We begin this new year with a wide range of feelings in each of our hearts and myriad thoughts in our minds. What a year 2020 has been! COVID-19 has certainly taken its toll. Sadness, loneliness, depression and isolation have touched individuals and families around the world. However, it has also given us the opportunity to discover positive and innovative ways of thinking and acting by forcing us to adapt.
Experts following cultural trends tell us that in the midst of despair, many are finding new ways to connect with others, and more are turning to God for help. People are eager for hope, and the incarnational message of Jesus engages that hope in life-giving and transformational ways.
Missiologist Drs. Cheryl and Gordon Doss (Adventist Review, February 28, 2018), indicate that, going by membership concentration, Adventist membership by division can be separated into two clusters. The first cluster includes the NAD, SAD, WAD, IAD, EAD, SID and SPD. Although these areas make up only 26 percent of world population, they account for 77 percent of total Adventist membership. The second cluster includes the remaining divisions and represents 23 percent of total church membership, though its area holds 74 percent of the world’s population. This second cluster represents the area containing most of the world’s unreached people.
What an opportunity beckons us—to go, live and share the message of Jesus in these unreached regions, the places where many have no chance of hearing about Jesus from somebody in their own people group. Give thanks with us for the commitment and love of families who, for the sake God’s unreached children, have forsaken everything and have gone to make Him known through incarnational ministry, following the example of Jesus.
May 2021 be the year when you choose to go. Your hands, skills and passions are needed in the mission frontier today.
The words of pioneer evangelist Ellen White are more relevant than ever: “The old year, with its burden of record, is fast passing away. The new year, with all its possibilities, will soon be ushered in. What advancement have we made in the knowledge of Christ during the past year? Are we prepared to show, more decidedly than ever before, that we are on the Lord’s side? At this time, when the nations of the world are wavering between infidelity and idolatry, are we prepared to stand as faithful ambassadors for Christ? Shall we not, at the beginning of this new year, give ourselves and all we have to God? Shall we not listen to His voice, which calls us to a renewed contest, to a more thorough consecration of ourselves and our entrusted capabilities to His service?” (Signs of the Times, January 2, 1901).