So this morning as I was praying, the Lord brought to mind the nation of Brasil. A large and important country in our world. I’ve been praying regularly for the church in Brasil to rise up and seize the opportunity afforded it by the World Cup being on their soil next summer.
I quickly shot off an email to my colleagues, Steve Bailey and Bruce Triplehorn who serve @EncompassWorld for that nation. I found out earlier this week that Steve was on the ground there, and I wanted them to both be sowing seeds and listening to what the Holy Spirit might be stirring up. We are praying for a coalition of leaders, churches and ministries who would be mobilized to the ministry opportunities of relational evangelism, discipleship and church planting afforded by the World Cup in Brasil.
As that email left my computer, another came in from Tom Julien (who I always listen to):
A faithful warrior has entered heaven with his eternal “weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). What an example he was.
I quickly scrolled down in the email to find out who, and it was Bill Burk. “Amazon Bill” as he was affectionately known who served as a missionary taking the Gospel to the unreached along the Amazon river for 6 decades! I remember as a child hearing the stories of the Amazon Rain Forest and the Good News going to people who had never heard about Jesus! I prayed for Bill and Imogene as a youngster.
In these moments, I’m reflecting on how the future of missions is breaking open in these two happenings around Brasil. A few musings:
- Like Amazon Bill, we still need people who are crazy enough for Jesus that they’ll take the Gospel to the hardest places on our planet!
- I’ve been challenged by the hundreds of “Unengaged, Unreached People Groups” in our world, and Bill Burk was going to those people groups decades before that “title” was dubbed in missions circles.
- Our heritage @EncompassWorld and “our present” both are strong in taking the Good News to the unreached of our world!
- The unreached are not just in the jungle anymore, they are in our cities…in the Urban Jungle.
- The breaking future of reaching these unreached peoples in not just in solo, pioneer missionaries, but in coalitions of leaders, churches and ministries who will covenant together for the Great Commission.
My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Imogene and the whole Burk family. They will miss their beloved here, and we all know that another “saint in glory stands.”