Reading this book was a source of encouragement, challenge, and instruction. I particularly appreciated their ability to keep reminding us that this is about the mission of God. And if there is a call to a new generation of Africans to be involved in mission, it is not because it is our turn or it’s a “me too” kind of thing. This is part and parcel of our calling to walk with God. Discipleship is missional. I was reminded of my days as a student and how exciting it was to read the biographies of people like C. T. Studd, and ‘The Cambridge Seven’. To read about people like William Carey. To read the statement by David Livingstone that, ”God had only One Son and He made that Son to be a missionary” and to realize that we do not respond to missions because there is a particularly crying need out there and if we don’t help out, the Gospel will not advance; it is an incredible privilege and when we present it right, people should be lining up and asking for the privilege of joining in. This offering by Sam and Yaw takes us some way down the road in being able to make that statement clear to people, “This is about God’s story.”
I was also encouraged by the fact that we Africans, are able to tell the story. I gave you the example of some of the missionary heroes we used to read about. But the absence of the contribution of Africans to the advance of the gospel stands out in a way that is disturbing. And I am grateful, as I read this book to be reminded that God is at work. ”Who is the father of modern missions?” We all think immediately of William Carey. And yet, even as we are inspired by the story of William Carey, as we’ve all been inspired by the stories of the ‘Haystack Prayer Movement’. If you haven’t heard about it, I would encourage you to read up on that. But to know there is another story that has not often been told and probably is a legacy of our colonial heritage that we have not often heard the stories of people like George Liele. Reading about George was very inspiring for me, and I am thankful for that to Yaw and Sam for bringing that story to us.
George was an enslaved person that was freed and that went out as a missionary and had an amazing impact. Have you heard that story? Are we going to be telling stories that connect with a new generation of Africans to know that this is not something we are doing to help out? The mission of God is the integrating core purpose of the church. And we can have all kinds of theological frameworks that talk about how we organize among ourselves; church polity and how we relate with one another. But God’s drive is for the nations. That as we are called to invest in mission, we get to know God better. And it is not possible to know Him fully unless we know Him as the God of mission. I would encourage everybody to read this book and I hope a new generation of Africans, especially the younger ones, the students, will read this and discover that we can start where we are with what we’ve got. And there may be some who may feel like their time is passed; you will find a story, like one they tell about this couple in Weinberg, who wanted to go to India and they could not go. And then they looked around and they connected with an Indian international student called Bucked Sing. They invested in him, they discipled him, they brought him into their home, there in Weinberg, they never actually went into the mission field. But Bucked Sing turned out to be the most effective evangelist in India in the last century. He set up, he established churches, and there are over 10,000 churches that came out of his work that are still thriving today.
We all have the privilege of being part of God’s mission. And the very least we can do is be engaged in prayer. They call us to prayer. Prayer and fasting, believing God that He will do a new thing. Let me close by just sharing how my daughter, Njoki, and her husband Marvin have been a challenge to us. They encouraged my wife Stephanie and me, to put a reminder on our phone at 9:38, every evening at 9:38, the alarm goes off to remind us that the “labourers are few. Pray, therefore, that the Lord of the harvest would send out labourers into His harvest field.” – Matthew 9:38. We can all pray, we can all be involved, and we can all give up our small ambitions as students, as businessmen and whatever else we are doing if anything we are doing is not directly connected to the mission of God. It is a new day for Africa, not to prove anything but because it is part and parcel of our calling. Thank you, Sam, and thank you Yaw for making this offering available to us at this time in history.