There is a country of several million that we need to reach with the message and life of Jesus. The reality of this small but vital population is that it includes men and women who are destined to occupy one fourth to one half of the world’s key leadership roles in the next few decades.
Sadly, most of the Christian church is currently neglecting this significant mission opportunity. Even most of the global missionary force is not working among these people. Yet if the followers of Jesus could influence the leaders of the planet when they are most open to ideas and change – politically, militarily, economically, academically, scientifically, and relationally – imagine the breadth and depth of such influence!
All of these people speak English, so no language learning is necessary. That means your missionary effort can start right away where you are. There is no need to raise a missionary budget to travel, work hard to get a visa and gain admittance to a country different from your own, and hope for religious freedom when you arrive.
Since you do not have to travel and go through cultural adjustments in a new environment, there is no need to change and adapt your food intake or general daily habits. The people you will meet in this country are friendly, well mannered, and interested in sharing and receiving hospitality. Even though they are from a different country, they are interested in meeting Americans in particular, and hoping to experience American family life and friendship.
The majority of the inhabitants of this country are serious-minded, hard working, and want to make a difference in the world. Many of them are even eager to learn about Christianity and most of them would receive a Bible if you offered them one and read it (especially if it was written in their language). They are also open to talk about their spiritual experience and compare it with the message of the Bible if the person connecting with them is sincere in desiring mutually supportive friendship, regardless of the outcome of the conversation.
The initial challenge when considering approaching this country is the short length of actual access time to its people. It is rare if the window of opportunity lasts more than four years on average. That means the time for reaching out, building trust, and engaging this culture is short. The other reality (and challenge) is when their time in America is ending, they will go on to touch and influence hundreds, thousands, even millions…in other countries around the world.
You may have heard of this country, even though its name is a bit odd. It is a bit peculiar because the United Nations does not have it on its roll. It is the land of NAOD, and its borders, language and culture is broad, diverse, and pluralistic. NAOD stands for “Nations At Our Doorstep.”
If I remove the letter “A” from this unusual name, I suggest it communicates the spiritual “blindness” that seems to affect the Christ followers in America. NOD may seem to indicate the drowsiness many of us find ourselves in when we are asked to reach the extraordinary people of this unique and valued land. For the name and sake of Jesus our Lord, we cannot fail in our task.
Never before in the history of the Church has a generation been given a greater opportunity to reach the nations of the world than we in America have right now. Serve globally. Let each of us determine how we introduce an international student in our area of influence to Immanuel.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz