"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12
As Jesus-followers, we are commissioned by the Lord to share God's Word boldly, make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey all of His commands. Notice - these words found in Matthew 28:18-20 - have never been referred to as "The Great Suggestion." This is THE Great Commission, spoken by our Lord Jesus. Friends, it is our responsibility to follow-through on this.
Here at IDES, we like to think of evangelism as a ripple-effect. What is a ripple-effect? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a ripple-effect is "a situation in which one event causes a series of other events to happen." In the New Testament, Paul often speaks about evangelism in metaphor as a garden. One person may boldly till the soil in someone's life, another may plant the seed of faith, and another still may do the watering, while God produces the growth (see 1 Corinthians 3).
All it takes is one little drop of water to create infinitely repetitious ripples circulating outwards to the whole body of water. One bold drop.
One of our mission partners in Nepal, a country where it is illegal to proselytize (or attempt to convert someone to a particular faith), is a beautiful example of being that drop of water that causes a ripple-effect for the Kingdom. In April 2015, Nepal suffered from a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left thousands dead, injured, or displaced. In many cases, people who do not know Jesus are much more likely to listen to the Gospel when it is shared after a catastrophic tragedy such as this. They are seeking for provision, comfort, and foundation -- much like we all seek for deep within our souls, but in a more immediately needy circumstance.
In an effort to introduce these souls to the One true Provider, Comforter, and Cornerstone, our mission partner in Nepal boldly organized a distribution of Bibles for anyone of these victims whom were interested, just a few weeks prior to Christmas. IDES was blessed with the opportunity to contribute funding for this distribution.
One bold drop.
"Two weeks prior to the distribution, the evangelists requested the believers from their churches to bring three to five non-Christian friends and neighbors. Before distributing the Bibles, the director explained that the Bible is not just a souvenir that you cherish but it is Bread for your spiritual life; open it every time you have a chance," said our mission partner.
Despite the laws that the Nepalese government have in place restricting evangelism, it is clear that the citizens of Nepal are still open to hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are eager to learn more about following Him. What better a time for an introduction than Christmas? The Bibles were handed out to the crowd in the form of a gift, but with an additional explanation as quoted above. Then, the ripples.
"More than twelve Hindu priests and Seventeen witch doctors received Bibles. The Hindu priests were excited to receive a Bible and some of them started reading it immediately...They believed our message that the Bible is the word from God. Some of them wanted to know more about Christ after reading the Bible. One woman said that she will read the word of God regularly and that she plans to take all her family members to the Church."
Praise God Almighty! Thanks to your support of IDES, and our courageous mission partners around the world like these in Nepal, we can--together--cause many ripples with eternal effects.
So, how do you cause a ripple-effect for the Kingdom of God? With one bold drop. Knock on that neighbor's door. Send that card. Start that conversation. Give that extra dollar. Talk to that stranger. Pray continuously.
"Ripple Effect." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.