MOBILIZING MISSIONARIES FOR PIONEER CHURCH PLANTING
This guest post is from Jenna Anderson, former missionary to Botswana and pastor of global outreach at Westside Church in Bend Oregon.
The glorious islands found in the rough waters of Lake Victoria: Rugged, remote, nearly forgotten and entirely wild.
These distant shores, and more importantly their inhabitants, have undoubtedly caught the eye of Jesus. To Him, these hearts are seen plainly and beautifully through the thicket of rough terrain and societal judgements. These people are beautiful, valued, and pursued by a God who can’t get them out of His mind. Having traveled with Bold Ventures four different times to these islands through tumultuous storms with wind and rain, I have come to understand some deep truths about God and His character that has forever changed me.
On my first trip to these islands it rained. I mean, it poured. Our mission team set up camp and took shelter in the small, wooden church building nearby. Huddled in the shed-like structure you could sense the expectancy and faith growing as the torrential downpour crescendoed on the metal roof. Two by two we went out looking for the ones that God had prepared to connect with. We greeted Ugandans house by house in our broken bits of the Luganda language while becoming increasingly burdened at the desperation and challenges they disclosed. Knowing that we had nothing to offer them of ourselves we stirred our faith and shared the very truth and promises of God. In those tiny doorways, I witnessed something I had never seen so powerfully before.
Desperation turned to hope
Addictions broken and lives set free
Miracles manifested with shouts of joy
Those far away from God were welcomed home with open arms
The Church was being built. Not of wood and metal but with lives; transformed lives that had finally found a place in the family of God. On these remote islands where people can so easily be forgotten, they were seen. Seen in their desperation and met there by the living God. Met with real answers and real breakthrough and authentic change. Those who were being seen and encountered were also being built. Built to be the living stones that 1 Peter 2:9 speaks of. Living stones assembled into a spiritual house where God is free to dwell and move in power.
The powerful truths I witnessed on the islands reflect so clearly God’s heart for every tribe and nation. He is unwavering in His commitment to be the God who sees and the God who builds. The wild thing is that He chooses to use us to labor alongside Him in His work!
Whether across the world, on remote islands, or across the street, the God who sees the nations invites you to go and see for yourself. Will you join His adventure and follow His call?
“…Lift up your eyes, and see the fields…” (John 4:35, YLT)