Today I was confronted with the truth that God often uses interesting times to do some pretty interesting things.
As I'm studying through Jeremiah with Precept, I'm also taking intensive classes in Atlanta this week. Today, during our chapel time together, an explosive speaker was used by the Holy Spirit to capture my attention.
More than what he said, it was the introduction given by Dr. Cashin, an expert on missions and Muslim studies, that got my southern mind flowing.
Over a hundred years ago, during the great missionary outreaches throughout Europe and the United States the continent of Africa was referred to as "The Dark Continent." God used the social ills of imperialism to evangelize a continent. While there were many things that were wrong, the gospel went to those who had never heard it before. Dr. Livingston has always been one of my heroes. Yet, fast-forward a hundred years later, the churches of Europe are dead and Europe is now referred to as the "Dark Continent." According to Dr. Cashin and other church history gurus, the Muslim faith has infiltrated Europe, boasting and gloating when they overtake a former Christian church. Many American Christians have written off Europe as hopeless while many Africans have said the same about America.
The speaker left a lucrative career as an engineer with the call to "awake the sleeping giant of the African American church in regards to missions." He, you see, is African American. He told many stories of how the color of his skin opened doors for him throughout the rest of the European world. Because of the recent election of President Obama, Europeans (who were vehement towards the US under Bush) were actually listening to the African Americans. They wanted to talk to him and the other missionaries. They engaged in conversation with him. He returned by sharing the gospel of grace with them, seeing commitments and discipleship opportunities flourish.
My stance on the issues that will face this new administration are clear (you can read about them in the politics section). Regardless, Americans (especially African Americans) have the listening ear of many around the world. Today, I began to pray for the workers because of the ripe harvest with a renewed sense of God's plan for the nations. I began to pray specifically for the Lord to raise up godly African Americans who know and live sound doctrine, follow the call, and effectively communicate the Word to the nations.