In 2000, an idigenous pastor and I led three new missionaries through a mountainous region that enfolds thousands of hidden, unreached villages. We hiked for days on end, from village to village, preaching the Gospel. In a small, one-room bamboo hut that served as a church, the five of us hunched on a homemade wooden bench after 10 hours of hiking. Only three people showed up to hear the Word. My heart sank with disappointment.
But suddenly I was overcome by the Presence of God. I looked to the back of this remote, forgotten church, and I saw Jesus standing there. Jesus had come to this forgotten place. I collapsed in a heap, conviction lacing through my heart. He had not forgotten them. He cared that three people had gathered in His name. And He had come. Then I heard a sound.
It was His voice, not originating from where He stood in the back of the church but rumbling up the valleys and across the mountains through which we had hiked. He was calling for workers to come and establish His name, to tend to the Harvest of souls.
The voice of Jesus roared from thousands of villages.
I am in every village, town, and city on this earth where My Name is not named as Lord, and I am calling. Calling specific people by name to come and breathe life to those who are dying. But so few hear Me call. Fewer yet respond. And still fewer remain, once they come. I am calling.
We hiked past scores of villages that we couldn’t share the gospel with. We were limited in how many we could reach. Because of one thing: the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Jesus is calling. He is calling in a voice as tireless as the stars and as patient as darkness. Jesus is calling out to His people to come to these villages, these unfamous, forgotten places. Come and establish My Name. Come show these people My life. Come and stand for the captives that die without hope. I am calling you. Come!
Is He calling you?
It will be hard. It takes risk. But without true risk, faith is not engaged to produce anything but the ordinary.
My family and I have suffered beyond what many know or imagine. Our children have hung at death’s door. We have been betrayed and maligned, we have seen all we sacrificed our lives for in Christ go up in flames. We have prayed, and believed, and sought… and not found. BUT GOD. In the midst of true suffering, we stayed. We said “You are good,” even when His ways seem almost cruel.
And we have seen God do amazing things. We’ve seen Him answer prayers in miraculous ways beyond our understanding. We’ve seen His goodness and abundant blessing. It’s not because we are anything special. It’s just that we went, we stayed, and we struggled to obey.
The one secret is don’t give up. It is the only reason I have gotten to see what I have seen. When things were hard, when darkness closed in on every side, when I couldn’t see, could barely breathe, could not believe He would move… we stayed. All of the miraculous stories would never have happened without having to struggle through the pain.
In the end, you just have to lay down and die. And if you do, it unlocks the most extraordinary life. You tap into the vein of the Lamb that was slain, and you cease to care, your feelings don’t matter, and the suffering cannot stop you. The suffering matters to God – He treasures every tear – but there is a place you can hide in Him where this life ceases to matter, where it cannot affect you. Where you rejoice in sufferings, beatings, persecution. Where nothing keeps you from moving forward.
It is all about not giving up. Connecting with Mountain Gateway is an invitation to come… and to die. And in return, to see new life spring up in every corner of the world. For all of eternity.