When people are really passionate about something, they don’t generally keep it to themselves. Sports fans wear jerseys. People put bumper stickers on their cars. Others bring up politics wherever they go–birthday parties, weddings, funerals, etc. Social media exists, and the masses use it. Clearly, human beings are wired to express our love for the things we love. Some more so than others. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, our praise completes our joy - we haven’t fully enjoyed something until we’ve told others about it and have invited them into it. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of the time we want others to care about the things we care about. And, though we’re reluctant to admit it, we’re saddened (or outraged) when they don’t.
How much more is this true when the thing we care about is not only a passing interest, but an essential reality to our very existence – something that if it were taken away from us, we would cease to be who we truly are. So it is with Christians and Jesus Christ. We exist “in Christ.” If you were to somehow remove him, all that we are would go with him. He is our Life. Apart from him we can do nothing, and we are nothing. When a person comes to know Jesus Christ in all of his beauty, love, compassion, wisdom, power and glory, it should come as no surprise that he or she would desire others to know him and to be burdened when others don’t. We want others to have Life in Christ, forever.
That’s why we’re moving to Africa. We know God himself is the one who reaches the unreached, making the logic of passages like Romans 10:13-15a striking - “‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” In His wisdom, the Lord has chosen to carry out the work of reaching the unreached and discipling the nations through those who go to make disciples and those who send them to do so. The logic is inescapable. The Lord has commissioned the work, promised to complete the work Himself and then said He will do it as the gospel is proclaimed by weak and frail people like us who are sent by people like you, the people who make up Anthem Church.
This idea of going and sending means we all have a role to play. And that’s what we love about being a part of Anthem. We are being sent off as a part of the Anthem body to go and make disciples in another culture. And as we are sent by the people who are called to stay and make disciples right here, we are so encouraged to know we are not alone in our calling. We are all called to make disciples. It’s the Great Commandment from Matthew 28: 19-20a - “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (or people groups), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” The senders stay and make disciples here, the go-ers go and make disciples there. It’s a beautiful picture of the Church.
We’ve both been called to Africa since before we were married. And our hearts are to follow Christ wherever he leads. In doing that over the years, he’s led us in lots of different directions - from Coeur d'Alene to Los Angeles to Tanzania, then back to Los Angeles and back to Coeur d'Alene. And finally the time has come to go BACK to Africa!
This time we’re heading to Kenya. We’re being sent by Anthem Church through Africa Inland Mission to work with their On Field Media Team in Nairobi, Kenya. We realize this may seem confusing, however we believe this arrangement will best equip us to minister in Africa for the long-term. For the past 120 years, Africa Inland Mission has been dedicated to the vision of seeing “Christ Centered Churches Among All African Peoples” and their priority is for unreached people groups. Our task is to capture the stories of what God is doing among those unreached people groups (using our God-given gifts in media) as well as to equip and come alongside our African brothers and sisters in Christ to make disciples. And we couldn’t be more excited about this calling, and we hope you’re excited about it too!