Small and Large Scale Accounts of God’s Work
The official numbers say that about 83% of Kenyans are Christians, mostly Anglicans or Catholics. Another 11% are Muslims, and about 1% follow the Bahai teachings – a local universalist religion that says all religions come from the same God.
But as anyone knows, these sorts of broad-stroke numbers tell us little about the true spiritual state of individual Kenyans. And the same is true of every other nation in the world.
When God chose David to be king over Israel, he told Samuel something that is just as profound today:
“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7
Jesus said something similar when rebuking the Pharisees:
“Outwardly, you appear righteous to people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
The reality today is no different. People outwardly profess to “believe in God,” but they don’t take any steps to actually follow Jesus – his first command to his disciples.
In May 2015 through a SOWERS evangelist in Kenya, three alcoholics repented and gave their lives to God. In doing so, they started something bigger than just turning away from a life of self-indulgence. God’s work in their lives led to a new church strategy to reach out to more people addicted to drugs and alcohol in the area.
Missionary stories like this show the true transformation that only comes through repentance and the power of the God.
Other stories show up even in the broader numbers. It’s easy to overlook, but notice what isn’t in those statistics from Kenya. It used to be dominant. We’re talking about local indigenous and tribal religions. There are still pockets of it in Kenya, and in greater numbers in other African nations.
But notice how tiny the percentages are. Years ago, these tribal sorts of beliefs dominated the continent. Now, they are on the run and declining each year as God’s real power and love overwhelms the fear and perverse idolatry associated with most of these practices.
Every Number is a Living Soul
When SOWERS trains local churches to go spread the gospel in their surrounding communities, this is the goal – sharing the gospel, transforming lives, strengthening communities. We try to track numbers so we can monitor what’s happening. But just like those demographic statistics from Kenya, the numbers only tell the story in broad strokes.
It’s about individuals, like these three who used to be alcoholics, coming to terms with their sin and their need for God, and then finding his love and mercy in abundance as they turn to him. Then they take what God did for them and share it with others. They replicate. Freely they received, and now they freely give.
We hear stories of individuals added to the kingdom of God all the time from our teams in the field. Here are some broader numbers to give you an idea of the kind of impact SOWERS is making in dozens of nations around the world.
Incredible Numbers are Hearing and Responding
In the East African region, which includes Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Kenya, from November 2013 through November 2014, 359 SOWERS missionary teams accomplished the following:
- Held 1659 open air meetings
- Shared the gospel with 81,673 people
- Followed-up with spiritual counseling with 56,043 people
- Welcomed 15,238 people into churches led by SOWERS ministry teams. Many others joined other churches
- Planted 76 new churches
With our Bible-centric methods and strategy, we’re impacting many nations with numbers like these, from Ghana to the Philippines to Nepal to Ivory Coast. It happens one meeting at a time.
For example, in Nepal, one Sower named Nabin now works as a full-time evangelist. In June of 2014, he reported that 28 people had been baptized into the Lord Jesus. 28 people! As they grow in faith and get established in local churches, think of the other lives they will impact in the same way.
This is how Jesus wants us all to fulfill the Great Commission – go to all the world to make disciples. And it’s not our power of persuasion. It’s the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit convicting people in their own hearts, drawing them to himself, forgiving them, and calling on them to follow him.
But people don’t experience this unless someone first tells them. God works through the church. He works through you.
If you sign up for our newsletter, you can hear more missionary stories about new people being added or restored to the kingdom of God.
Do you want to align with God’s mission?
Do you want your life to reflect Jesus’ passion for the lost?
This is our greatest purpose as the church – to prevail against the gates of hell.
Sow in to the kingdom of God today.