Posted by: macahajo | September 14, 2013

Why?

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)

Over the last months, I have encountered many who have asked me two questions: The first is: “With so many needs and problems in our own country, and the danger facing Americans overseas, why go somewhere else and minister?”

My answer to this has been that any time I can go and be a light in a place where there is limited exposure to the Gospel, I want to go and make a difference for Jesus. And the Lord is calling us to Africa, and if we didn’t go, we’d be disobeying Him.

The second question that has been asked is: “Why put yourself through the difficulty and stress of learning a new culture and language?”  When I’ve heard this question asked of me, and when I’ve thought about learning another language, I have felt some dread that I would fail. But God has really changed my heart and attitude towards language learning, and I am realizing that this part of my life will be an exciting time of ministry!

The key to this is going to be my attitude and heart. I need to be a humble servant who is willing to put myself in a place of dependency with Cameroonians. Jesus is my example that I need to follow and focus on. It would be very easy to be the American who comes in and has the answer to everyone’s problems. But to have true impact on the culture and people for Christ, I have to build relationships with Cameroonians who I can learn from as well as partner with in ministry. I will never have it all together and be perfect. I need the help of brothers and sisters around me to pray for me, encourage me and support me so that I can do what God is calling me to do: to make disciples who make disciples.

The reality is that if I can focus on this during my language learning, I will be more apt to successfully incarnate into Cameroonian life and culture. And if I can successfully incarnate into Cameroonian life and culture, I will be able to most effectively minister to the people of Cameroon. And this is why I am willing to go through the difficulty and stress of learning a new culture and language.

What does it mean to incarnate? In the most simple terms, it means to leave your comforts and home culture to live among a different people so they can hear about Jesus Christ. It’s actually what we are all called to do as believers in Jesus Christ. The question is: do we do it?  And in our case, we are simply going where we believe God is calling us.

What do people most need? I am deeply convicted that people need to hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ so they can have a choice to believe in Jesus or not. People need to hear the story of salvation, and they need to see it lived out in the lives of people who love Jesus and who love their neighbors.

My ultimate goal for language study is to be able to minister fluently in French.  I want to listen to a person pour out their heart to me, and be able to point them clearly and effectively to Jesus.

I could really use your prayers for this.

-Mark


Responses

  1. Mark,

    Debbie and I are now in Cameroon, at Mbingo Hospital with Jim and Carolyn Brown. We have been with Jeff and Sheryl Brown for a few days and will be returning to Yaounde tomorrow. We then leave on Tuesday for Maroua to see Dave and Patsy Alfors. We think of you being here and your blog today reminded us again of your deep desire to be here soon. Thank you for your expression of “Why” you are desiring to be here. Our prayer is that the Lord would bring you here in His timing. You and Cathy are remembered in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to seeing you again after we return.

    Blessings,

    Dave (and Debbie)

    From: African Sand in My Shoes <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: African Sand in My Shoes <comment+ry1i80hz1pi–yc0hw8ngtn@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:37 PM To: Dave Wardle <dave.wardle@efca.org> Subject: [New post] Why?

    macahajo posted: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And bei”

    • Thank you Dave. We are praying for you both as yu continue your ministry there in Africa.


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