As part of the 10/10 Prayer Initiative, 180 agencies have come together to ask God to draw to himself 10 percent of the world’s Muslims in the next 10 years. 10/10. Easy to remember, yet such an amazingly big task that only God can do it. SEND International has committed to fast and pray the first Friday of every month — today, and every first Friday for the next decade.
By T.M., Creative Ventures Strategy Coordinator — In addition to the SEND International teams we have all over the world who are reaching out to engage and share with those who don’t know Jesus, we also have teams doing that same thing in several cities in North America. In Atlanta, Detroit, Winnipeg and New York City, these teams are living out their faith in practical and spiritual ways among Muslim immigrants. There are amazing stories coming out of these ministries as most people respond well to being loved! We want to challenge you to consider ways that you, too, can be involved in reaching out to your neighbors who have newly come to this country and to your neighborhood. We are talking about immigrants who need the gospel.
Talk about immigration is everywhere these days. Opinions for one view or another are batted back and forth with vigor. And while solutions are needed and the issue must be discussed, in the heat of the moment, we Christians risk missing a crucial opportunity. Regardless of our views concerning new immigrants, there are millions of legal immigrants already living among us who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of these immigrants are from countries that would be very difficult for you and I to visit, let alone to gain permanent residence to live and do ministry there.
I have heard it said that most international students, after four years of attending university in the States, return to their home country without ever having been invited inside an American home! This is terrible and it causes me to wonder about the statistics for legal immigrants living here permanently. How many of them have had invited inside an American home? And more importantly, how many have had the gospel of Jesus Christ shared with them in a way that they can understand?
Each generation is responsible to share Christ with their own generation, and with each passing year, as our neighborhoods become more multicultural and diversified, this grows more challenging. Gone are the days when you could assume that everyone knew the basics of the gospel. Now we live in cities with neighborhoods that are increasingly unchurched and with this change, biblical literacy is fading fast.
If you feel the Lord nudging your heart at this point, I want to challenge you to consider some ways that you can step up and reach out of your comfort zone to help meet some of these needs within immigrant communities.
- Pray. Pray for wisdom, grace and courage to reach out to those neighbors who speak a different language and who dress a bit differently than you.
- Invite them over for a cup of coffee or tea, or bake a cake or prepare a basket of fruit and take it to them.
- Find points of interest to talk about and ask for ways that you could be praying for them.
- Ask them to tell you about the country they are from. What made it special? What do they miss? Most people love to talk about their families and their home countries.
- Do a little internet research about their country, so the next time you talk to them you have a bit of an idea about the geography of the land and location of their town or area.
- Volunteer to help with one of their needs — help with shopping, getting a driver’s license, getting to a medical appointment, etc.
- Visit again a few days or a week later and ask about the person or situation about which your neighbor asked you to pray.
People will find ways to manage through life with or without you, but oh what a joy to cultivate friendships and help them, to make the learning curve less steep. Love them genuinely and they will respond. It can’t be helped, because that is how God made us; he made us to love him first, and then to love one another. When they ask about why you are helping, don’t go into deep theological treatises; just let them know that you are trying to live out your faith as you live out the basics of the gospel: “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
We continue to pray with others in the 10/10 Prayer Initiative, that 10 percent of the Muslim world would come to Christ in the next 10 years. You are welcome to join us in this prayer initiative as the SEND International community has committed to pray and fast as an organization the first Friday of each month.
- For courage to reach out and interact with one new neighbor each month
- That more people and churches would take the time to learn more about the foreigners in their midst. We tend to fear what we don’t understand.
- For more workers to join the SEND teams reaching out to immigrant communities here in the States.
- For local churches to open their hearts and doors to the immigrant communities that are right next door.
Banner photo by mohammed elgassier