Jump to the bottom for a video and photos....
I was just about to leave when a question caught my attention.
"What’s the point of your survey?
Why are you going?
It’s so expensive it can’t be worth it. It’s not a ‘real’ mission trip."
Wow, was this a question or a statement ?
In the Bible there is a story from the book of Numbers, where Moses sends out 12 spies to survey a land that was promised to them by God, an inheritance left to them, but a land they had to fight to take hold of. A land that promised great harvest.
Unfortunately the people were held back by their fear. Unlike my sons hero, King David, they did not believe God would fight for them and overcome. As a result, not only did they miss out on the rewards of that inheritance but they lost their lives because of their un belief.
Joshua, emboldened by the Holy Spirt went against the grain and championed the promises of God. If God is with us who can be against us?! Joshua went on to lead the people and claim the promises of God.
I like my my namesake, believe the harvest is ripe and that there is an inheritance we must take hold of. 'Carpe Diem' was the moto I grew up hearing. I believe God has given me a charge to be ambassador for missions, to champion that great commission given over 2,000 years ago. To hold onto His promises and to champion the lost. To call labours to the field, to stand with them. To walk them to the places that are dark on the “Fog of War” map. To introduce believers to a life of adventure, in Christ.
So was this trip necessary? Absolutely!
How could I champion a people I have never met?
How can I tell someone to go where I have never been?
How could I have a zeal for something I have not personally had to struggle through?
No I had to go and find the lost. I had to meet them, break bread with them, hear the cry of their heart so that I could be their representative. So that I could speak on their behalf and plead earnestly with you, for help.
I had been dreaming of this trip for almost 2 years now, but there was nothing down on paper. Not until late last year. I was sitting under a tree with Mark and we said, why wait any longer, let’s go ! Let’s invite as many people that are willing to come as we can. Let them see with their own eyes, and hear with their own ears the earnest bleating of lost sheep.
Everywhere else we tend to go, we encounter so called 'unreached people', but this is hardly the case. Many times these people not only have a church in their village but many, there are many open air meetings, opportunities for evangelism, family members that are saved etc. They may not be believers but they certainly have many forms of exposer to the Gospel.
The Joshua Project has defined an unreached people, as a people group among which there is "No indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers or resources to evangelise without outside assistance."
The Jie are such a people, as far as we were told there were no Jie believers, there was no Jie church, and alarmingly there was no missionaries working among the Jie. Imagine a whole tribe who speak their own unique language, who have there own culture. Their own style of dressing, tattooing, piercing and body markings and even food that is totally unique to themselves. All without access to the Creator, without knowledge of the Gospel. Totally lost in the darkness. Stumbling around as if blind.
Can this be true? Is it an exaggeration?
I had to go and see for my self.
I spoke to Mark and we agreed some dates for the following year and began to invite anyone that we could envision to be a boot on the ground. This was not a high level investors trip for tourists. These were people that already lived and breathed missions. People that worked in the nation, that were already invested, tested and proven warriors. We weren’t messing about.
We set of with about 4 land-cruisers and around 12 leaders from different organisations and denominations. The 12 spies.
"The 12 spies"
Each night we slept in a Jie village under the stars.
Each morning we spent time with the elders sitting under a tree listening to their cry’s for help as they described their suffering.
To my dear reader who is under the impression that missionaries “ruin culture” and that we should just let them them live their peaceful beautiful lives. All I can say is I wish you were sitting next to me while we heard them cry for help.
The Jie people.
We spent the days driving to the next village often 6-8 hours. We saw what a generation of war had done to such a beautiful country. There was no life, no wildlife, no chatter of birds, no scamper of monkeys or crash of rhinos. At one point we drove past the carcus of an elephant that had died or more likely been killed long ago, not surprisingly the tusks were missing. We passed an abandoned tank and wondered if there were any land-mines that had been left by a previous war.
The trip proved to weigh heavy on my heart, as I’m sure you can feel from the words I have chose to write down. How could we help a people, even a nation that was so devastated. To say the need is vast would be an understatement.
A new hope
The fact of the matter is we can indeed help these people!!! In fact WE WILL HELP THESE PEOPLE, because we have something this world does not.
His name is Jesus!
Jesus can heal broken hearts.
Jesus can bring life where there is only death.
Jesus can give a hope in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Jesus can remove a lifestyle of corruption and replace it with one of integrity.
Jesus can remove a nature of sin and restore it with a nature if righteousness.
Where God is at work transformation will follow.
So what can we do ? Nothing.
What can Jesus do ? Everything !
This is the vein of faith we are stepping out in and I am so so excited to see what God will do!
What are we doing to make sure these people get reached?
During the survey we dropped of Eliah one of our Kenyan missionaries, that Mark has been preparing these last few years in Naliel. We commissioned him to start a new work among these people. A huge undertaking. I will describe he's location in a future post, but believe me its a tough place to be and he most defiantly needs your prayers.
In the short time he has been there, he has already had malaria, typhoid and had all his possessions stolen from him!
Would you be willing to go through this to reach the lost?
We will stand with him, we want to build him a home, somewhere he feels safe and can lock his personal items away, we would like to get him a solar panel so he can charge his phone, and we would like to drill a well so he doesn't have to get sick.
We have also identified some key leaders from this area and sent them to bible school in Eldoret, so that they can come back and be a light in this region, able to stand strong on the word of God. One of these is a lady called Janet. We visited her village and met with her family. There is no church, but there soon will be in Jesus name!
Pray for Janet and people like Janet.
The area Janet comes from
Will you stand with us to see the Jie people get reached? Will you support us to see the lost get a beacon of light? You can do so here.
God has gone before us and planted close to 100 church fellowships in less than 5 years among the Toposa. I am so excited to see what he will do among the Jie!
God bless you if you managed to read this whole bolg, it was a long one, but I pray it blesses and challenges you !
Here's a clip I made from the outreach, enjoy.....