Update from David Platt in the Horn of AfricaBy David Platt
(The following post is from Pastor David who is currently in the horn of Africa visiting with Brook Hills field partners in that region.)
Due to security concerns with the place and people group where Pastor David is writing, this post does not contain pictures, video, or the actual names of people who are serving in this region.
During the last Secret Church gathering in April our prayer focus was for our brothers and sisters in the horn of Africa who are serving and sharing the gospel, some at great risk to their life. This week I am in the horn visiting with one of our teams in this region. At the beginning of 2011, we commissioned two of our members from The Church at Brook Hills, along with their 1-year-old (at that point) son, to initiate and lead a Brook Hills church planting team among the Arundo in the horn of Africa. “Arundo” is a name we use to refer to one of the people groups that we, as a church, have adopted and to which we are sending our members to reach with the gospel. The Arundo are one of the most unreached, dangerous to reach people groups in the world. They are extremely resistant to the gospel, and they are desperately in need of the gospel. (For more information on this people group, including a video introducing our church planting team leaders, as well as our work among this people group, go HERE).
Several days ago, we arrived in the city where our members are living. There are now three members from the Church at Brook Hills here, and we will commission one more to join them here in June. Together, this team is learning the language of this people and preparing a strategy for engaging them with the gospel.
Over the last two days, we have had incredible fellowship with them. Our time has been encouraging, humbling, convicting, exciting, and overwhelming all at the same time. The Arundo include over ten million people, and there are only a handful of churches known among them (they are less than .01% evangelical Christian and one of the top five unreached people groups in the world). More specifically, our members here are focused on a minority clan among the Arundo in which there are hardly any known believers. Needless to say, the need is great.
Massive spiritual need is compounded even more by massive physical need. One morning we participated in a medical clinic filled with men and women with various physical maladies. These clinics serve as open doors into communities for the sake of gospel proclamation. One of the women and her son who came to the clinic a few weeks ago believed the gospel and are now sharing it in their neighborhood.
It was amazing to see the members we commissioned last year leading out in ministry here. These brothers and sisters are thriving, and though their time at this point is devoted primarily to language learning and cultural preparation, in the meantime they are serving and spreading the gospel in the power of the Spirit for the glory of God. One afternoon, we had the opportunity to gather together with them and other workers from around this country for worship and time in the Word. During that time, we had an opportunity to connect with another Brook Hills member who is serving in this area on a different team. She, too, is thriving spiritually and serving passionately. What an encouragement to spend time with our faith family literally around the world! Simply put…I love these brothers and sisters.
Please join our faith family at The Church at Brook Hills in praying for the members we have sent out to this place and this people group. A few days ago we had the opportunity to go into a particular community where there is no gospel presence, and we prayed intentionally and specifically for men and women to be receptive to the gospel and for open doors into hearts and homes for the gospel. Pray also for these brothers and sisters as they learn the language. You often hear about church planting teams overseas constantly asking for prayer for swift and effective language learning, and this really is a huge need. They long to share the gospel, but there is much to learn in order to be able to communicate it. So pray for them as they learn the language, as they adapt to living in this culture, as they establish relationships with other brothers and sisters here, and as they share life together on mission.
I am so proud of these brothers and sisters, and I am so proud of the church who has sent them. Together, may God give us the nations, and do it in such a way that only He gets the glory.