It’s A Two Way Street
by Pastor Al
We at Nassau Street Church have recently had the rich privilege of partnering with churches and pastors in India and Bangladesh through Engage Today. We have been able to send church members to these countries to encourage, pray with, and help equip church leaders through seminars and conferences. We have also been richly blessed ourselves as we welcomed several Indian and Bengali pastors and leaders to our church and homes here in Winnipeg. After these visits, we have found ourselves, as a congregation, feeling especially encouraged and equipped in our faith and ministry. This response was a huge reminder to me that working alongside the indigenous church in Asia is not a one way, but rather a two way street, where the blessings clearly flow both ways.
I think it is easy for us in the West to assume that when we go into the 10/40 Window, such as countries like India and Bangladesh, we will be the ones to go and bless them, and assist in equipping their pastors and churches – thinking of it more as a one way street. And while I trust that God has used us in this way on our trips, God has also used these churches and leaders to speak into my life as well as the life of our church. While visiting the church in these countries, I have been humbled by their sincere evangelistic zeal and their belief in the Gospel as the core reason of our existence. The indigenous church really clings to the fact that the Gospel is the power of God to save, and it is this belief in the Gospel that is giving vision to them as a church.
The benefit of having our indigenous brothers and sisters visit us is huge. Not everyone can go overseas, but having missionaries come to us enables everyone to be impacted and to learn from them firsthand. For example, here in our largely consumeristic culture, which unfortunately is a mindset that often creeps into the local church, we have settled into the belief that church is about me and my wants and needs. Pastors from the 10/40 window tend to have such impact in speaking to that unhealthiness. We as a congregation have been challenged and inspired as we listen to pastors – who come from rather meager backgrounds and are often persecuted for their faith – share about the wonderful hope they have and their belief that the church worldwide exists to spread the Gospel of Christ.
God has used these indigenous men and women we work with in two major ways: first, to challenge us to a greater belief in the Gospel and why we exist as a church and secondly, to help us understand the richness of partnerships with churches in the 10/40 window. May God continue to pour out His blessings on His church as we and our brothers and sisters minister both here in Canada, in Asia, and throughout the world! Recognizing the richness and depth that comes from serving together to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a treasure this world knows nothing of!