I have just finished reading an excellent book that I would like to recommend to all of you: The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway. It is the remarkable account of a Christian brother in China who was persecuted in many ways, including being imprisoned for the Gospel several times. He has been tortured and has suffered much for the sake of Jesus Christ, as has his family, but what he shares brings our common worldly perspective into stark contrast with the heavenly perspective we are called to have as disciples of Jesus Christ! As he was stripped of all earthly comforts and desires, he came to know much more dearly than most of us “comfortable ones”, I dare to guess, our dear Savior and His Presence, peace, comfort and power. It is hard to desire persecution and hard to even imagine the torture he went through… and yet, there is something SO desirable in what he found! I believe ALL of us want that – to really KNOW Christ, and the power of His resurrection… but remember how the rest of that verse goes? “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” ~Phil 3:10
I guess the thing is this: we forget so easily that our time here on earth is SO SHORT!!! We completely lose track of the big idea that we only get one shot at life here, and then we face eternity… which is FOREVER and EVER and EVER. Do you ever just stop and think about that? How would it change how we lived if we did, daily?
So… near the end of the book, the Lord takes Brother Yun out of China in a miraculous way, and he see the West for the first time in his life. He relates how surprised he was that so many of the Western churches he visited, in many countries, were spiritually asleep! He has some powerful insights to share, and I would love for you to get the book and consider them, prayerfully. But one thing really struck me, which I will quote here, from page 298:
“Of course, not all Western churches are asleep! Of all the strong churches I have visited in the West I’ve noticed one thing they all have in common: a strong and sacrificial commitment to missions among unreached nations. I’m not talking just about local outreach, or even attempts to start churches in other cities in your nation. I’m talking about a heart to establish God’s Kingdom in the most gospel-starved and spiritually dark areas of the world, where nobody has ever heard the name of Jesus. When you start putting your time, prayers and finances there, you will soon experience God’s blessing on the work of your hands.”
You see, I think we forget that we ALL have work to do – Kingdom work! This is the assignment Jesus gave us: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
I got really excited when I read this part of Brother Yun’s book, because a deep “YES!” resonated from deep down in my heart! YES, it is worth whatever it takes for us to go to Japan and reach out to so many people who have not yet had the chance to hear about Jesus! YES, that is what I want to give my life to! YES, this is how I want to raise our children!
And YES, we want you to join us in this mission! Did you know that the Japanese are the 2nd largest unreached people group on earth? 99.5% do not know the HOPE and the PEACE that we have in Jesus. Let’s give ourselves fully to the work Jesus gave us to do, and in the process find true LIFE and JOY in Him!
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” ~Mark 8:35