Monday, November 19, 2007

Katie and me on foreign soil.

Last night, Deanna, Lauren and my other "daughter" Katie (from our organization) and I spoke at Oklahoma State University. We were afforded the privilege of sharing in tag-team fashion with a women's group. What an incredible blessing it was for us. Several came up to look into partnering with us to serve in missions.

Having my family participate in this was unusual (as an opportunity) and incredible. They did a great job, and it was great for the ladies in attendance to hear from the hearts of women their age and up, who were serving the Lord overseas.

We shared many stories with them about how God has provided for our teams as we go, and the impact on other cultures He has through the obedience of the few.

A young lady who has only been a believer for a couple of months came to talk about possibilities. She could sense God drawing her into deeper water, with a desire to be forced to rely on Him. She and a friend spoke of how in our culture, they are protected and safe in regards to their faith. While jeering unbelievers may disagree with their stance on who God is, there is never a threat upon their ability to worship freely. They desire to share the Gospel with those in lands where persecution exists on more difficult levels. They wanted to serve in lands where the people are starving both physically and spiritually.

By this, I am reminded of a meeting I was in recently with a friend who is a North African man that is a believer, and though regularly arrested and persecuted for his faith, has accomplished much for the Lord. He is from a land where Islam rules. His every move is scrutinized.

He had just shared with the men in our meeting how appalled he was that one of the Christian Universities here in Oklahoma offered no classes on Islam or how to contend with their faith as believers. He went on to explain how they will proselytize us and show us that the Qur'an is an extension of the truth...the completion of it. That they will say the Old Testament of the Jews is part of their belief system, the New Testament of the Christians is part of their beliefs, but that the Qur'an is the completion of those truths and must be received by all.

"Islam is one of the fastest growing religions today," he said.

Another Christian man in the meeting joined in the discussion. He said that it was arrogant of American Christians to go over to foreign cultures and share our views. He said that we should leave that to people like our North African friend (what happens to the Great Commission in this mindset?).

I spoke up and told them that this was not a foreign issue alone. Many times as American Christians we have gotten it wrong and tried to westernize other cultures. We should not do that. Bringing Christ to them is not wrong, but forcing them to adapt to our ways in the west is not wise.

Furthermore, Muslims are living and worshipping in America in record numbers. Most believers are more likely to encounter them here than abroad, and few are educated in their ways. If we fail to be informed in their ways then we are more likely to have the truth clouded when we hear their version of it.

A North African teacher I worked with two summers ago said this to me. "The goal of Islam as a whole is to move into other countries and ultimately, take them over. They will be forced to become Islamic. It does not matter if the group is radical or not, the end game is the same...worship Allah as the one true God, and lose all of your current freedoms."

If we fail to prepare our youth, and are not preparing ourselves to understand Islam, then we are going to have our world rocked. It will only be a matter of time until the persecution that exists elsewhere comes to us.

Statistically speaking, the church in the US is not having an impact on its own culture.

Muslims are not the enemy. That is not my point. We are to love and embrace them and show them the way to Christ. In the Bible we are told to go forth and multiply and fill the earth. In the US, our families generally have one to two children. Muslims have many, many children. They are trying to do the same thing... fill the earth. Before long, their numbers will be such that the threat must be taken seriously. If we do not begin now to educate ourselves, we will not be ready for Satan, who is the enemy. He is enshrouding the truth behind a veil of lies.

It is only a veil. The Truth must be proclaimed to all. We cannot treat them like the enemy, but as victims of the same.

The Qur'an is full of references to Christ. There are books available that teach how to share Christ from the Qur'an. This is an effective tool and we as believers, need to embrace it.

It is time to "stand up and let [your] voice be heard." Prepare yourselves, for the enemy is seeking to devour those he can. We must be ready. Relaxing in our current comforts will not prepare us for the battle ahead.

If you cannot go overseas, or do not feel called to do so, at least prepare yourself to protect your King on your own soil.

We know He ultimately prevails!!! Yay God!!!

For His people to do nothing while the enemy advances, means many who we should have an impact on will fall to deception. We must stand up and fight!



At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked a couple months ago for prayer for Lydia. I just wanted to let everyone know she came home last week. She's 3 1/2 months old and is doing good. She still has a feeding tube and is on some medication, but the doctors a think her intestines should be of normal size by time she is 2. I just wanted to thank all of you for praying. Max

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

It is interesting that we use metaphors of war (and yes, the Bible does, too) to describe the love Jesus intends that we show to those from "every nation, tribe and tongue."

It starts and ends with loving Him. Without that, we will not be able to "tell" with the kind of truth, integrity, and respect that are required to impact another culture or transform our own.

I'm thankful that He is ever interceding for us. Max, we are thankful for Lydia's little life as well. Praise the Lord for His goodness to her and to her family!

with tender love
and prayers in pink,



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