The whole world is full of darkness and is in a terrible state of confusion and hopelessness. Globally there is unrest, moral decay and injustice. It is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that can turn that darkness into light and give hope to men, for that to happen men and women of the kingdom must be ready to go out and lighten the dark areas in the world and restore hope unto them. Matt 5:13-14
God has blessed the believers with the gift of salvation that solution to mankind therefore we are to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth with that which we are.
John 20:21, Mk 16:15 Jesus was sent to the world to save the sinner and when He finish his earthly ministry he commission the disciple to go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. We are sent to all creatures in the world regardless of the race, color, culture and sex. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that can bring them out of darkness.
Due to the advance in technology and scientific discoveries most of the advance nations of the world are removing the ancient land mark and are turning their back to God, the political leaders are passing laws and bills against the kingdom of God in the name of liberalism and human right. Such as same sex marriage, restricting bible and the name of Jesus to be mention in certain public places. The real constitution of the United State was writing base on the king James version of the bible but today most “THOU SHALL NOT” are been extracted for the constitution, they are now faced with violence, criminalities, rapes, high rate of divorce, drugs, trafficking, bombings and different kind of abuse because the fear of God is no longer in land. Rom 1:25-32. The powerful nations of the world are enforcing same liberalism and human right on other nations of the world in the name of aids. The churches are been deserted by the youth and left for the grannies to attend. Most the nations that brought mission to Africa have now become a mission filed and are now asking for revivals, the great cathedrals are been converted to night Clubs and disco house . The fact is that they (religious and political leaders) recognize these problems but due to pride and arrogance they shy away from it. They have been given up to a reprobate heart to do things that are not convenient.
All over the world there is a recognition of the powerful moves of God in Africa and through Africans but unfortunately most of the African missionaries left the shores of Africa to do missions to their fellow nationals in the countries they reside.
The mode of worship in churches pastored by Africans and the forms by which we do missions outside African makes it very difficult to win the indigenes for Christ and get them to our churches. When you enter some of our churches outside Africa you hear local songs and music just the way we have it back in Africa. This makes it very difficult to have non-African flocks into our churches outside Africa.
Cultural difference : One other major factor that makes it difficult for some of our missionaries to win national of the countries we are, is Cultural difference and this is major. I was about eighteen months on the mission field before my family eventually joined me, then I used to be the only black man and the only foreigner in the church of over a hundred people that I pioneer by the grace of God. When my family eventually joined me on the field, for some months they don’t enjoy our church, my wife complain almost about everything and was feeling like going back to Africa because of the cultural and differences in style of worship, attitude, approach even in dressing thank God that is over now but the point am making is that we have to understand that our culture is not in any way superior to that of the people we`ve gone to evangelize.
Culture is defined as “the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another.
Until we understand what lead to the belief of a group of people our “judgment” cannot be correct. To do real mission in other continent, we have to love, respect and accept the core value of the people that is not sinful. We have to act like Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 9:19-20 to win them. We cannot win the people we condemn.
The environment, weather, food and general attitude of the people outside Africa is totally different to the one have in African.
Legal status : The legal status of the missionary and that of the mission work is very important . In most part of Africa one can start a church or do mission work that is not duly registered with the government or reside illegally in the country but if done in nations outside Africa it will jeopardize the work and the missionary can be jailed or repatriated. In some country you have to tender a legal document before you can rent a place for church even for accommodation. The best solution is to hire a legal consultant and join the Christian body that is duly recognized by the government to assist and a the laws of countries differ one from another
Finance : Finance is very vital in mission outside African. That is one of the major reason why most of the African missionaries go after their fellow Africans outside Africa because they are used to given and supporting the work financially but God will never make His work a burden to anyone. From my experience God will always be committed to whatever he has commissioned believing that until we have our African fellow in the church we cannot survive is depending on human strategy against divine ability.
It is also very good and helpful to have a home base sponsors missionaries form countries like America and Europe has sponsors and at a certain time in the year they go back to do fund raisings which enable them to do social services though through most of the this support the people have been made to belief that mission is only about receiving so they always expect to take from every mission. The cost of living outside Africa is very high, considering the cost of accommodation, home maintenance in some countries the children will have to attend bilingual school because of language barrier. Most sending churches and mission organization or agency based the support on economy situation in Africa to determine the support which make it very challenging, some withdraw their support when the work is yet to mature or send their the support very late to the mission field and demand early result even when the missionary is yet to fully settle on the field.
