By Carrie Johnson, Director of The Unreached Initiative
We have seen the desperation of the Afghan people trying to escape as Taliban forces take over Kabul. The US Air Force C-17 plane was packed with 640 precious lives as countless others clung to the outside of the plane—risking life and limb to leave Afghanistan. As we process this grave situation, allow me to offer a few ways we, as The Church, should respond.
First, pray. Lift the Afghan people to the Lord as many do not know Jesus, and only 0.03% are Christians. They are unreached people. Pray they will encounter Him through this crisis. Pray for their persecutors, the terrorists known as the Taliban, that their hearts will change. We know God is in the business of turning terrorists into fully-devoted followers of Jesus. Just ask Paul—he could testify!
Second, fly into action. We are the church. We pray for a move of God, and then we move on behalf of God. We are a unique group that offers love and hope like no other network in this world. We represent Jesus. Afghans are already on their way to several different countries. We know many will be brought to the US, and many are already here in our communities. Now is our time to shine as the light of the world and not squander the opportunity to serve the foreigner among us. It is not merely a task for our government that can be outsourced. We, The Church, have a mandate from the Lord almighty.
Now is our time to shine as the light of the world and not squander the opportunity to serve the foreigner among us.
Leviticus 19:33-34 says, “Do not exploit the foreigners who live in your land. They should be treated like everyone else, and you must love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18-19 says, “He(God) gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
We must love them, and we must show love to them. We have resources to help families relocating to our nation. CityServe HUBs and PODs can fill real tangible needs and build relationships with the foreigners among us. We get to be creative in engaging them, but our greatest asset is our love.
I’m writing from California today and up the highway, in the north, an estimated 32,000 Afghans already live in Fremont and 20,000 in Sacramento. And down the highway, 15,000 Afghans live in Irvine. Afghans reside from the west coast to the east coast of the US. May the Lord above stir our hearts to love on our foreign friends. May He give us divine appointments and fruit! The Lord is pleading with us to take an interest in ministering to the refugee, the stranger, the immigrant, the foreigner, the unreached people groups.
May the Lord above stir our hearts to love on our foreign friends.
Our new Afghan neighbors are humans just like us—created by God and bear his image. Afghans tend to be hard-working people with large families. But many who arrive on US soil have never heard about Jesus or His love for them. We refer to them as “the unreached.” And the tragedy would be if we think they will hear about Jesus just because they settle into our communities, our “Christian” nation. Worse yet would be if we assume they do not want to hear about a Savior that loves them and died for them and has a plan for their future.
CityServe co-founder, Wendell Vinson reminds us how much God can do with willing hearts to show His loving-kindness to unreached people. Let us prepare our hearts and be a “coalition of the willing.”
“I heard the Lord say, ‘As you speak boldly for these who cannot speak for themselves, I will raise up a ‘coalition of the willing.’” – Wendell Vinson, CityServe co-founder