Have you ever had an earth-shattering moment where you realize you’re part of something that will change the world? The sort of feeling you’d get if you were at the Battle of Marathon seeing the decisive victory of the Greeks to stop the Persian Empire, or sitting with Johann Gutenburg as he demonstrates the first Western printing press?
I’ve had few.
Yesterday I went to the California Collegiate Mobilizer Network (CCMN) conference at Vanguard University. CCMN is sort of a loose alliance of missions departments within various Christian Colleges and Universities in California. They have bi-annual meetings, most of which I have been to in 2009 and this year. I was with students and staff from San Diego Christian College, sort of representing SDCC, but not really because I’ve graduated already but volunteer for missions and – well, it’s complicated. Anyway, it was a great time and really made me think a lot.
What struck me is how deeply critical and profoundly epic this task is – mobilizing young Christians to go to the least reached and poorest people in the world with the grand message of Jesus Christ. Being equipped with a college education gives the opportunities and tools needed to do the task. Being young is needed because long-term missionaries are needed to take the decades to learn the language, culture and relationships that are required to minister cross-culturally.
These student and staff representatives of missions from APU, CalBaptist, Vanguard, and Simpson University are passionate, dedicated individuals. As we talk and strategize about mobilizing students to go and the greatness of the need, and I see their dead-set commitment and realize there is no stopping them. They want to change the world. And they will. And they are. In a day when the world is falling apart, God is sovereignly working in the hearts of men and women like these to form a force of redemption and help to suffering, sinful, wounded souls. As I see this I’m caught up in amazement at the historic times these really are, and I feel as though I really were witnessing an earth-shattering battle. This is a quiet one for eternal souls in an eternal kingdom, not mere temporary political kingdoms.
I imagine it would be more impressive to be at the Lusanne Conference in Cape Town that just wrapped up, which is truly a more world-changing and far-reaching event. But this is where I am now. And in this strategic US state of California at top-notch Christian Colleges and Universities, I see God is on the move. This invisible Being who I’ve never seen, yet know and speak with daily is working in and through me – and millions of other Christians across the globe from California to South Africa – to redeem more and more people throughout the world to give the honor and recognition He deserves. And the Redeemed will see His face when it’s all over, “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” singing worship to the God who saved them (Revelation 7.9-12).