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Missions From A Different Perspective

The following blog was written by a Middle Eastern international student:

 

There are 80 million people and 1,000 or less missionaries in my country. That’s 1 missionary per 80,000 people here, most of which have never heard the gospel. The work here is too difficult to do alone.There are only 5,000-10,000 believers. But it’s not just about the injustice of the matter, it is simply that it is just too much. The numbers and weight of the task is overwhelming. It’s hard, I cannot do this on my own. It is so important that people come and help because I cannot do this alone. The believers here cannot do it on their own. We need help, we need people to come and help us.

Before MAPS I knew it was important to share the Gospel, but now I realize the importance of it. I am thirsty to share the Gospel, I long for it to go forth. I know that this is my responsibility. I feel that God gave me this burden and I feel His heart for this nation and these people. But during MAPS I learned not only to feel His heart for my own people, but for all the nations. I cannot just pray for my own people. I am heavenly minded now, I must pray for all people. I got a heavenly mindset that I can’t just pray for my own country I have to pray for other people too because I am not in this world anymore, I am heavenly minded. This happened through MAPS that I now have a heart for nations beyond my own.

Being with MAPS taught me that even if I cannot just go out and share the Gospel with a thousand people every day, I can intercede for them. I have learned the place of intercession. I used to feel that I constantly need to do more and share with more people. But no longer do I just have to work more and always try to do more, but I have learned that I need to pray and cry out to God. I can do so much more through my intercession. I can’t just go on sharing the gospel alone I need His help. Yes, I need to share the gospel, I need to love people. But I also need to pray and cry out to the Lord every day and seek more of Him.

My people do not get love from their religion. What allah is giving them is all about judgement. Their god is distant from them. They also often do not get love from their parents. Not all people here, there are exceptions, but a lot of them are seeking for love from something. When they are seeking their god know that they are sinful and cannot find success in their religion and so they just give up. Their sins outweigh their good works and they feel that they are doomed to hell. But when we share the gospel with them we give them love that they have never experienced before. We give them pure love that is all about grace. Even though they do not deserve love, we love them because God is love. This is different from the world. This makes them begin to think and question, “Who is God? Who is this Jesus?” This is what my team does, they love the people here. Through this love the Gospel goes forth, and I am so thankful for them. I am so thankful for what God is doing in this nation. He is faithful, I know great things are about to happen.

It is a privilege to come here as a team. I am not alone. It is good that people said yes and came here to my country. When my team came to my country with me I felt like Moses when Aaron and Hur came to hold up his arms. When he was too tired and weary to hold his arms up any longer they came alongside him to hold up his arms that the battle might be won by the Israelites. When I see missionaries come to my country this is how I feel. You see, it is not about you or me, but it is about community. It is about being family. We get to do this together. The task of evangelizing this nation is big and heavy, but my team is here helping me. I do not have to do this alone anymore. I have a family around me who is fighting alongside me for the destiny of my people.

 

MAPS Global Student

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Taking Your Secret Place Public

What would it look like if you prayed and interceded for the lost or the unreached for 30 minutes every day in the secret place and then brought that into a house of prayer? How would God move if you spend your free time intentionally engaging and coming into agreement with God’s heart? In Hebrews 7:25 it says this, ‘Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.’

Jesus is always interceding for us. Intercession goes beyond just praying. It’s taking those prayers on yourself. He’s the only one that can since He died on the cross. He took all of that on already. Because Jesus lives in us and us in him, we can come into partnership with what he’s already doing constantly. We may not feel a heart for what we’re praying for, but He will give your heart what burdens His if you continue to press and and pray for it. Let’s continue to partner with it even if we can’t feel it.

