Great stories stir great action
By Ray Mensah
Several mission stories have impacted me personally, including one about a missionary who led 903 radical Muslim jihadists to Christ as he obeyed the Lord and went to serve where his colleague had been previously martyred. The other is Samuel Alexander Bill, the Irish missionary. He responded to the call to Nigeria when no one gave him a chance to survive the “white man’s grave.” He ended up serving for over 50 years. The Qua Iboe Church, the fruit of his missionary work, now has thousands of local assemblies with over two million members.
As I write this editorial, I have spent the past three weeks sharing mission stories at several meetings with ministry partners. I have thus seen their power to activate God’s people for Great Commission action. Many people at those meetings recounted how they felt stirred up by the testimonies from the mission field. Praise God!
If a church or mission agency reports that 50,000 people came to faith in Christ Jesus, behind those numbers are the stories of how real people encountered Christ and the transformation they experienced in their lives. The impact then quadruples from just statistics to “stories of hope” or “great mission stories.”
The Bible is said to be 75 per cent stories or narrative, 15 per cent poetry and 10 per cent letters, concepts and ideas. The story of David and Goliath for instance has impacted generations. The Gospels are great mission stories of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the book of Acts is filled with mission stories of the apostles as the Holy Spirit worked through them.
Behind those numbers are the stories of how real people encountered Christ.
Likewise in our generation, there is the story of Mary Steele from the UK, who spent over 50 years in Ghana and translated the whole Bible into two Ghanaian languages: Konkomba and Bimoba. I can go on with the stories of:
- Dr Solomon and Leticia Aryeetey from Ghana who served in Mali and reached numerous Fulanis for Christ.
- Drs Joshua & Joanna Bogunjoko from Nigeria who served with their medical careers at SIM’s Galmi Hospital in Niger. He is now the first African SIM International Director.
- Reuben Kachala and his wife Elizabeth, who served in India.
- Tshepang Basupi from Botswana and his wife Queen who have been mobilizing the Church in Africa and currently serve as the Southern Africa Regional Directors of the Africa Inland Mission (AIM).
- My colleague Samuel Afrifa serving among the unreached Mamprusi people in Ghana, who has seen many Muslims and animists come to Christ with several churches planted.
They all have great stories to tell that time and space won’t allow here. Many people have become believers or have been called to missionary service through the biographies of gallant soldiers of Christ. I challenge and encourage the African mission movement and friends from the Global South to accurately document what the Lord is doing and to find creative ways to share the testimonies and impact of their work*. These stories will first of all, bring glory to God, lead many to Christ and be used by the Lord of the Harvest to raise many new workers for the remaining task. Let’s follow the biblical example of Dr. Luke: “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven” (Luke 1:1-2). And let us widely share “great mission stories!”
*Visit AfriGO’s Facebook page to read stories of African Missionaries posted every Monday. You may also send your mission stories to email@example.com.
Ray Mensa Mensah is the Executive Director of OneWay Africa and also serves as President of the Ghana Evangelical Missions Association (GEMA). He is passionate about the total mobilization of churches for missions where every member is involved in the Great Commission. firstname.lastname@example.org