great is our God! This is an awesome testimony of God's ways being higher than our ways! He works in and through His Body in ways that are strange to our eyes, but oh, how marvelous to behold the glory of the LORD without the dirty stain of man's ways tainting it!

Yes! He will work it out in spite of us! Glory be to God for you and your family in allowing Him to do His work in and through you!

The LORD be with your daughters and protect them as they travel.

God bless you Strider. May He pour out His Spirit upon you and enlarge your territory as you march forward in His name!