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Editorial – why we go

By Peter Oyugi

5.3 Peter OyugiI remember sitting in a Christian Union meeting in my undergraduate years in Kenya as the speaker preached from the book of Acts. He spoke of Paul’s desire to take the gospel where people had never heard about Christ. My heart was warmed that night. I recall God speaking to me and the real presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. At that time, I did not know how much of the world was not reached with the gospel.

Looking back, I am humbled that God continues to call people to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, but also to respond to his invitation to take the gospel where Christ is still not yet known. This call is real, compelling and personal.

As we think about the areas of the world where Christ is least known, a majority lie within the 10/40 Window. This term was first used in 1990 by Luis Bush, a mission strategist, to define the region of the world with the greatest suffering combined with the least exposure to the gospel. This area lies generally between latitudes 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator.

The concept of prioritising least reached peoples is not new; others have historically referred to such people and places as dark, heathen or unoccupied fields. Nonetheless, the 10/40 Window reminds us that these places remain, broadly speaking, the habitat of the majority of those who follow the teachings of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. These people have no easy access to the gospel and do not even know a Christian because of severe restrictions to Christianity. Such large numbers of people of other faiths and no faith should compel Christ followers to take the gospel to them in obedience to Christ’s command.

We can thank God that many people are coming to Christ all over the world and among communities where there were few believers in the past. God has certainly answered prayers for more workers to be sent into his harvest field (Matt. 9:38). Many faithful workers have sacrificed and suffered, obeying the Lord’s call to take the gospel where Christ was least known.

As we look back over the last century in Africa, we can only be thankful for the way we have truly been recipients of God’s saving grace. Research by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary showed that in 2018 Africa became the continent with the largest number of Christians. This is both an encouragement and a challenge.

The church in Africa must actively and intentionally play its part in global missions simply because of the abundant human resource available in its churches. In obedience to Christ’s call, Christian leaders in Africa need to envision the church about global missions, equip believers through biblical teaching to become true disciples of Christ, and fervently pray for God’s Spirit to use this historically looked-down upon continent to make Christ known where He is least known. What a great privilege and joy it is to respond to God’s call to join Him in the work He is doing in building His kingdom.

In this issue, we bring you the stirring story of the Mali Faithful Witness team, working among the Hassaniya-speaking people of the Kayes region. Meet and be inspired by Paul Mawaya of the Ngoni people who were once without Christ. Today he is mobilising the church in Malawi towards missions. Read the amazing conversion story of Tambaya Ibrahim, a Boɗaaɗo Fulani and how he travels across Niger to preach to Fulani. Discover the new ways to finance the Great Commission from Peter Macharia of Kenya as you learn how to pray for the people of Ayutthaya, Thailand. There are amazing resources, training materials and missions news from across Africa for you. Happy reading!

Peter Oyugi is the Director of African Mobilisation for Africa Inland Mission (AIM) International. From Kenya, he previously served as a pastor and in student ministry. He is passionate about the Bible, cross-cultural missions, leadership and student ministry. He is engaged in various continental and global mission initiatives.

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