A young fourteen year old Indian girl (let’s call her Sona) sat in a church planting training where I taught church planters. I thought she had simply joined her mom for the afternoon. After teaching, my Indian partner came to me and walked me to the young girl and said, “I want you to meet our youngest church planter.”
I looked into this young little face and asked to hear her story. She proceeded to tell me with a beautiful Indian accent about her concern for her classmates. “We have to stand in the hot sun for roll call each day. Due to the heat, several classmates were fainting each day. I decided this must not be, and I knew Jesus could help us.”
She shared with me how she began to gather a small group in the courtyard and taught them the Lord’s Prayer. “If we say this, I believe the Most High God will help us withstand the heat.” Each day her classmates of different religious backgrounds would repeat the Lord’s Prayer. Eventually, the students began to ask this young girl about more stories about Jesus.
Sona began to tell Bible stories in the courtyard, until eventually several students believed. As an attendee at the church planting conference, Sona enjoyed the company of others taking risks for the Gospel in South Asia, prayed earnestly for others’ souls, and learned more about the Bible and stories she could share. She planted churches and small groups at school.
Upon leaving the training, I asked Sona if there were a message she’d like to give Americans. Without hesitation she said, “I would tell them that Christ died for them. What more can they do but live for him every day.” Sona, as a young girl, understood Paul’s urgent plea that Christ’s love should compel us to live for the One who died and was raised again (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia stated, “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” Mission simply means to heal and restore creation – all of creation. Jesus Christ was a missionary – sent with the purpose of restoring the world back to God.
Sona, a lover and follower of Jesus, had a fire in her heart ignited with courage and compassion. A simple teenager realizing she could make a difference in a school courtyard.
How about you? Does Christ’s love compel you? Where is God encouraging and challenging you to live with both courage and compassion? Please share your comments!