Updated: Apr 30, 2018
As I gazed up at the amazing architecture and soaked in the serenity of a place saturated in symbolism, I was captivated by a series of sculptures portraying Christ and the twelve apostles. They were high above eye level and could possibly be overlooked by a person rushing in or out. I was thankful to have noticed and to have the time to simply observe from where I was standing. I know you’re wondering where I might have found such a place in the Middle East North African region, so I will clear that up before continuing. I have to leave periodically to renew my visa. When I flew out here, my family had a trip planned to Spain for a few days, so we arranged for me to renew my visa and visit with them at the same time.
On October 1st in Barcelona, Spain as many Catalans were looking to vote Si on a referendum for independence we drove about 45km (28 miles) away from the city to Montserrat Monastery. It was there that I was enthralled by a visual of Christ and the twelve apostles. I was reminded of my job and felt as if I was looking at a series of photos in the office hall of fame. I knew that these people were real and experienced much more than I have. They had wisdom that now helps me carry out the job that they themselves once performed. I again connected the people displayed not only as characters in a story, but people in history.
History is happening every day, some is significant, and some is not; some is good, and some is evil. As Christians with the Spirit of God inside of us, we get to make History.
As the team and I are working hard in North Africa to make history here, I know many of you have asked: How is it going? How can I pray for you?
Colossians 4:2-4; “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Paul the apostle from history wrote this book of the Bible, Colossians, after he had completed three ‘successful’ missionary journeys. In reading, I’ve learned that even a hall of fame guy like Paul still felt the need for prayer for God to open doors. In turn he could do his job; proclaim the gospel. He also sought prayers that he would make the message clear as it should be.
I find it curious that Paul also writes Ephesians 6:19-20 requesting prayers that he speaks boldly ‘as he ought to’.
The successful description of Paul’s missionary journeys is not on account of the multitudes receiving the message of Christ but that Paul did his part and shared the gospel where there was opportunity. “While we must always remember that it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, we must never forget that it is God who saves.” theologian J.I. Packer. The success of ministry here is not measured by multitudes who we see come to the Lord in the moment. It measured by our willingness and obedience to share the Gospel at all times. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth,” 1 Corinthians 3:6. I encourage you continue praying for us and sharing the Gospel every time the opportunity presents itself – together we are making history.