Friday, May 1, 2015

Why our response to Nepal's earthquake matters




From a human perspective the needs of the people of Nepal are currently massive. The pictures tell the story. Homes gone, possessions lost, water hard to get, sanitation and basic infrastructure and all those things we take for granted damaged or non-existent.  Basic human compassion should compel us to pray, and care and give so that people's lives can be rebuilt. It could have been us!

There is also a divine perspective on events like we are witnessing in Nepal. I put it this way: "Nothing happens in our world, good or bad which does not first pass by the hands of God and which He does not use to build His church." 

There is always a story behind the stories in the news and it is God's story. Many do not know, for instance that Nepal has one of the fastest growing Christian populations. Many do not know that it is crises like these that give the Gospel a huge opportunity to take a quantum leap as the international and local church mobilizes to help deeply hurting people. After the Asian tsunami, for instance, Ache, Indonesia, one of the most closed places to Christians was by necessity opened up and the Christian's response to the humanitarian needs changed forever the area's view of Jesus and Christians and many came (and are still coming) to Christ.

Paul, speaking in Athens made the point that God has a hand in the events of a people's lives for a Gospel purpose: 


Acts 17:26-27New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26" and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."

The events of our world are not as random as they appear, for God, in His sovereignty and in His desire to see people reach out for Him and find Him uses events such as this earthquake to cause otherwise complacent individuals to look for spiritual answers in the right places. Nothing happens in our world, good or bad which does not first pass by the hands of God and which He does not use to build His church.

You and I are His agents in this Gospel opportunity. We are His hands, His feet, His voice and those who can tangibly show His love to a hurting people. The large NGO's will come and go. Many ministries such as ReachGlobal will be rebuilding and helping communities and individuals for the next five to ten years. Our response to this disaster has eternal consequences for the Gospel. It is a huge opportunity to meet both basic human needs as well as eternal heart needs. We ought to see these situations in light of God's perspective rather than simply a human perspective - compelling as that is.




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