Explosion? I asked twice if that was the word I heard used. Have you ever longed to see God work in such a powerful way that you could only describe it as an explosion? And here was a description of an explosion of God’s work among a people we had labored long and hard with. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me set the context.
In February 2007 three other men and myself took a Vision trip into the country of Mali. We intended to engage and interact with three different people groups with the objective of discovering where God was leading our church to work over an extended period of time. Ultimately we believed God had called for us to work in a specific people group, the Bambara. On our first trip into a village where the Gospel had not been proclaimed we saw 9 men (previously Muslim) become followers of Jesus.
When we returned to the capital city and shared this news, some of the missionaries there indicated they had been working all their lives in this country and not seen anything like that. I reminded them that our denominational mission emphasis two months earlier had a week of prayer that included this people groups, and many thousands of people had been praying for them.
For the first few years our church sent teams of 4 or 5 every six to eight weeks back into this village. We have seen ups and downs. Truly there have been times we felt as if we took two steps forward and one step backwards. I am no longer at that church, and there had not been a team in this village for two years. That changed. I met this morning with the leader of the team that spend the last 8 days in that village finding out what was happening.
When they arrived they discovered a handful of discouraged believers who had forsaken meeting together. The first night 10 came for teaching time. But God began to work and move during that week, and the team leader told me the last night there were about 200 present. Granted about 75% were children. But that means 50 adults, which is incredible.
The most exciting report, however, came from a missionary that is living in country. She told of villages similar to ours where churches had partnered together and were sending back-to-back teams to work. As one leaves, they hand off a notebook that shares what they have done and the next team picks it up. Her words in describing the results are “an explosion of God working.” As I write this I am trying to see through the tears of joy that God is moving in such an incredible way among this people.
I challenge you to consider Acts 1:8 today and raise this question, “God, where should I be working in the last part of that verse, the ends of the earth part? Where should my church be engaging” It will change you. It will change your church. God is working in a way around our world that I believe is unparalleled in history. We only hear bad news over CNN or Fox. But the Good News is God is moving this world to the end purpose He desires.