As I write this, I am on a Chalupa (Peruvian motorized canoe) going down the Aguaruna River that flows through the Amazon Rainforest.
I am literally headed into the jungle to engage with a People group that has limited access to the gospel.
Two days of travel by airplane, taxi car, tuk tuk, five hours by boat, hikes through jungle terrain, rivers, and a small wooden canoe to reach a People group of less than 61,000 in total size. (This is less than .0008% of the world’s total population).
Why? Why would I leave the comforts of my home, family, and familiarity to venture into the jungles of Peru when there are so many within my own nation that also need to hear about Jesus?
I get asked this question all the time. Can I give you not just one, but, four reasons why?
1. Jesus Asked Me To. (Plain and Simple, HE asked me to).
Can I tell you something? If you’re a Follower of Christ, He has asked you, too! (Matthew 28: 19-20 is actually in the Bible!). It’s not for the ‘Elite’ or the ‘Special Called’ or the ‘Special Forces Christians’. It is a Command to us ‘ALL!!’ ……”Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations……”
Go, in the original language actually means to ‘Get up and Move’. It doesn’t mean to just move anywhere — He says specifically to ‘Make Disciples’ (teach/ train about Jesus) of ALL nations (Ethnos – People groups including the Aguaruna in Peru).
2. Lack Of Access.
While there are many who do not know Jesus in the United States, they are not without access.
Because of the abundance of Christianity, churches, Christian bookstores and modern technology, to not know Jesus in the USA isn’t because you haven’t heard, but, that someone hasn’t invited you to look, listen, learn, or consider.
My friend, if you’re asking this, then I encourage you to take your own words and make sure those you meet have that invitation. When I’m Stateside I pray continually for open doors to share, just like when I travel Internationally.
The difference is that the Aguaruna and many more people groups like them, have little to no access and have not just NOT had an invitation, they have not even been exposed to Christianity, muchless a personal relationship to Jesus.
3. I Know Too Much.
At some point, as a Christian, when you learn of people that have no or little access to Jesus, you can’t just ignore that knowledge.
How can I know….and then not go?
How can I know….and then act like it has nothing to do with me?
I know….because I AM suppose to GO.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;” Luke 12:48
That’s me! If I have been entrusted with this knowledge, then I must ask, ‘How do I help them Hear’?
If not me, then who….?
4. I Want To See Jesus Return.
This life is temporal. James says; “Life is a vapor and then it is gone.” James 4:14 I want to live for eternity.
Matthew 24:14 says; “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached as a testimony to ALL nations (Ethnos – People Groups) and then the end will come.”
How will they have a testimony unless someone goes and tells them the Good News?
Revelation 7:9 says; “There will be a representative from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language standing before the throne and before the lamb.”
I hope to add to that crowd.!
This is part of the fulfillment of what must happen before Jesus returns. So, my hope is to not delay His return, but speed it up by doing my part. It may not be huge, but …..I can Go. I can pray for others to Go. I can give to help fund others to Go. I can help mobilize people to the unreached.
There are a lot of trinkets, toys, hobbies, and loves this life has to offer, but I pray, as you seek God about your part in the Great Commission, you won’t be distracted by these short lived satisfiers.
Boating the jungles of Peru outweighs all of them. Looking into the eyes of someone who just heard the sacrifice Jesus paid because His love is so deep and wide that He would send you across the world to tell them is….well….it’s ‘Priceless”.
In fact…….The more I GO, the more my need for a Starbucks just looks ridiculous in light of eternity.