Imagine a parched, semi-desert country where for nearly a thousand years 99% of the population has been deeply committed Muslims. Imagine these people grouped in villages where 3-4 hours every day is spent just carrying the water to stay alive.
Imagine what might happen if someone came along offering these terribly needy people a well in each village — where fresh water would be only a few steps away from every home. That’s the story of a gentleman I know. He was a former Vietnamese army officer forced to flee the country at the fall of Saigon but who returned to Asia to serve emerging nations in the name of Christ.
My friend was ultimately called from Asia to West Africa where, in a Muslim tribal group, he supervised a well drilling initiative in over 300 villages. Everywhere he went with his team, these villagers and their leaders knew that he and the team were believers. But, that came to provide the wells with no strings attached — simply motivated by the love of Christ.
A Strategic Evangelism Partnership of more than a dozen ministries was launched among this highly influential tribal group. As work on the Partnership was done, in every village the leaders said the same, “You Christians brought us the most important thing we’ve ever needed — water!” It was only 2-3 years later that ministries within this Partnership were able to begin sending missionary couples to reside and work in these Muslim villages providing a range of services in the name of Christ. It was an historic breakthrough.
Putting our gifts to use for Christ — no matter what they may be — is always valuable in the Kingdom. A well driller has opened the doors for a flood of the real water of life in this spiritually parched West African country.
One of the greatest blessings of real Partnership is that it gives all elements of the Body of Christ a legitimate, often vital role in evangelism. St. Paul’s metaphors about the Body of the Church and the human body are eloquent testimony to this reality (Romans 12, I Corinthian’s 12, and Ephesians 4). Jesus’ comments in John 4:35-38 are powerful motivation for us to value, respect, and celebrate each other’s roles — and our own roles with humility!
It’s very good news — every person in the Body of Christ can play an important role in world evangelization!