By Dr. David L. Robbins

Somehow the daily news and the Good News exist as diametrical opposites. As the leader of Advancing Indigenous Missions since 1999, my 21 years of journeys have led me beyond North America to Bangladesh, the edge of Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Sudan, The Philippines, Thailand and Uganda.

According to newspapers, radios and television centres very few of these trips should have occurred. However indigenous missions commonly thrive in hot spots. The indigenous leaders have their fingers on the pulse of their nations. They know better than anyone else precisely what to do. God is carving out a people for Himself. God's strength is made perfect in weakness.

How can this victory in Jesus be so entirely predictable?

Firstly, these indigenous missions triumph, confident in the fact that Jesus is God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). The only way cults can reject this clear teaching of the deity of Jesus is to twist the Greek text. The Jehovah's Witnesses are confused by false teaching, saying that "the Word was a god". The definite article teaches the very opposite. The text has no possible option of "a god".

The context brings the accurate explanation forward over and over again. Verse two states that Jesus, the Word, had no beginning. Jesus was in the beginning with God. Repetition in verse three removes any possible doubt. Not only was everything made by Christ, nothing was made without Him.

Our unstoppable Jesus calls us to baptize new disciples "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one God in three persons. Jesus clearly declares: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen" (v. 20). Jesus is with these missionaries always: in jail, in poverty, in rejection, in political obscurity and gross misrepresentation. Is it any wonder they are so gloriously victorious?

For example, Resham Raj Poudel was jailed 22 times for a total of five years in Nepal as one of the first apostles to this nation. He discovered Christ in the Nepali New Testament given to him after he had spoken at a village meeting as a Hindu priest and teacher. The only believer Resham had ever met was obscured by his escape. The Bible was delivered before his disappearance to avoid a three-year jail sentence.

Resham met Christ in the contraband New Testament. Only Jesus could raise a dead man, Lazarus, from the dead. Only Jesus could feed the multitude with five loaves and two fish. Soon Resham was expelled by the Hindu school and preaching Christ as a converted Hindu priest in the villages.

The authorities were in a quandary. How could you jail a Hindu priest that had been teaching in a Hindu school preparing more Hindu priests? They had no choice because he refused to stop preaching in the villages.

He was indeed arrested and beaten mercilessly. The authorities jailed him 22 times over a total of five years. However, he simply kept on preaching in the jails. Today countless pastors and church planters who met Jesus in prison are effectively serving Christ. Resham had the honour of taking the Gospel to every one of the 85 districts of Nepal as an evangelist. Thorough attention to the study of the Word of God and a life of persistent prayer saw Jesus yield a mighty harvest of new believers throughout the nation.

Secondly, these indigenous missionaries win the victory through answered prayer. The strategy focuses on early morning watches. Jesus was here briefly from eternity past to eternity future. Yet His people know Him intimately and demonstrate His presence continuously. (See John 16:28). Indigenous leaders staying with us while on tours of Canada commonly begin each day with very early vigils.

Thirdly, these indigenous missionaries accept what has been revealed. This can only be understood as a matter of revelation! "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matt. 11:27). These indigenous missionaries have seen with their own eyes what only the Holy Spirit could show them. The Spirit of Jesus is calling an army of believers with striking perception and insight. They are bold, unstoppable and increasingly effective because Jesus has taken over.

Fourthly, those who were spiritually dead are anything but dead today. The power of Jesus is declared once for all. This omnipotence has never been diminished. "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will" (John 5:21).

For example, India today is in the midst of radical transformation, completely hidden from the limited and restricted sight of the media.

Fifth, the indigenous missions refuse to take too seriously those who oppose the Good News of Jesus. One day they will be removed by the angels without recourse (See Matt. 13:41-42). Indigenous missions move relentlessly in the victory of the Conquering Saviour. "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (v. 43)!

One of my favourite hymns comes to me immediately.
O victory in Jesus, my Saviour forever.
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood.
He loved ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him.
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

This melodious refrain reminds me of what I have been privileged to see over all these years.

posted February 24, 2020
Advancing Indigenous Missions 2020