Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Korean Missionaries Freed -- What Now?

Thank you for all who prayed for the release of 19 Korean missionaries held in Afghanistan. Thus far, eight have been freed with the remaining hostages to be freed over the next day or so. Let us return thanks to the Lord for answered prayer.

This release, however, came at a cost. I'm not talking about the credibility Korean government negotiations gave to the Taliban. That is an issue for a political blog. The issue to which I am referring is the promised ban on Christian missions to Afghanistan by the South Korean government. Whether or not this will have a real effect on Korean mission work to Afghanistan remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it shows how much we must depend on the Lord who "who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens." Rev 3:7 (HCSB)

South Korean missionaries have been a vital witness to their Muslim neighbors, gaining access and open doors for witness that Westerners cannot. Many of my Korean brothers in our doctoral program are preparing for ministry among Muslims. Still others look for ways to penetrate this seemingly closed area. We can be assured that God continues to work in this region.

As God continues His work, we must remember Paul's statement about his own ministry in 1 Cor 16:9: "For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."

With the release of these missionary hostages, our prayers for the region cannot end. We must pray both for a "great and effective door" for the gospel to go out to Muslims and the unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. We must pray for and support those missionaries who have committed their lives to taking the gospel to them despite "many adversaries." We must pray that the harvest be ripened and for God to send more laborers into it.

No comments: