This picture is of William visiting a lava tube on his school field trip. Lava tubes are long conduits that carry molten rock away from an eruption. They often exist far beneath the surface.
There is a current in the world, running beneath the surface, where the Gospel is being taken to places you wouldn’t even believe. Some of these places cannot even be mentioned for fear of endangering the missionaries and the churches they serve.
I have been surprised since the time I arrived at the University of the Nations in Kona by how little I have known as an American Christian about the struggles and the triumphs of the church all over the world. How universal our need for the Gospel is. It’s as if most of us in the U.S. have been lulled into a state of contentment with less while believing that our lives are full.
I met a man from Kosovo today. He shared a little about the story of his fledgling country and how western countries brought many good ideas, and with them … corruption. We talked about our own American system and how far we have fallen, how far we are now from the wonderful ideals we were founded on. Although we agreed on almost very topic we spoke about, the one that stood out and offered hope was the one that was more than an idea. It was the living and breathing Christ.
I wish everyone of you could be here to meet the many people I have been afforded the opportunity to meet: from Kosovo, China, and Indonesia, from Malawi and New Zealand and Australia, from Germany, Japan, and the Congo, from Turkey, Norway, and Korea. The list is three times as long and it keeps growing every day. In fact, I fully expect to be changed almost daily by what I hear. But the one thread that ties each and every story together is the Gospel.
The fact that the Word of God is living and active could not be more apparent than it is here in Kona. Better said, it has never been as apparent to me as it has been over the last few weeks. We do not serve a dead God. He is moving in Arabia and Northeast Asia. He is making a difference in Africa and Central America. He has remembered the foundations that were built in North America and Western Europe and he’s drawing the nations to himself.
Sometimes when the eruption cools, lava tubes are formed and you can see where the flow may have slowed and eventually stopped. And sometimes, these lava tubes provide an easy conduit for new eruptions to drain. There are places where the gospel has been preached over the centuries before a cooling period took place. Pray for fires of revival to erupt and send streams of lit up missionaries down these tubes again.
I look around at the people, especially the young people, who populate this campus and are committing their lives to the spread of the gospel and I am heartened. The fields are ripe, and there are workers, and we need more workers, but we serve a mighty God. He won’t be cooled much longer.