If you only spend the time during an intersession set and no other time outside of it. That’s only 30-60 minutes a week praying into salvation for the lost or bringing the gospel to the unreached. That’s only two topics and there are so many other topics we can pour our hearts into that need to be prayed into as well. What if you take extra time during your quiet time in your secret place to pray into this things as well? In Matthew 6:6 is says, ‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’

There is something unique about taking the time and going to where no one can see you, where it’s just God and you, and pouring your heart out for the nations or the lost or how many people are affected by pornography, or abortion. Whatever the topic is there is something that is powerful and God loves when you pray and intercede in your secret place. If we practice and steward praying and interceding in the secret, our time in a house of prayer should look very different if haven’t been doing it in secret.

What comes out of our hear in our alone time probably looks different then when we do it in front of people. What if it didn’t though? What if you were just as raw with God in a house of prayer as you were in the secret place? I think things would visibly shift in the atmosphere around us if we practice this. Our boldness and honest needs to be the same in our prayers no matter where we are. The amount of people around us should not change anything. The fact we have a mic in our hand should not change anything. That difference needs to be smooths out and erased. We can’t let the genuineness and boldness of our prayers be different between the two.

It’s important to be intentional with interceding and praying for what burdens your heart. The more we do this the more we partner with Jesus, which will affect us many areas of our walk in life. This topic is something God is revealing to me I feel. Personally, I know I’m no where close to doing this but I want to steward this more and more. When we steward this intentionally, I believe it will change not just nations, but everything. And if everyone in the room is doing this daily, how could God resist moving?

 

Ryan Hoskins, MAPS Global Student

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The Seeds We Plant

Sometimes God gives us chances to build friendships with locals and share the full gospel; however, sometimes God only gives us brief moments to plant seeds. I want to be faithful with the time God has given me in this nation. I’m learning to be obedient and look to Him for how to respond when it comes to evangelism. Sometimes we are asked to be faithful to do the work of building and maintaining a friendship, and sometimes I feel a stirring from the Holy Spirit to share as much as I can because all I have is this moment. This was one of those occasions where I felt it was my one shot to love this person as much as I possibly could.

A couple weeks ago my team and I went out to play music and do evangelism. We worshipped freely in the open air. We danced and were filled with the joy of the Lord. The dance itself felt like a prophetic declaration that the Joy of the Lord was greater than the oppression, particularly on women, in this country. It didn’t take long for a small crowd to gather around – sometimes joining in the dancing with us. Many people said they were drawn to the joy they saw in us.

During that time I befriended this sweet woman. She wore a hijab and clung to her purse, clearly drawn to us but not totally trusting or sure why we were there. I used all the words I knew in her language to connect with her. It was amazing how much I was able to connect with her and love her even with a huge language barrier. My team member, who spoke the language, prayed for her and shared the gospel but was quickly grabbed to translate for someone else. All that my teammate communicated to me about my new friend was that her husband wanted to divorce and she didn’t want him to leave her.

I felt strongly that this woman just needed to feel loved and seen. She stayed by me the whole time watching the dancing. She clearly wanted to join in but was hesitant. I talked with her all I could. I hugged and grabbed her arm or hand every chance I could. (The culture here is VERY physically affectionate). Eventually, I got her to dance with me! She was all smiles, holding my hand and dancing in circles to “I Am a Child of God.” In that moment she got a taste of the true joy and freedom that we have in Christ! I can only imagine what that meant to her heart coming from a culture where the women are so oppressed. I’m sure we made quite a spectacle laughing and dancing together while she tried to keep her hair covered.

I was heartbroken when we had to leave. She didn’t have a phone or a way to see me again. I kept calling her the words I knew for “my friend” and “my love/my soul” in her language (which is something you call your friends.) When she left we hugged and used all the affectionate goodbyes. As I saw her walking away I yelled one last “goodbye, friend” and she smiled so big!

I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again but I know that planted a seed in her heart and I am praying for her everyday. I am praying that Jesus will encounter her. I am praying that Jesus will draw her away with His love and heal her heart. I’m praying that His will be done in her marriage. I’m praying that God uses whatever happens to lead her to salvation and true joy and freedom in Christ.

 

Katie Prock, MAPS Global Student