One of the highlights of being the Director of AFM is participating in the Commissioning Services of our new cross-cultural workers, the Sunday when their church publicly and prayerfully affirms their commitment to them before they launch into the field. In January, St. Mark’s in Geneva Illinois will be commissioning Elisa (not her real name) whom God has called to an unreached people group in North Africa.
Elisa’s call began when she felt a “divine nudge” in her heart during various Bible studies. Then, God provided an opportunity to explore being a cross cultural worker when she learned that her job had been transferred to another city. Instead of immediately packing up her belongings and moving with her company, she began to think about what God might be saying in the midst of these circumstances: “Lord, would you like me to move, stay, or perhaps do something completely new?”
Later Elisa attended an AFM Conference where God spoke to her about the needs of a large unreached people group in North Africa which is 99.9% Muslim. In time, Elisa fell to her knees, and repeated Isaiah’s inspiring, yet challenging, words, “Here I am Lord, send me.”
I’m deeply humbled and profoundly thrilled when I see obedience like this in the people of God. Elisa has given up a successful and lucrative career and St. Mark’s has rallied around her with prayers, encouragement, and sacrificial giving. In February 2017, Elisa will be in a new country with new challenges, weaving her life into the oldest of Christian traditions: “to preach the gospel where Christ is not known” (Rom 15:20).
“The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning,” said Emil Brunner, highlighting the missionary DNA of Christianity. Because there are still villages, towns, and cities on our globe where Christ is completely unknown—where you can’t go to church even if you want-ed to because there is no church—AFM’s mission continues.
We warmly invite you to deepen your partnership with us in this mission through your prayers, your going (short-term and long-term) and now, with 2016 coming to a close, through year-end tax deductible giving, so that one day individuals from “every tribe, tongue, people, and nation” (Rev 5:9) might worship the Lamb.
The Rev. Christopher Royer
Executive Director of AFM