I have travelled a lot. Really a lot. I have always been a Christian and I’ve always had God’s protection as I went. That doesn’t mean I was always covered in cotton wool. Far from it. Everywhere I’ve been I have sort of taken a “temperature test” of the area.
The most interesting tests were last year and this year. Last year was Spain, Italy, London and Israel. Spain and France desperately need prayer AND evangelism. According to statistics something like 20% of all couples participate in clubs where they swap partners. This is an astonishing stat and one that is hard to believe – I think so anyway. Morality is not at all in life with God’s view of morality and it’s seen very much as a personal choice, not an absolute. We westerners can evangelise those areas – we just need to “go” with the Holy Spirit.
Reaching the middle east
But this year it’s about taking the temperature of Israel and muslim countries and Egypt/Sinai. My impression here is different.
Firstly let me say again that I am very excited by the “Back to Jerusalem” movement that the Chinese are building. I am also very excited by what the Holy Spirit is doing in Africa through the hearts of missionaries to Uganda, Rwanda and through Iris Ministries and others, may the Holy Spirit sweep up Africa and restore lives and heal people and relationships right up through Africa.
But… and you knew there was a but coming eh?
Pray for the middle east
I think the key to reaching the middle east is prayer. Repent for the idolatry that is there, repent for the bloodshed and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to the people here and build His church. It’s a very simple prayer… and prayer really works!
I was here 1 year ago and I am sure that now, only 1 year later, that there are more Christians, behaving more openly. I am sure of it.
It will be very tough for europeans to reach the locals, but locals can reach locals. Right here in Dahab there is a store which has a HUGE picture of Jesus on a cricifix in his shop. I was stunned. Apparently 10% of Egyptians are Christians.
The number of people in Israel is growing because of Aliyah, but the number of active Jewish people is dropping… and yet the number of Messianic Jews is rising. Let’s just pray for them!
There are plenty of Arab-Christians in Israel and Palestine too… let’s pray for them to increase!
The 10/40 window remains
Let’s be realistic. We have reached most of the world. The graph below – based on good and worthy statistics – shows that we are not currently reaching more of the world, we have flatlined.
I think it’s a no-brainer that the unreached % is contained in the 10/40 window. That window is sort of closed to us (Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia) and yet it is not at all closed to our prayers.
Q: And where do you think persecution is going to come from?
BA: From Islam – not that Islam is a threat, it’s a challenge; but we are not accepting the challenge. If we do not accept a challenge, it turns into a threat. Sometimes people come to my office and they are very upset, ‘Oh the Muslims have bought another empty church, and they have converted it into a Mosque, isn’t that terrible!’ No, that’s not terrible, what’s terrible is that the church was empty.
But don’t forget to love
This post has been showing how to break open the 10/40 window through a simple prayer (repent for their idolatry and bloodshed, and ask Jesus to reveal Himself and build His church).
However it would be a desperately unbalanced post if I didn’t include a call to love the people around you, love you family, love the unlovely, love the lost, love the sick, love the homeless and to be a billboard for God in your life.