Spiritual Warfare: Illness

I recently had a friend return from a two week mission trip in Central Asia. When she got back, she felt severely ill, so went to the emergency room. The doctors (and all of us) wanted to check for severe Central Asia diseases, you know the “interesting” cases. Our friend commented she felt like she was on House, or Gray’s Anatomy with many specialists coming to see her. The final diagnosis: viral meningitis. Probable scenario: someone on their team carried a gastrointestinal virus with them to Central Asia. Nine of the 14 team members were sick on the trip. What seems to have happened is on the final days when most were feeling better, the virus went to her head, causing the meningitis.

Ironically, most people fear going dangerous places for their safety, but sometimes God may show us how vulnerable we are, no matter what the location. I have found the most safe place to be is where God has called you, not necessarily the easiest place to live. Its like the shirts from Adventure places, “You can die sky-diving, falling in the air hundreds of miles per hour or you can fall off your couch.” How true. We can’t be afraid of life in Christ, if we are His, we are in His hands.

I was thinking earlier as we were in her house with 10-15 other people. This team went over there to share the kind of love she is experiencing with the people of Central Asia. If this had happen to a person over there, there would not be this out-pouring of love and support. Praise God we have an opportunity to know Him and his body the church, and I pray this situation doesn’t scare some people into not want to go (she contracted the initial virus here in the states), but urges them to go all the more, to deliver this kind of grace and love to those with no access to this Gospel. Praise and Glory be to His Name in all the Earth.

May situations like this show us God is in control. We need to follow after Him and let Him take care of the circumstances. Now I am not saying to jump in the deep end of the pool if you can’t swim, or to see how long you can lay in the snow naked. But, while there are destinations with more risk, God uses situations for His glory. The safest place we can be is where he calls us.

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2 Responses to “Spiritual Warfare: Illness”

  1. Adam Hoffman Says:

    Where did that first definition you used come from? Here is a definition I found on the U.S. Center for World Mission website: “Unreached People (sometimes called “Hidden Peoples”): a people group which has no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to finish evangelizing their community without further outside/cross-cultural assistance.” This comes from the organization founded by Dr. Ralph Winter, who coined the term Unreached/Hidden Peoples in 1974 after serving with Dr. Donald McGavran at the Fuller Seminar School of World Missions. I think this is a revised version of his 1974 definition. Also the Joshua Project uses this definition as well

    I think his definition and your further explanation are similar and get across the same the meaning. I think it is helpful to have a universally recognized accurate definition. I believe it was in 1980 that a common definition was settled upon (again different from the original above) and has been used since. I think they add for measurement purposes that 2% of
    of the population must be believers.

    I think it is helpful to sometimes clarify and contextualize definitions and agree with the meaning you get out your own definition, but again there can’t be hundreds of definitions from the same term.

    At the same time, I think there are some flaws in your wording that may lead to misconceptions.

    “no followers of Jesus who are making disciples within their own people group”

  2. Adam Hoffman Says:

    Where did that first definition you used come from? Here is a definition I found on the U.S. Center for World Mission website: “Unreached People (sometimes called “Hidden Peoples”): a people group which has no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to finish evangelizing their community without further outside/cross-cultural assistance.” This comes from the organization founded by Dr. Ralph Winter, who coined the term Unreached/Hidden Peoples in 1974 after serving with Dr. Donald McGavran at the Fuller Seminar School of World Missions. I think this is a revised version of his 1974 definition. The Joshua Project uses this definition as well

    I think his definition and your further explanation are similar and get across the same the meaning. I think it is helpful to have a universally recognized accurate definition. I believe it was in 1980 that a common definition was settled upon (again different from the original above) and has been used since. I think they add for measurement purposes that 2% of
    of the population must be believers.

    I think it is helpful to sometimes clarify and contextualize definitions and agree with the meaning you get out your own definition, but again there can’t be hundreds of definitions from the same term.

    At the same time, I think there are some flaws in your wording that may lead to misconceptions.

    “no followers of Jesus who are making disciples within their own people group”

    -When does no followers become some and when are some enough to be considered reached?
    -Is a people group reached if there are indigenous churches?
    -What if there are followers of Jesus who are not making disciples? This happens in the States all the time, where does that leave America according to the definition?
    -When does a convert become a disciple?
    -How long does a missionary partner with a people group to raise them up?

    Merry Christmas and I look forward to continuing the conversation!

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