Radical love is what we are here to demonstrate, it is what we have received, and it is what we want to see poured out of us as we serve Jesus in the city. This story is just the latest way that God has shown us just how much ground is taken when we follow Him with abandon…
“The ‘M’ in YWAM stands for mission doesn’t it?” He asked, looking me in the eye.
I knew this moment would come. The knot in my stomach was small, and I felt the Lord with me and knew just how to reply.
“Yes it does.” I said, and went on to assure them that while I would share my faith with those who wanted to know, I was not there to preach, but to help in any way I could.
This conversation, with my contact in the refugee camps and the CEO of those camps, took place back in May.
Since then I have brought several teams through the two camps that we work in. I have always been upfront about my faith and the reason I am there. I try to model this simple honesty in front of the young missionaries in training that I take with me.
Lately, one of the camps has given me some trouble. “They are afraid of you, that you are going to ‘missionize’ the people in the camp” my contact told me of the staff at that particular camp. “They looked up your organization on the internet. You have radical views”.
I reassured him that I do not preach in the camp and left it at that, knowing that I had left the door open for personal testimony.
Honestly, while I do not want to lose access to the camps, I am unwilling to compromise on this point. I am convinced that it would be dishonest and grieving the Holy Spirit to fail to speak of my faith.
The trouble continued in the one camp. Even the local church that I minster in the camps with was having problems. My contact reassured me that there was new management, and that I would be given full access. But this new manager was out sick, and myself and the others were left isolated away from the population of the camp whenever we went there.
Then it happened.
While I was away for Thanksgiving at a nearby base, I left a team from Australia to take care of the ministry.
When I got back, I asked them how it went. They told me that the new manager was there, and that she had given them full access to the place, allowing them to invite anyone to work with them! This was something that I hadn’t had there for months!
THEN… the following happened… I had a meeting with my contact (a nominal Christian), and he told me the reason things were better. He told me that he had spoken with the staff, and told them he did not care if I was there to ‘missionize’… “Let them missionize” he told them! “Aren’t the people mature enough to make up their own minds anyway?”
He said again, how I make the staff nervous, how they are afraid that I will ‘missionize’ but that he didn’t care.
So now… think about this… I am welcome to come into the camps, where they have 99.9% muslims, and share my faith freely, even to try and convince them to come to Jesus.
The truth is, this doesn’t change a thing. I have been quietly, boldly sharing my faith right along. I am not going to alter my approach one bit unless the Lord tells me otherwise. But it does mean something to those who watch me. They know where I stand. They know why I, and all of the others I bring, are in the camps. They know who we serve. And my contact does too. And they know we love them all.
Please pray for continued favor, as we seek new ways to love on the people in these camps. Please pray that the light and the love of Jesus would continue to burn brightly before them and all of the staff and residents of the camps.