“I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him. We have kept him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on him in prayer, we wonder where he is. He is exactly where we left him.” ― Ravi Zacharias
FROM THE DESK OF: the Rethinking Missions Committee
We had a truly blessed time together last week, considering the idea of "Rethinking Missions" and learning about the church in Iran from Elam Ministries. All three of us had a chance to speak about the work of Uttermost Sports, share some information about the 10/40 Window and restricted-access countries, and connect with friends and supporters in Norman, Oklahoma. The Turkish coffee and baklava were a huge hit (obviously!), but we were most grateful for how God brought together several dozen people to pray and ask that His Kingdom come to various places on earth.
The numbers are staggering: nearly 3 billion people in North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, who may never have a chance to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lifetime. Millions upon millions, struggling through illiteracy, poverty, and abuse. What can one life do to change that number? One church? One organization? Well, for starters, we'll gather together to learn more and then intercede, believing God uses our prayers to push back darkness, one person at a time. And we'll ask God to send more workers and use us, however He sees fit.
We're so grateful to Providence Road Church for hosting us, and for Elam Ministries to joining a special evening to share the encouraging word about what God is doing among the Persian people. The church in Iran is vibrant and growing even among intense persecution, imprisonment, and death. May God be glorified as He continues to bring people to Himself -- from every tribe, tongue, and nation!
For the Win[dow],
Erin, Bubby, and Annie
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Isaiah 40:3-8
A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: SUDAN
The Republic of Sudan is an Arab country bordered by Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad, Libya, the Central African Republic, and the Red Sea. An ancient African nation, Sudan has modern-day challenges including ethnic strife, civil war, slavery, and poor human rights. According to World Watch List, "Sudan is a poverty-stricken Muslim country that lost many of its Christians to South Sudan when it became independent in 2011. The regime’s leaders are mainly radical Islamist, and the ruling National Congress Party a means to further an Islamic agenda. Incidents against Christians include faith-related killings, damaging Christian properties and forced marriage as well as arrests, deportations and raids on church offices." Sudan is 90% Muslim and 0.4% Evangelical Christian, with an unreached population of 22.3 million. Pray for Sudanese Christians to have a unity of love that marks them as followers of Jesus; pray also for God to send more incarnational witnesses to sacrifice for Him and live in Sudan.
- Rethinking Missions was an incredible night of worship: learning about UM, the 10/40 Window, and praying for the church in Iran.
- Director of Development interviews are underway ... again!
- We are trying to place a strength coach in Asia in April/May 2015. We are also trying to send personal trainers and soccer players to the Arabian Peninsula.