Our diversity as a region is enormous, almost overwhelming. What is holding us as Nazarenes across the Eurasia Region together?
In many places diversity causes alienation and conflict; so many national interests pull us in different directions. But what an opportunity the variety provides to find out what it means to be Christ’s ambassadors in our place of service.
Diversity has the potential to tear us apart, but it can also show us our culture as the canvas on which Christ’s face is to be painted. Unless we face the hot issues of our country, culture or city we can’t be His ambassadors there. So yes we have to grapple with our secularization, or the poverty, or the militant expression of a majority faith, or the vast numbers of children and young people desperate for a future. Christ wants someone who understands this place, who will take it to heart, and who learns to speak the language of downtown Frankfurt, or of the villages in Bangladesh. And in turn He teaches us to understand His place, and His language.
So how do we connect? What makes us good ambassadors where we are?
• Ask good questions; help one another to listen (with the heart) before speaking.
• Understand conflicts; don’t ignore them. We are friends of truth, calling things by their right names.
• Practice peace making. Build bridges by forgiveness and reconciliation.
• Trust Christ in the other; call Him forth out of the other.
• Testify (and remember) to interventions of God’s mercy, bringing unity, healing relationships.
Let us draw deeply on the resources of the Holy Spirit to turn differences into shining examples of His multi-colored mercy and victory.
PRAYER AND FASTING
The Christian church through the centuries has taught us how fasting and prayer go together. Fasting is doing more with less. Less food, fewer sweets, less shopping, less comfort. More hungry feelings, more reflection and confession, more time to pray, more awareness of the needs of others, more desperation – more of God.
In certain parts of our region, districts have a monthly day of fasting (every first Friday). Other times our entire region unites in several weeks of limited fasting (Daniel fast).
Prayer and fasting call for rhythm and for a purpose: we reach out and stretch ourselves as far as possible. Consider making prayer and fasting your personal priority:
• Fast and pray together with someone else, with your house group, with a friend, with your family. Pray and fast in community.
• Fast and pray for a need that you think is very hard to change, but that really needs God’s intervention. Remember Queen Esther (Esther 4:16)
• Fast and pray for a need outside yourself. Jesus reminds us that the Father already knows what we need. Fasting is less of us, in order to see more of God’s purposes.
• Fast and pray with God’s Word. Fill your mind and heart with the Word. Empty stomachs and full hearts can go together.
In our region we want to see volunteers from Eurasia volunteer for Eurasia. We call this M+Power, short for Mission-Power. Enabling younger and older people to become part for several months to more than a year of a real mission ministry somewhere in our region.
M+Power is our third regional priority. Out of interconnectedness and prayer & fasting, flows mobilization through M+Power. M+Power volunteers will have to sacrifice a lot to be able to serve in another culture, probably in another language. It will not be easy to raise sufficient money, and to have people back home commit to faithful support and prayer.
The Lord is stirring people’s hearts, inviting them to do more with their lives than they think is possible: serve the Kingdom of God in Jordan, India, Portugal or Moldova.
If you think that volunteering cross-culturally in another part of the Eurasia Region is something for you:
• Look up the M+Power page on our website.
• Talk with a spiritual friend, your pastor, and an M+Power taskforce representative about this opportunity. Don’t forget the information on the M+Power page.
• Look up when the next Eurasia Mission Orientation will be organised in your area (the M+Power representative wants to help!).
• Start praying that the Lord will confirm through other people who will support you and pray.
• Look for ways of working for a year to save enough money to pay your way.
THEOLOGY AND PRACTICE
Holiness becomes a life-transforming message when it uses homemade words, concepts, examples, illustrations and stories. Indigenous means “from the native soil.” True holiness requires that native element in order to acquire that radical dimension that we see in Christ.
We can develop an indigenous holiness theology and practice by:
• pushing ourselves to speak clearly and plainly about Christ changing our hearts and lives.
• Matching our actions to our theology, putting our beliefs into practice.
• being eager and good learners, Listening fresh to the Bible and one another;
• Supporting our denominational theological education