Sunday, February 14, 2016

Endangered Species

"We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” II Timothy 2: 8

As a family we spent a number of holidays on the beach in Pakistan. We put our watches and calendars away for a week, read by lanterns, and flushed the toilet with sparkly phosphorous sea water. The most exciting part of those holidays was getting up in the middle of the night, grabbing our flashlights and walking quietly on the shores to make turtle midwifery calls. We roamed the beach searching for the familiar turtle tracks. The huge sea turtle, swimming over from Oman to Pakistan, would lumber up on shore ever so slowly, dig a sand nest, shed tears in labor as she lay her eggs, cover them over with sand, and then return to sea. She was tagged by the Omani government because she was an endangered species. Only a few baby turtles would survive crawling back to sea. The cawing crows, sea gulls, and wild dogs would devour the vast majority of them at sunrise. We gave our children buckets to put some of the newly hatched turtles in to return them safely back into the sea. We fought against the encircling crows and ravenous dogs. The thought of those turtles going extinct and being endangered spurred us on. It was a crazy way to spend precious holiday time; especially at an unearthly hour of the night but worth it.

It is not only huge Omani sea turtles that are becoming an endangered species. This may sound strange but sometimes I feel, as an evangelist among Muslim women, that I am an endangered species and am tagged by the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a shortage of women evangelists going to Muslim women which baffles me since one out of four females on this planet is a Muslim. There are so many millions of Muslim women to share the gospel with and so few women evangelists. That is one reason I wrote my book, Woman to Woman, Sharing Jesus with a Muslim Friend. My heart’s cry is to see hundreds of Christian women rise up to the challenge of sharing the Good News with Muslim women. Praise God more and more Christian women are getting equipped for this high calling. It is not an easy work for sure. I feel an affinity with the mother turtle's journey as she embarks on a long underwater trip swimming from Oman to the shores of Pakistan and then hunkers down to lay maybe a hundred eggs. It is such a long process. She cries. She can’t bear to be distracted. If she gets disturbed she will wander off to another place. I wonder how she can leave those eggs to hatch when there are crows and wild dogs poised to pounce on the baby turtles and gobble them up. All of that sounds like me and my ministry in a symbolic way.

Someone on earth is employed to watch out for those sea turtles. Someone greater in heaven is watching over and preserving women evangelists. Maybe you are one of them. Take heart! God is watching over you and the spiritual babies being born. Perhaps God is using you to help carry the spiritual babies safely "to sea" so they will survive and one day reproduce.

Dear heavenly Father, please preserve women evangelists who feel their calling and ministry are endangered. In Jesus’ name, Amen.