When I look at the big picture and what God is doing in the world, if I were to summarize what I see, on one hand I see unprecedented opportunity before us. When you look at news headlines that we’re seeing with the refugee crises and the natural disasters over the last year like the earthquake in Nepal this year, story after story in some of those areas just showing that there are opportunities for the gospel to go forward in ways that were not there a year ago. So people who have had no access to the gospel in Syria, now as they are leaving Syria are having access to the gospel in different areas. Even in Nepal, I was just meeting last week with some folks who live and work there, and the opportunities that are there for the gospel to forward into villages where it has not gone before are now there. So there are unprecedented opportunities when we look at what’s going on in the world and we think about it through the lens of Acts 17:25-26, God is sovereignly ordaining the movements of the nations so that people might seek Him and be found by Him. And that’s happening.
At the same time there is real risk. It’s not easy doing ministry when it comes to these areas in and around Syria, for example, or other parts of the world where there is war or terrorism. Obviously we see headlines about that and this has been one of the perspective changes for me in stepping into this role this year of leading IMB. When I open up my app this morning and look at news headlines around the world and see a terrorist attack here and a bombing there I realize we have personnel in most all of these places. There is risk and it’s not easy.
I was talking with somebody and having a conversation about this recently and they were saying “Why do you or why do the people you lead even go and take risks?” And the reality is that we go because we’ve been commanded to go. We would be foolish to think that in a world with all the complexities around us and all the injustice around us, and war, and terrorism, it’s not going to be easy to get the gospel to them. It’s not going to be easy. But it is going to be worth it. The reward is worth the risk. The reward of seeing people come to Christ… is worth it.