Lost and Found: Who is looking?
Have you ever been lost? I mean truly, hopelessly lost? When I (Ashley) was younger, I was the poster child for adventure. There wasn’t a tree too high to climb, a forest too dark to explore, or a situation that I couldn’t talk myself out of. However, all of the bravado in the world didn’t make a difference when I found myself lost during a camping trip in Georgia with some friends. After 8 hours of hiking and another hour spent making camp, my friends were exhausted. Being the most adventurous of the group, I decided to explore the nearby area alone. It wasn’t long before I could no longer see or hear anyone from our campsite. As the late November sun quickly began to set, I decided to head back to the campsite where I knew I would find dinner and a fire. There was only one problem: I had no idea which direction our campsite was in. As I wandered aimlessly, the temperature dropped below freezing, and a light mist of snow began to fall. I was not only in for a long night, but I was also risking hypothermia. This was a situation that I couldn’t talk myself out of. After a few hours of wandering, I decided that my best option was to stay where I was. My friends were undoubtedly looking for me, and I knew that help was coming. I was cold, scared, and most definitely lost; but I wasn’t hopeless. Eventually, I was found and the worst that I endured was a string of damsel in distress jokes from my friends.
I often think about those moments alone on that mountain when I was desperately lost. I remember how vulnerable I felt, betting my life on the fact that my friends cared enough to come looking for me. Imagine the absolute desperation and hopelessness that would come with being lost and knowing that no one was trying to find you.
The sad reality is that almost half of the world’s population is hopelessly lost with only a few people looking for them. The Joshua Project reports that 41.7% of the world’s population belong to unreached people groups. Knowing that we have only reached about half of the world’s population 2000 years after the commandment to reach the nations was given can be both disheartening and overwhelming. However, if we only see the unreached as a statistic, we can never truly care about them. They are real people who are destined for eternal damnation unless someone tells them about Jesus.
In his book Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need, David Platt gives us this challenge:
“How would you want a person on the other side of the world to live if you were on a road leading to an eternal hell and no one had ever told you how you could go to heaven? Answer that question, and then live accordingly.”
Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He graciously invites us to be a part of His work. Let’s live out this calling and pray that God would increase our desire to reach the lost.
If you feel helpless in the face of the enormity of the Great Commission, join the club! It is a reminder that we cannot accomplish this task on our own and why we have a passion to train/equip the indigenous church. Please join us in praying in this endeavor. In addition, here are some ideas for you to engage with the GC:
Expose yourself to a new culture by engaging with refugees in your local context.
Explore the ways that your local church is involved with global missionaries and pray for them.
Encourage a few friends to join you in learning by reading a mission focused book like The Great Omission by Steve Saint or taking the Perspectives Course (perspectives.org).
Note: This article was taken from this month's ITEC newsletter which I had the privilege of putting together. You can find the full newsletter below and you can subscribe to ITEC's monthly newsletter by following this link: https://itecusa.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b8c4bf01fd817bf41c08da416&id=b815e8daff