Why We Exist?
Recently, I returned from Ukraine where I conducted some training on how to use the disciple making resources we have assembled at Disciple Daily. It was a very intense time. There was a huge agenda planned. It was a mountain. God showed up with a bulldozer. All of us who lived and trained together for eight days heard from God. Lifelong friendships and partnerships were established and strengthened. All were challenged.
I was confronted with an uncomfortable realization.
Here in the west, Christians fit their personal faith into their personal lives. It is something they do, when it is convenient. We work to live life on our own personal terms. My new friends in Eurasia live, work, and breathe to make disciples of Messiah Jesus in their home, neighborhood, community, nation, region, and the whole world. Everything! Everything else is secondary to that objective. Everything is about Him. It is not about them. This was driven home on two occasions.
The first was during breakfast with my host family, on the last day of training. Sitting at the table, while breaking bread together, Sasha revealed plans for the immediate future of his family. They are actively taking steps to leave their comfortable home, a place where they already have a thriving ministry. Where are they headed? They are prayerfully taking steps to move to one of the major cities of Eastern Ukraine. They want to establish a completely new work among the more than 1.5 million refugees who have been displaced as a result of Russian aggression in the region. They are moving directly into harm’s way. They will demonstrate with their own lives the reality of God’s Word to people who need to first see and then hear what it means to be a disciple of Messiah Jesus. Theirs is not a political move. They are not attempting to create a coalition of like minded folks to convince others to do what they know to be right. They are doing what is right, right where they are. Sasha, Ira, David, and Naziri refuse to be silent.
Second, I was challenged by two young women. Anna and Marina are the daughters of my Walk Thru the Bible counterpart for this training. On my last Sunday afternoon in Ukraine, following a wonderful morning of worship, they took me on a tour of Kiev’s downtown area. What I discovered during our time together was the depth of their faith, the faith Boris and Tamara (their parents) had modeled for them.
On February 18, 2014, violent protests broke out at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also known as Independence Square. Reportedly, hundreds of deaths occurred as Ukrainians sought to wrest control of their government from Ukraine’s then Russian-backed puppet president, Victor Yanukovych. Explaining the events that led to the recent revolution accompanied by a lesson on the current regional politics, Marina made a startling comment. “If it is a choice between safety and security for our country and greater opportunities for reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus, we will accept the uncertainty of these times. If it comes to persecution for our faith, we will accept that.” Anna and Marina refuse to be silent. Boris and Tamara refuse to be silent.
Church, are you listening? There are followers of Messiah Jesus, who in spite of life threatening circumstances refuse to be silent. And yet, here in America there is virtual silence in our homes, in our neighborhoods, where we work, and even at our churches… there is “utter silence, deafening silence.”
Oh, there is lots of shouting. There are plenty of Facebook postings. But mostly we are shouting to the choir, a choir that has no clue about what to do. That is because we have not done at home what we want others to do for us beyond the four walls of our personal fortresses. We have not been faithful to make disciples who make disciples of Messiah Jesus at home, or anywhere else.
When will the utter silence, deafening silence existing around our own kitchen tables be broken?
Help us break the silence by supporting the work of Disciple Daily.