I had just reached the stage of being able to have primitive conversations and the language was starting to make sense. Then all mission workers were withdrawn, with danger from Islamic militants growing ever closer and more severe.
“Why God? You gave us a heart for pastoral work and then, in the middle of it all, you called us to walk through another, totally different door, removed from contact with the people we longed to serve!”
In Rico Tice’s book ‘Honest Evangelism,’ he talks about ‘the pain line’, the point in the conversation where we move from topics that are socially acceptable – the sport, home improvements or our next holiday – and into territory that’s much less comfortable: to speak about our faith in Jesus.
After weeks of praying with their church leaders, a couple were called to the front of the service to share their desire to serve as mission workers. The church were supportive, but one long-standing member wasn’t sure.
Twenty seven years ago we knocked on doors in a street in France, to share the gospel. A conversation with one man led on to Bible studies. Next week we will see this man in Paris: a keen believer whose journey to faith started in that doorway.
Last year, the number of UFM children reached almost 160! The term Third Culture Kid (TCK) has been coined to describe children who spend some of their formative years outside their parents’ culture. They build relationships with both cultures, without fully owning either, and often identify most with other TCKs. This is one reason children in the UFM family love our Summer Conference. They feel they have met their ‘own tribe’!
Hindu mobs wielded rods, tridents, swords, guns, kerosene and even bottles of acid. Adorned with Hindu militant headbands, they shouted slogans such as, “Jai shri Ram!”, (Victory to Ram, the Hindu god) and “Jai bajrang bali!”, a tribute to another Hindu deity.
“Let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset and olive groves. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze ... you can go round and round in circles for years.”
With winds up to 280km/h leaving 1.5 million displaced and ruining 711,000 hectares of crops, Cyclone Idai grabbed the headlines earlier this year. It caused an estimated $1bn damage to infrastructure across Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Somphon and her mother received a tract in a nearby city and became Christians – the first in their village. Somphon’s husband, a rice farmer who struggles to read, soon followed. Concerned for their village, the family built a simple church on their farmland and invited neighbours and friends to hear the Good News.