Dawa used to be a Buddhist priest in Nepal. Seeking truth, he became a Hindu, but later abandoned Hinduism to become an atheist. And now? Now he serves as a Christian pastor and fellow church planter here in Spokane, Washington. Jesus' relentless pursuit of Dawa has brought this Bhutanese man to my city where I met him this morning at breakfast, courtesy of World Relief.
God's story through Dawa's life stirs worship in my core. While still an atheist, he became very sick and the doctors could not help. A Christian friend whom Dawa had formerly debated brought him to the elders of his church. They prayed and he was supernaturally healed; Dawa began to follow Jesus that day which led to persecution. Now he serves other Bhutanese refugees here in Spokane, proclaiming the kingdom of God to his people!
Another man at our breakfast meeting was named Alex. He is a Russian pastor leading an English-speaking church (Russians, Americans, and now a Chinese exchange student) that has recently been serving the Iraqi Muslim community in Spokane. This is beautiful.
As we shared stories together of what God is doing in the world and around Spokane, my faith was freshly stirred by the supernatural God we serve. To hear of the approximately 500 refugees that will be coming to Spokane in 2014, many of them who have experienced trauma I cannot personally comprehend, was heart-melting yet strengthening for my spiritual backbone. The sense of destiny I felt as we prayed together for our city and for refugee families in particular was both challenging and empowering, as I could see a tiny slice of the prophetic calling on Grace Church Spokane for the upcoming year.
Multiple Congolese families are coming to our city. Who will be the ones to welcome them to our nation, to Spokane, and into friendship? Who will share hope with them? Who can see prophetic destiny on these lovely people? It must certainly be the people of Christ! Just as Jesus went through cities and villages "proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God" (Luke 8:1), the church in Spokane has the unique opportunity to welcome families of various faiths and backgrounds into our town and to bring the gospel of the kingdom into their cultural community! What a joy it is as the cities and villages of the earth are coming to us!
Thanks to the leaders of World Relief for hosting such a wonderful time of faith-inspiring challenge, helpful strategy, and prophetic confirmation of my own church's call to love and serve the nations in our own city and beyond. The gospel is good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, fresh vision for eyes that cannot see, and freedom to the oppressed; it is the good news of the favor of God in our day and in our time. Thank you for being a part of this kingdom and for being facilitators of the church's apostolic call to "remember the poor."
Jesus is connecting His people with His kingdom purpose! He is more committed to this than we could possibly hope to be. As we are led by the Holy Spirit into the "villages" and people groups in our cities and towns, we can expect to see Jesus at work. Are your eyes open? I feel like mine are opening a little wider and kingdom vision is flooding in. It's gonna be quite a ride... Who's with me?