Monday, September 26, 2011

On the Move

But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other places, too, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43

Once I met a lady who had been going to the same church for over 50 years. I bet she even sat in the same pew! The pastor had served there over 40 years. I have not experienced such long term stability. I am often on the move. When God redirected us to return to Canada for ministry it baffled me. Pakistan was home to me. I wanted to stay for a long time. The first few years in ministry in North America I focused on reaching Muslim university students who lived primarily in one huge sprawling complex near the university. It was like my second home. Today I was in a halal grocery store in another area where a lot of refugees live when a flood of memories of visiting Muslim friends in many various buildings surrounding that store washed over me. Visits were made to Muslim women who had babies, or operations, or to give condolences upon a relative’s death. Weddings were attended. Multiple homes were visited for helping women with conversational English. That area of the city belonged to me. Part of my heart was left there when I moved on to the next part of the city. It is the story of my life. Moving around is often an identifiable trademark of an evangelist. Their ministry is not usually stationary. It was in the New Testament times and sometimes is today, too. Jesus went from village to village proclaiming the Kingdom of God. So did, the apostle Paul. They also went from synagogue to synagogue and today evangelists will go from church to church casting the Kingdom of God outreach vision.

 Mom and Dad worked among the Somalis for fifty years. Dad was the evangelist. They moved for a number of reasons. Mom followed him around. They started in Djibouti and Yemen, then moved to Somalia, on to Ethiopia, and off to United Arab Emirates and lastly Kenya. Usually it was to start a new type of pioneering ministry or the political climate was pushing them forward to new frontiers or evangelistic restrictions were tightening. I have only moved to Pakistan and to two cities in Canada for ministry but within the cities God has led me to concentrate on different areas where Muslims live. My home doesn’t always change but the areas I minister in do.

I didn’t understand nor appreciate in the earlier years that moving me around was God’s intentional plan. He moves me around for the dissemination of His truth to be more widely proclaimed in new territory or to remove me from situations or relationships which have been given enough investment. I am to get the soil ready for planting and then to plant the seed. As an evangelist I accept God’s call to be on the move if that is what He chooses. I don’t move until the Divine Cloud moves.

Dear heavenly Father, I get torn between staying and moving. Help me to follow You well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.