"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but the people who don't do anything about it."
When God calls people to something, He usually isn't discreet about it. If He burdens your heart or directly calls you to an area of service, generally speaking, it's pretty clear. Sometimes the means and the exact direct and game plan are fuzzy, but it's easy to identify what God breaks your heart for. For myself, God has made it clear to me the last few years what my ministry calling is. For one thing, it's the global church. The other, very big thing, is ministry and awareness for sexual abuse survivors. I can tell you I have literally no idea in the world how I will serve in those two areas long term, but there's no denying that they both have a big ol' chunk of my heart.
My problem is, as I'm sure many Christians feel, I don't know what God will do with that, so I put it on the back burner sometimes because I don't really know what to do about it.
On sunday, a lot of different conversations from that week had led to me talking to God in the car, on the way to a pre-church Target run, about starting a ministry. I realized I went to a gigantic church, and besides a few events, there isn't a ministry directed solely for sexual abuse. But statistically, in a church where thousands of people gather every week, that means thousands of those people are victims. So amidst of telling God He should do something, He said to me, "Oh lil' lamb-chop honeybunch, that's why I made you." [In my head Jesus frequently calls me lamb-chop and honeybunch] So then, in my sassy and very "realistic" [pessimistic] nature, I said, "yeah ok Jesus. How does a kid like me, who's young and WAY under-experienced/underqualified, even begin something like that? Mmmmmm, yeah, no."
Funny thing, usually when you put your sassy-pants on when you're talking to Jesus, He gives you a little reality check moment swiftly following. So I went to church and the first twenty minutes of the sermon, the pastor was talking about this ministry that trains young people for a year, then sends them out to church plant, and they plant eleven churches a day. Eleven. a day. They feel God's burden and direction, and they go. Then, following that intro, the message was following up in the series our church is on, called "Favor with Kings". Favor with Kings is a book, by Caleb Anderson, that's about God's purpose and the passions He gives us, developing a plan of action, empowering people, and the dreams God puts on our hearts. Do you see where this is going?
After the service, I headed to a luncheon with some of our church's global partners from Congo, Camille and Esther Ntoto, founders of Africa New Day. Africa New Day is a ministry that is dedicated to empoweing and creating opportunities for the underprivileged, and is centered around ending gender violence, along with equipping the next generation of African leaders. Esther and Camille live in the Eastern region of the Congo. Eastern Congo is extremely war torn. The country as a whole has a net-worth greater than the United States because of the natural resources, but because of the governmental corruption and the violent war and militia groups, the wealth is stripped from many of the Congolese people, which causes extreme poverty. 3.5 million Congolese children are not able to attend school. The country experiences violent tribal conflict, which is mostly a result of the history of the country. In 1885, the Belgian king, King Leopold II, enslaved the Congolese people to harvest and profit from the rubber and ivory. 10,000 Congolese died at the hand of King Leopold's slavery from starvation, forced labor, the dismembering of hands, feet, and limbs as punishment, and intentional extermination. Leopold also divided the Congolese people into tribes by measuring their facial and body features, which is why the Congolese people today have various tribes which result in tribal wars. In the Congo, rape is used as a form of warfare. Because sexual violence is so destructive and causes deep pain and trauma, it's an extremely effective and common form of warfare. At this meeting, Camille and Esther shared parts of their stories and why they started Africa New Day. They explained that Africa New Day has a ministry for men that tackles the root of the problem in sexual violence. They teach men how to be leaders, to fear and love God, the correct and Biblical version of masculinity, and how to respect and treat women in a godly way. They have a ministry for children to educate them, to keep them in school, to grow them in God's word. Their ministry for women is directed towards literacy, vocational skills, restoration, and helping them break the cycles of violence. They also have ministries for leaders and a media ministry.
Wowza. By the end of that, Jesus had out-sassed me a little bit. Before the ended, Camille had referenced that quote from Einstein, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but the people who don't do anything about it." Just a little Jesus punch, right to the face. He made it abundantly clear that the purpose He has given me is not to be ignored. He is working in GIANT ways. And He is definitely not afraid to let you know that, trust me. I get so caught up in my own self. I'm just a kid, I don't have a lot under my belt. But God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Don't get me wrong, I have no idea what in the world, in what capacity, I will be working in this ministry just yet, but God is making it clear, I will be doing it.
We serve a God who is a lot bigger than our ideas, our inadequacy, and our unqualified resumes. Our job is not to tell God it's not possible, our job is to jump on the Jesus bus and say let's do it. It's easier said than done, and it's a life-long process, but God didn't make His Church to be a people that sits and waits for Jesus to return, He made us to be the light to the broken world. We're His workers. We're the tools He's going to use to bring healing, redemption, and love.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
About: Africa New Day
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