In heading an outreach team to a first world country some questions start to arise. Should we be going somewhere with more poverty? Is it really worth spending so much money to go to a place thats already been reached by the gospel? and really, why would we go to Norway when there are orphan children we can feed in Africa or India? These are all things that have gone through my head over these past few months until recently God started his work in my heart and the paradime shift began.
Two weeks ago I saw the movie "Trading Innocents" and later on in church that week heard some amazing men speak in church on the work they are doing with Muslim peoples in Indonesia. I almost expected to feel jealous of their testimonies thinking of my outreach to Europe, but instead was hit in an incredible way with how much people in general need love. I found my heart bursting with compassion, not just for these girls in the sex trade or people under the burdens of Islam, but for anyone and everyone I came accross. I believe I gained a sliver of Gods heart for the world that week and it was the starting point of a great heart change.
In Matthew 28 Jesus tells his disciples of ALL nations. This morning I was reflecting on this verse and noticed some things. Firstly, he says ALL nations. Not just poor nations or nations that have heard the word, but ALL nations. In this I also remembered a sermon I heard a while back about the difference between just sharing the gospel and actually making disciples. Now don't get me wrong third world outreaches are extremely important. We NEED to preach the good news to the poor and show compassion to widows and orphans, but what has been highlighted to be is that there is also a call to make disciples of people who already know the gospel and have the resources to be a great force for the kingdom. A word I got for our team last week was "equipers". The people of Norway have tremendous resources to make a change in the world and I feel like part of what God wants to use us for there is motivating the youth and others to do something with those.
The last thing that has been on my heart for Norway this past week is this: There is a significant emptiness that comes with wealth if there is not something more meaningful behind it. Yes the people of Norway are extremely well off, but without the rock of Christ which is the only thing that is steadfast, complete value trust and hope is put on a very unstable platform. Ultimately it doesn't matter how many vacations you can take in a year or the financial stability you have if you don't believe that you were created for a purpose and you have a heavenly father who's love for you is endless.
This is why we go. To make the fathers heart known and empower people with that to make a change in our world.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.