Recently I was reminded of a powerful story. Larry Stockstill, formerly a mega church pastor from Baton Rouge, was praying about God’s harvest of souls around the world. For many years Dr. Stockstill had been mission-minded. In fact, he and his wife, Melanie, had started their married life on the mission field of Africa. Evangelism had been a passion for him since he was young.
This day was different. His prayers reached deeply into the heart of God, and he found himself crying out in desperation for the lost people of the world. He saw faces of all colors and all descriptions going about their lives oblivious to the Savior God had provided.
And then he saw people standing in a line. They were standing in a line waiting for their day to depart the earth and move into eternity. The line started at his desk in Baton Rouge, went east until it met the Atlantic Ocean and crossed the ocean. Then it continued across Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean and the western part of America until it came back to Louisiana…But it didn’t stop there. It wrapped the earth again. And again. And again. Until the line had gone around the earth 37 times. A line 37 times around the earth of people who were living and would someday die.
But this was a special line. It was a line of people who didn’t know God – and whose lives after death were doomed. These were people who had never received Jesus, even though His blood had been shed for them. Some of them had heard about Him and didn’t want Him. Others had never heard the Gospel.
This picture really impacted me when I heard it.
I couldn’t help but think about Jesus and His final charge to us. Just before He left the earth, He said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) Or, as Matthew puts it, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19)
He didn’t say, “Go have a great life.” (Though He wants us to). He didn’t say, “Go and be successful.” (Though He wants us to be a success). His charge was for us to take the Gospel into all the world and make disciples.
This mandate can be taken so lightly. There are sometimes overwhelming issues which take up our time and our energy. We have families, jobs or careers, our own desires, our own ambitions.
He does want us to have a good, happy life. That’s for sure. However, most people are the happiest when they are employing the gifts God gave them. Most are the happiest when they forget themselves and extend their hands and their faith in order to help others. Most are the happiest when they see others being won to Jesus and walking in the newfound grace God has for them.
So what does it take?
This happy, purpose-filled life is not one that is idle or self-centered. This happy, purpose-filled life seeks God and discovers His plans. For some, the “Go” is literal. These people feel a call to take the gospel personally into the world. They pray for provision to follow their leading, and they board planes or trains or cars in order to take the Gospel themselves.
For others, the “Go” really means “Send.” They pray for provision to send to the work, and they have giving hearts to see the mission accomplished. The “Senders” are a part of the plan just as the “Go-ers” are.
Everybody has a part to play. There are no exceptions.
Just think about it. Imagine the day coming when we have finished our lives on earth and we are standing in Heaven with Jesus. Imagine people running up to us and thanking us for what we did for them.
Where are they from? Are they African? Russian? Chinese? Lithuanian?
When we heed the call of Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel, whether we are goers or senders, we will reap the rewards. It’s exciting to think about. Think about the joy we’ll have in knowing we have contributed to someone being saved for eternity.
There could be no greater joy.
Let’s do this!
P.S. You may read more about Larry Stockstill and his mission by going to http://surgeproject.com.
P.P.S. You may find out more about my latest missions projects here https://glrobalreachproject.com/blog
I love Wednesday nights at church. It seems that almost every week when the time rolls around, I feel too tired to go – but I go anyway. And every week I leave with more energy than when I came.
Last night was no different.
We had several missionaries present, and they really inspired me. One of the speakers was a young man who has been called to evangelize Spain. It would be easy to pooh-pooh such an assignment, since such western nations are tons of fun to visit. Yet visiting the nation and evangelizing the nation are two different things, and the latter is hard!
Across Spain, there are many who know abut Jesus, but relatively few who truly know Him as their Savior. They are often religious, but seldom born again – and that makes it harder then usual to reveal the truth of the Gospel. Yet, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, this young man and his family are impacting the entire nation for Jesus – especially among the youth. (more…)
Clean water is something we take for granted in most western countries. There are purifying water systems in the towns and deep wells in rural areas. Clean water and the health it fosters are priorities throughout most of society.
However, the area around Monrovia, Liberia is different. The Liberian civil war, which lasted for nearly 2 decades, caused devastation to the country’s infrastructure. Today there is not a central water system, and many people are totally without a pure water source.
Meme is a 5 year old boy who lives with his mother and 3 older brothers in a small tin hut just outside of Monrovia. They have no running water, and have to push a wheel barrow a mile and a half in order to fill their jugs with water from a creek. Not clean water, but it is water.
We have a desire to change that. Global Reach Project and our partners, World Harvest Church Liberia, are going to dig a well on the property. The methods are primitive, as the wells in the area are dug by hand. But that also means the project costs less than more modern techniques. Only $2500!
A bonus will be that the entire community can benefit from the project. Clean water and greater health for all!
We hope you will help us accomplish this. You can text a donation to 1-770-691-1651 . Every gift helps. Check out the project Here.
The day has finally come, though it’s hard to believe. You know the feeling. There’s something you are planning for – and you work and you plan until that day finally arrives. Then when the day comes it seems surreal. Like having a baby.
Come to think of it, that’s exactly what it feels like now. Mickey and I are giving birth to the next phase of our ministry. Today, as I write this, he is in Liberia.
Ever since we met Pastor Stephen Tour, we have had Liberia on our hearts. The country has a connection with the US for many reasons. A major one is a monumental occurrence which happened during the mid 19th century. Just before the Civil War, a Christian group – the American Colonization Society helped ex-slaves from the United States move to Africa and establish the Colony of Liberia.
The new immigrants had only known the American culture, so they began to emulate it. They designed a flag very similar to the US flag. The houses they built were reminiscent of the Greek Revival homes they had left. At first, the clothes they wore were copies of those they had known in their old land.
There were occasional clashes with some of the new neighbors, but the people were able to establish a certain order, and their lives began to flourish. The new Liberians were experiencing some good times.
However, as is always the case when differing cultures collide, resentments began to build in some of the neighboring tribes and at the end of the 20th century fierce fighting broke out.
It’s hard to understand all of the motivations – or even what people were trying to achieve with their fighting, but there were two decades of such intense battles that 500,000 people were killed. Most of the country’s infrastructure was annihilated. Finally in 2004 the UN sent peace keepers into the country and the president was arrested and sentenced for war crimes. (He is now serving a 50 year sentence in a British jail).
So back to the present…
Many of the people who had fled Liberia during the onslaught are now returning to their homeland in order to rebuild. Two of my heroes in this mission are Pastor Stephen Tour and his wife, Pastor Annette. Though they both had escaped miraculously with guns pointed at them (that’s another story for another day), they felt the call of God to return to their land. Ten years ago they moved back and began the hard, complicated task of building a church and helping others to rebuild their lives.
Remember I said that the infrastructure had been destroyed during the wars? Well I really meant that. When the Tours returned there was no central water system and no electricity. No phone service and, of course, no internet. Oh, and streets? Forget it!
Bravely this couple gathered some others to begin the work – and the progress has been incredible. Ten years later, they have a church building with several stories. They have also started two rural churches, and they’re bringing changes wherever they go.
Such noble people.
Mickey will be teaching the Word in some of the church meetings. He’s also going to assist in opening a Bible School for local pastors. Pastor Tour’s long range vision is to open a conference center on the coast – where he has six acres. So much is possible when the vision of God is involved.
I’ll be posting often as I hear the developments. Thanks for your prayers.