Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Declaring & Demonstrating His Glory - Graydon

This week we are highlighting a Candian, eh? Graydon Baker leads the Canada STINT team in Tanzania. (Graydon is on the left. He and teammates: Bryon, Melissa and Carmen are surrounded by Masai guards.) You can catch up with latest on Graydon on his blog.

Graydon and his team work on the University of Dar Es Salaam. Dar is the nation's top university, and in a struggling economy a very prominent and important setting for change. Idi Amin featured in , 'The Last King of Scotland' was finally overthrown by among others, Yoweri Museveni, who is alumni of the University of Dar Es Salaam, and the current president of neighboring country, Uganda. Graydon’s team vision statement is, "To Change the World, By Introducing World-Changers to the Original World-Changer, Jesus Christ".

Recently they tried to host an 'I Agree with Campaign', with a student named Mpeli at the centre of all the controversy. God used this campaign to work on the hearts and minds of their students, but He definitely didn't employ their plans in accomplishing that! In the unstableness of African politics, coups many times rise out of universities, and so when the University of Dar administration saw, 'Do You Agree With Mpeli', they immediately thought of a political agenda and literally called in reinforcements. The campaign was cancelled in a rash decision...but God was not done with it yet! Graydon wrote, “The foundation had already been set before the decision was made, and to make a longer story a bit shorter, through door-to-door evangelism, and working behind the scenes, we partnered with over 600 Christian students. The student body demanded to know who Mpeli was, and what made him so special. So we told them: he is a sinner who was saved by grace, and he now lives a Jesus Christ-centred life.”

I was reading this week in the last chapter of Isaiah.

"And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. "

I was struck that the Lord will come and reveal His glory to people who had not heard of His fame nor seen His glory. They have not heard but they will hear and see. He following verses says they will respond in worship too.

Remember Isaiah begun his ministry when in chapter six He saw the Lord in all His glory, experienced His glory and heard the seraphs declare His glory covered the whole earth. He volunteered to take this message of His glory!

Hearing Graydon’s update and hearing this, I am reminded that the Lord desires to proclaim His glory more than we do. We are just instruments of taking the message of the glorious new covenant to people who have not heard of His fame nor seen His glory. When people see His glory and hear of His fame (really hear and understand), they respond in worship.

When we get right down to it, our job is not to lead our teams to do evangelism, or even plant movements. Our job is leading our teams to declare and demonstrate His glory so that we bring worshipers of every nation into His kingdom. (And of course to do so we proclaim the gospel and launch movements.)


Global Road said...

This is so like God to take a step of faith, totally shuffle it and turn it into something bigger than we can imagine. I also need your insights on Isaiah.

Andy McCullough said...

Keith, thanks for the comment. it is cool how He turned that around for Dar team. I wrote this blog post from the lobby of the Charlotte airport Microtel Inn. I actually thought my thoughts on Ike were a little lite. It was the best i could do with this gangbanger looking over my shoulder asking me how long I was gonna be.