Classes are well underway here at Emanate.  Returning students and new students alike joined together for our annual Global Perspectives conference – a chance to learn about some of the specific needs, opportunities, and challenges in various parts of the world.  Together we contemplated the urgency of the task before us, as well as the vast undertaking of planting churches in a cross-cultural context – especially churches that will have a solid foundation in the Gospel and in the Word of God.

As we heard updates from fields as diverse as Northern Canada and Western Africa, we were overwhelmed at the immensity of the needs.  This world is crying out under the weight of sin, death, and confusion.  Hearts and minds are hardened against God’s truth, ensnared in the complex webs that we know as worldviews.  Where do we begin?  And even more importantly, how can we maintain the stamina to see this task through to completion?

We heard from Tim Whatley, who grew up as a missionary kid in a tribal village in Asia Pacific and later was part of the Moi church planting team.  When he was around eight years old, he witnessed a girl his age dying of cerebral malaria without any knowledge of Jesus Christ.  He still remembers realizing right then and there that the Lord wanted him to one day bring the Gospel to others like her.

About a year later, after his parents taught the Gospel in the village, he overheard village leaders asking his father, “How long have your people back in “Canada village” known about this message you’re giving us?  How come no one came to tell us sooner?

Tim told us that as strong as these memories are for him, such memories can only spur us onward every now and then; they aren’t enough to give us the sense of urgency we need to finish the task.

“If you want to have any sense of urgency that lasts, the only way is to put your eyes on the finish line. … Brothers and sisters, don’t take your eyes off Jesus and don’t take your eyes off the finish line.”

-Tim Whatley, Executive Director of Ethnos Canada

We must keep our eyes fixed on the goal – that one day every tribe, tongue and nation would be gathered around the throne to worship our Lord (Revelation 7:9).  The task in front of us is urgent, and the undertaking is immense.  Only through the power of Jesus Christ can we see it through to completion and see lives transformed by the Gospel.  As Jesus himself reminded his disciples:

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

-John 15:5, NIV

  • Would you pray for Emanate students that we would “keep our eyes on the finish line” and learn to rely completely on the Lord as we prepare to go where He leads?
  • Would you pray for more labourers willing to trust the Lord and go where He leads them?