Obedience: My Journey To Decision
The thought that some people have never heard of Jesus and the consequences of that reality makes me uncomfortable. It wasn’t always so. I had assumed my country was full of Christians, because I grew up surrounded by churches and “Christians” everywhere I turned. Little did I know that I would later be part of those taking the Gospel to the unreached peoples of my country.
It was not until I went to some remote villages and a major town in the Northern part of the country for a field visit to gather some data for an organization I was working with, that I got to see that there are actually unreached people groups within my country. This realization was shocking to me!
I was fresh from the university and I actually didn’t know how to handle these truths. When I got to this particular town in the north, I walked around it several times on foot and could not even find a single church building, and this was in my country! Were there Christians in the town? I could see mosques at every street corner and countless women in hijabs but no trace of a place where Christians gather. My guide had communicated to me that I stay within the center of the town and that he would come to pick me after about two hours so I used this time of waiting to explore. I wondered how he even managed to live in such an area as a Christian.
Seeing this, my heart was burning with passion and love, love for the souls of these people who were lost without Christ. How I wished that Jesus would be exalted in this new strange (to me) world. I used the two hours I had to “prayer-walk” the whole town. I went from one end of the town to the other, from street to street, calling on the Name of Jesus to give these people a chance to at least hear the Gospel once. The thought that they may all end up in hell forever terrified me to a point that I shed tears, tears of compassion. By the time my guide came to pick me, I had prayed enough and the more I prayed the more I got convinced that I should be part of the answer to this disturbing reality.
And after the day, thinking that I had seen it all, I met someone who had been in my country for a few months. He had been sent by his home church back in the USA to come help reach the unreached peoples of my country. This was another shock since I understood how far USA is from here, and a small local church there knew more about the people groups in my own country while I, a native, didn’t know any unreached people group. What a shame! Interrogating him didn’t give me peace either. I could read the passion and love from the tone of his voice and as he told his story, I got challenged. He was on fire for God. He was “dead”, dead to fear and worries, had no regrets, forgoing a ‘beautiful’ comfortable life in his country to come live in the bushes and the hot sun. To reach the unreached was a real joy to him.
He narrated to me his encounters while debating Imams and Sheikhs in public, in the town squares, the threats to him and his family, how he had nothing to lose and above all how Muslims were giving their souls to Jesus.
With all these first-hand experiences, I was questioning the Christianity I was raised up in. Why didn’t they tell me all these things, such as the fact that there are places where there no churches in Kenya and that there are whole communities that have never heard the Gospel? That I too could be part of what God is doing in the frontlines; that the eternal fate of the unreached depended on what I as a “normal” Christian will do with the truth clearly stated in my Bible. I had grown up in church, attended church regularly! I questioned my belief system and wondered if I was going to the same heaven with such radical disciples.
I had to do something and it had to be done fast.
Fast forward several months later and I was on my way to join other disciples living and serving the unreached communities in the Northern part of my country. The truth is that time has come for us Africans, especially the young people, to reach the unreached people groups, those who have little or no access to the Gospel in our neighborhoods, those within our borders and even beyond. This calls for a new breed of radical disciples who are fully sold out to Jesus. Let’s stand to be counted as those who are fully obedient to the command to make disciples.
***Peter Kale (not his real name) is a missionary serving among an unreached people group in Northeastern Kenya