"It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not yet known." -Rom. 15:20
Before any of us were ever born, the enemy has been at work in the Philippines. The country has been reached, but with a distorted truth of the Gospel. Many are deceived into believing that they know Christ. But here in the Philippines, many see Christ as still being on the cross. He has not paid for sins once for all. The people have also been enslaved into a religious idolatry with nothing to lift their burdens. Before anything came to be, however, God had a plan to set the captives free and those who trust in the living Christ will have their burdens lifted.
Right now, we are coming alongside one of our national partners to share the true Gospel and to do battle with the powers t be. We have visited house to house in our village and have never been turned away. Everyone we've engaged has sat down and listened to us tell the good news of Christ and what He has done to reconcile sinners to Himself. For many it is their first time hearing this story. I spoke with one man who told me about how he felt far away from God. He has made many mistakes in his past that have made him feel this way. I began to tell him all about what a relationship with Christ looks like, how no sin is too big to keep us from the love of Christ, and why this all has to do with the message of the Gospel. He is now teaching me proper tennis techniques while I am teaching him how to study God's Word. He reads the Bible to his friends when he is hanging out with them at night. He does not care if others see him reading the Bible and think that he is crazy. He also is a great man of influence in this village and among his friend group. Before any of us had ever thought of venturing into the Philippines, God has laid out our paths. I clearly clearly got to see and experience that when I met my new friend A.
What God has purposed, God will accomplish. He has known the end from the beginning. He will save the multitudes that no one can number from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Being in this village, I think about what the Lord said to Paul in a vision in Acts 18:9-10: "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you... for I have many in this city who are my people." We haven't stopped speaking and God has shown us that He really does have many here.
Before anything was ever anything, there has always been and always will be the Great I AM. He is on His throne: unchanging, unmovable, and the sustainer of all things. Before we loved Him, He first loved us. Before I was born, He sent His Son to die for me. Before me and my team had taken our first steps as babies, He has laid out good works for us to walk in. If the Great I AM is for us, who could ever stand against us?