Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine Kingdom Initiatives - Page 23

FROM THAILAND ESTABLISHING A BEACHHEAD How exciting to carry the passion of the Apostle Paul who said "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known..." Mark and Katrina Trewavas, Missionaries inThailand One well known wartime strategy is establishing a beachhead. This is where soldiers invade enemy territory with the purpose of establishing a secure base from which future military activity can come. Oftentimes missions work can be compared to this as missionaries base themselves in countries, cultures and communities where no strong witness for Christ exists. Here, amongst the 18 million Isaan people in Thailand, only .01percent are Christians. That means, for example, that in a high school here of 500 students, only one will be a Christian. Just as establishing a beachhead in wartime is a challenge, it is just as challenging on the mission field to establish a Christian spiritual base, as the enemy does not willingly or easily give up ground he has occupied for hundreds of years. Here are three things that can help us to establish a beachhead: 1. Have the end goal in mind. This is a good principle in everyday Christian life, but even more so when establishing a beachhead, as opposition will come and you will need to purpose in your heart to stay the course. In Hebrews 12:1-2 we read that Jesus endured the cross. The first thing to note is that he endured it - not enjoyed it! He fixed His eyes on the joy set before him. And there are times when we too need to FIX our eyes on the joy set before us, rather than focus on the trials and challenges of the work at hand. 2. Expect Some Loss. Doing anything significant for Jesus will involve a degree of sacrifice and loss. John 12:24 tells us that a kernel of wheat must fall to the ground and die if it is to reproduce. Sometimes we have a romantic idea of how things will happen, but the truth can be a bit more painful. Be prepared to have to lay down some things. They may be things you never expected to have to lay down. Prior to coming on the missions field we never expected what a failure we would feel at times in our new culture as we grappled and often made errors with a new language. We have had to lay down any expectation that success will come because we are capable! Jesus lost friends and ultimately his life, yet in that very loss he gained a greater prize. Are we able to trust Jesus enough to know that when we lay something down he sees, he knows and he will be with us? 3. Expect God to do the impossible as you reach out in faith to Him. It is our faith that pleases God. It takes faith to be willing to be “dropped behind enemy lines”, it takes faith to stay there and persist in the face of opposition. Have faith for the impossible to happen as you labour for Christ. Remember we are the invaders; initially the enemy has the Y[YK[^ZY[ BXY]]\^ZY[H[^HوHHۙ\ˈ][[\XH\]YܙH^ZY[BY]]]\[\[HXK[Y[X\\ۙ[Y]\]\[]^\[[[\[H\]YHو[^HY\[]HH\HZHHۈBܛ[ [\ZHHZ\ܘH]ݚY\ݙ\[[HZ\]\HXZHH\[ZHܘK[X\\YX\HYYH]˜\XHوZ[[[YۙZK\[\Z\H\[\X[][[\\HH[[B\وHH\] \B\H\X\[[][[\HZ[[œ\HH[Y[܈\X[™܈\\ˈHH]\\BXXXY\\X\Y\H\H܂\\Y[[Y[[H[[^x&\\]ܞH\ܚ\H[[˜[X]HY[[Y[و8&\š[HH\X[\XKTQḦSH M ‚