ROW is short for Rivers of the World. We are an independent Christian missions organization. This explanation may be necessary for new readers. And checking out ROW’s website (www.row.org) or the About page of this website will tell you a great deal more!
ROW Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting serves several functions. One of those is to see what God has accomplished through our efforts in the past year. Another function is to take a look down the road and see where we are going. Another function is to challenge and inspire. And that is my favorite part.
Two things from the challenge and inspire category are what I want to share. Now, please know there is no spot on the meeting agenda that says challenge and inspire. That’s just my perspective when I hear how God is working and how He is unfolding the path before us.
ROW: Challenge and Inspire
We discussed an unreached people group. And please understand the necessity for a lack of specifics in this discussion. This group of people have never heard the name of Jesus or the good news of His Gospel. The mission team endeavoring to reach this people group have had to translate the Gospel into the language these people speak.
Here’s a problem. The language isn’t written. It’s a spoken language. The translators had to learn the language and then develop a system to write the language. There are multiple steps in this process and I won’t note all of them. The more striking thing is what must be done after the written translation is done.
Believers must live with this group of people and demonstrate to them what a healthy Christian community looks like. That is the context from which this group of people will come to understand the Gospel. And it’s the same Gospel you and I may often take for granted. So I find that body of work both challenging and inspiring.
We also heard about a persecuted Church. Their society openly persecutes Christians. You may not think about those churches very often. Even so, there are many of them. This particular congregation is working on an amazing mission project!
They are sending a family from their congregation to another country to live as missionaries. That doesn’t sound unusual. The place this family is being sent is to another country that is also closed to the Gospel. And this society also persecutes Christians. How will this family minister in that place?
This family will live in another society as members of the dominate religion in that area. They won’t falsely worship. But they have learned how to operate and minister in the margins of an anti-Gospel society. Is this dangerous? Could these people lose their lives? The answer to both questions is a resounding, YES! Pray for them.
Challenge For Us
Both of these accounts remind all of us of our mission. God intends for all Christians to be His deomonstrations to the world of at least three things:
There’s a reason many people don’t want what the Church has to offer. What they’ve seen of us isn’t very appealing. We need a renewed vision of our purpose. The only way the world is going to ‘see’ the heart of God is if you show it to them.
So, pray for one another. We have an awesome task and responsibility. And never forget, God is at work. Know that, trust that, and celebrate it! He can do in you and me more that we can ask or imagine!