You have a far better chance of being struck by lightning than being one of the few out of more than two billion Christians to go as a missionary. There are 78,000 evangelical Christians for each of the world’s 6,741 unreached people groups. Make that 77,998, because Emma and I have quit our jobs and sold everything that won’t fit in a few suitcases. As we begin our journey to reach the Great River people, our God has been so good. Where do we start?
One Thursday evening last September, we were together on our knees earnestly asking God to show us where to go. The next morning, we woke up to an email from Philip and Hope Kiwi asking if we would consider becoming partners with them to reach the Great River people. A few weeks later, AFM officially asked us to go to the Great River people.
Emma started taking pictures of all our things and posting them to a Facebook yard sale in our town. God sent a steady stream of treasure seekers until every last thing was gone. He even sold a lamp for $15 dollars that I found in a dumpster. We were only asking $5 for it, but the lady insisted on giving us more because it was the exact lamp she had been seeking for years. We had enough miracles to fill a book.
God gave us two special gifts. We get to go to a country where one of us already speaks the language, and we are going to be working with Muslims. When a Muslim finds Christ, it is the sweetest, most jubilant experience of their life.
Indonesia, where Emma grew up, is the world’s most populous Muslim country. Several of her Muslim-background friends are now Christians after overcoming obstacles only God could move. I remember my mom and sisters covering their heads out of respect while teaching health classes in the Muslim villages all around us when I was young. My best friend was a little Muslim boy from down our street. I’m praying for his salvation still today.
We have lots to learn about how to effectively present Christ to Muslims, but it is good to know God knows the end from the beginning. As we are answering His call to go, Christ is keeping His promise to always be with us.