Other challenge that is also vital is language barrier. If a missionary cannot communicate in the language of the people it makes it very stressful to achieve success of the mission field. I lost many members of the church due to communication problem, speaking with the help of a translator is helpful but not the best, during preaching people only get about 70 to 80 percent of what the preacher is saying in every sermon. Many interpreters translate only the word and not the spirit which makes most sermon less effective. This also cause loneliness and thing so boring on the mission filed. I have traveled several hours for program in a car with some my people in the church they talk, laugh and enjoy the trip but is always boring for me as they speak in their language which I don’t understand though I have my interpreter in the car but he enjoy himself with them as every man is most comfortable with his language.
PROSPECTS : Mission outside Africa must be approach with mind of possibility, on the filed there are many discouraging factor but success is possible and achievable with help of God.
The harvest of many countries outside Africa is ripe and God is looking and waiting for diligent people who will sacrificially go for Him to gather the harvest.
God said to Joshua in Jos 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall trend upon, that have I given unto you. Until we go out we cannot possess the harvest
Jesus warn against procrastination in Jn 4:35 He said to the disciple not to say the harvest is still far away, He said we lift up your eyes the harvest is white already. In many nations people have lost hope and don’t believe any good thing can come out their Nazareth, they are harvest waiting for the faithful harvester who will show them love and give them hope. Let me share few testimony of what I witness here in Honduras , Central America, when I was about to start our first church a young man was invited as a paid translator to interpret in my meeting with the people I was going to train, I witness to him before the meeting and after the meeting he asked for another opportunity to listen to me again where he made a commitment to join me and serve for free. To the glory of God In three weeks of working with me his wife and the children was in church with us The wife said for eight years they`ve been contemplating and disagreement on attend a church but was glad when the husband finally came to announce he found one and she asked, please what did you do to him? because he has change his friend and mother are also part of the church. In one year the young man received a call to mission, today is undergoing training at our mission school in Nigeria. About 80% of the member of our church are new believer. A young lady who has neither been to church nor been a Christian in her life said pastor if you did not come to our country I will never have gone to church in my life, the same lady plays the keyboard for our church and many more. There are so many opportunity to win souls outside Africa and many of the people are friendly and loving, I discovered that the color of my skin that I thought initially will pose a challenge has become an advantage as it make me very popular, favored among other pastors and have more friend even outside church.
The Blessings :
John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.(KJV)
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.(KJV)
From the above scriptures, Jesus clearly told us that He has double reward for people that left their house and family because of him, here on earth and eternally. The joy and the blessing of serving the Lord especially on the mission can never be compared to any other thing. God faithfully reward our labors here on earth and promise us eternal reward.
There is joy in heaven when a sinner repent and God always create an occasion of joy in the life of the agent through whom the joy comes in heaven. Our earthly blessing comes when we allow God to partner with us in achieving his purpose here on earth, the blessing will reflect in the ministry and even in our family. God has visited us in the church with miracles and provision from where we least expected.
We have witness several creative miracles in the church e.g A 20 years old lady that has never menstruated was slated for surgery came with her mother to our church, after the service the mother was convince that a miracle took place in the life of her daughter. She took her to the same hospital and requested for another examination on her daughter , the doctor agreed after much persuasions and ovary was found which the doctor confirmed as a miracle. The result was shown when given testimony in the church.
I like to share this personal testimonies, my first son in the 7th grace as we call it here or 1st year in the Junior has only one session in his school and he has represented the school twice at the schools national competition which gives us more discount for next session in his school. God compensate in different ways, he will make all things beautiful in his own time. In one particular month we were on red I mean there was no way we could take care of the bills for that particular month, we call on God, few days later after a training for the church leaders a family from the church came to me requesting to talk to my wife and I, they asked what were our needs? I told them to explain better, as I was not really sure of what they wanted to know and they said our personal needs, it was strange to us moreover we have been trained to cast our burden upon Jesus, they told us that God told them to come and meet our needs. After about 15minutes of argument we mention few thing and they by themselves asked about other things not mentioned. The next day they invited us over for lunch and after the lunch they gave us a cheque for more than our bills for the month. The value in my country currency (Nigerian naira) is in six digi , it is a gift that I have never receive in my life.
Jesus has promise to give hundred fold reward now and eternal reward to as many as will go for him and sake of the gospel. The joy of fulfillment will always there and we will enjoy favor with man and with God.
Until we obey to go we cannot fully understand and enjoy the great things God intend to do though us.
God bless you.
RCCG, Missionary in Honduras