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Missions 101

Gaining Perspective On World Issues

Jan. 6, 2015By: Drake Williams IIIAuthor Bio

There are times that world issues seem so large that they may rarely have direct effect on daily living. In other words, we may know that there is a significant concern in the world, but that issue does not appear to affect daily living.

This last year, however, our family was confronted with the realities of nuclear terrorism because it has changed our normal routines. The church where I serve as the pastor, Trinity International Church has many roads closed surrounding it. Church activities for two days were canceled due to road closures for the protection of 58 world leaders including US Presidentimages85783a99c4 Barack Obama, UN secretary Ban Ki-Moon, and China’s President Xi Jinping who are here. Due to this summit, the Hague area had some 5000 extra delegation members and 3000 journalists from various countries. The center of The Hague was also shut down.

In the surrounding area, it is also obvious that something big is happening.  Schiphol airport in Amsterdam shut down a runway so there would be enough room for the visitors to park their jets for the two-day meeting. Large highways such as the A5, A44, N14, and many lanes on the A4 were also closed. Dutch officials encouraged workers to stay at home to take the stress off of the local roads.  Many of the nation’s trains were also affected. In short, the concern of the world interfered with daily living in the Netherlands.

As someone living relatively near to this summit, I was thankful for this conference for several reasons. The most obvious is that it is good for international leaders to gather and speak to each other. Addressing this issue is important. Nuclear terrorism must be prevented. While it is not my daily concern, if it is left unaddressed, our world, my church, and possibly my family may be affected by something greater.

There is another reason for being thankful. When a world event intervenes, it lifts my eyes away from daily living and reminds me that there are greater concerns that need my attention in prayer. Poverty, the spread of HIV, human trafficking, and war are all great needs. Many live with these concerns each day. While they are not concerns in my daily living, they are very much the concern of others and are worthy of time in my prayers.

From a Christian perspective, there are also great world needs which also deserve a spot in my prayer life. The gospel must be preached to the nations. One-third of the world does not know that Jesus can save people from their sins and give eternal life. One hundred and eighty million people are without the Scriptures in their own language. Much of Christian literature is found in 4 major languages – English, Spanish, German, and French – but not in others. Two hundred million Christians are persecuted for their faith. Likely the greatest need of all is for trained Christian leaders to preach and teach the gospel message. These are great needs. If these are left unaddressed, our world, my church, and possibly my family may also be affected by something greater.

I do not prefer to have my life disturbed. However, there are larger issues in the world than my daily concerns. While my life was disrupted for these days, it has brought my focus back to greater world issues. I was thankful for this Nuclear Summit for addressing nuclear terrorism as well as lifting my eyes to greater realities.

Please join me in prayer for nuclear safety in our world, but also, join me in prayer for the greater needs in the world and the worldwide cause of Christ. What may be out of sight daily is still in need of prayers and attention regularly. May God help us all to have a bigger picture of our world and its greater needs.

Drake Williams is Professor of NT Language and LIterature at Tyndale Theological Seminary. He earned a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen.

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