To the Ends of the Earth

by | Feb 28, 2006 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones


Fifty years ago a brave band of American missionaries ventured into the jungles of Ecuador to begin the difficult process of evangelizing the isolated Waodani tribe.


The five men didn’t get very far. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian were killed by the natives before they could build the first chapel or start the first Bible study.


When news of the tragedy spread in January 1956, the mission to the Waodanis seemed to be a miserable failure. Yet it soon became clear that these men did not die in vain. The witness of Elliot and his team eventually resulted in hundreds of conversions. The amazing story of sacrifice and redemption in a remote South American rain forest-a story now immortalized in the film End of the Spear-has inspired Christians around the world to make world evangelism a passion and a priority.


I’m praying that the film will reignite fresh missionary zeal in the American church, which has lost the kind of radical courage that leads people to forfeit money and careers in order to win souls in a hostile environment.


I wonder what happened to this missionary spirit? Many of us are so focused on claiming our financial harvest or overcoming our personal problems that we forget there are entire countries in the world that still haven’t heard about Jesus. In our comfortable world of megachurches and claim-your-instant-promise conferences, the idea of braving insects, bad food, sickness and the threat of death is considered weird and old-fashioned.


Some of us have either become too sophisticated to pay that kind of price or too lukewarm to believe that God requires it. We’ve forgotten that the gospel makes demands on us. We’ve forgotten that the Christian life is not just about blessings and personal breakthroughs but also about being willing to face impossible obstacles in order to take the gospel to the world.


I’m afraid that we have replaced raw missionary zeal with a happy-clappy, seeker-sensitive message of self-empowerment. Our shallowness has made us weak and irrelevant in a time when the church desperately needs more heroes like Jim Elliot.
I know those heroes are out there. I often meet them overseas-in places such as Egypt, Nigeria or China-any country where Christians have swallowed their fears and become willing to suffer when necessary.


I met one of these heroes in Indonesia in January. He is less than 5 feet tall, but he could be considered a spiritual giant. His name is Pastor Lucky, and he lives in Papua, the easternmost region of this huge island nation. Missiologists know Papua has one of the highest concentrations of unreached tribes in the world.


I met Pastor Lucky during a conference in Jakarta. After hearing me speak he slipped a wrinkled, handwritten note into my hand. It said in imperfect English: “Plese pray for Papua.” It listed 14 isolated people groups who live in the jungles of his province.


Most of these tribes live in trees and do not wear clothes. All of them are violent and cannibalistic. They don’t have a written language and have no access to the Bible. They have no technology. But they do have Pastor Lucky.


I was drawn to this man partly because his short stature and slight frame made me feel an urge to protect him. He explained to me that he had an accident when he was 11 months old that left him crippled. Lucky’s father rejected his son because of his physical impairment and even tried to strangle him when he was 9.
“I grew up very timid, feeling unworthy and useless,” Lucky told me through a translator. But because of his mother’s prayers, he became a Christian at age 12. Today, at age 32, he pastors a church in Papua. But his ultimate goal is to penetrate the jungle.


As Lucky told me of his plans to reach these hostile tribes, I couldn’t help but think of those Christian martyrs who died in 1956. I wondered if Pastor Lucky might join them. And I wondered if many of us would be willing to pay a similar price.


Not all of us are called to dangerous jungles. But Jesus told all of us to go. If the word “go” is not in your gospel, I dare you to ask God to give you the heart of a missionary adventurer.


You may be surprised where that prayer may take you.


J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma and author of 10 Lies the Church Tells Women (Charisma House). His ministry, The Mordecai Project, focuses on empowering women in ministry and confronting abuse.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

What the Holy Spirit Showed Me About the Fentanyl Overdose Crisis

What the Holy Spirit Showed Me About the Fentanyl Overdose Crisis

Fentanyl has been making headlines lately in the midst of an overdose crisis raging in America. Doubtless, if we don’t shut this down in the spirit, this overdose crisis will soon find its way into many other nations. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to...

Could Judas Have Been Saved?

Could Judas Have Been Saved?

The answer is yes. If Judas would have simply repented to God, he could have been saved. The Bible tells us that everyone can be saved. Judas knew he had sinned but he didn’t bring it to God. A person can feel remorse within themselves, but not remorse for sinning...

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Out of respect for those of you who have taken the time to comment about a statement I made 11 years ago regarding the World Economic Forum, I thought it would be beneficial to restate God’s call on my life. In 1988, He made it clear that I was to be His messenger,...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and...
Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]