I want to introduce you to a couple I met while in Okinawa Japan and how they influenced my life through a divine appointment.
While stationed in Sasebo Japan as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, our ship the USS Belleau Wood, would travel to Okinawa to pick up Marines before heading out for maneuvers.
Each time we pulled into a port, I would take a few men with me and seek out a local church to visit.
While we were at a local serviceman’s center, I picked up the phone book and called a local Okinawan Missions church to ask them to send someone one to pick us up.
The church sent future missionaries, Brad and Sarah C. Sarah was still in the Air Force, but they were preparing to go to Central Asia to scout out the area for future work with Interdev. Before the service, they took us over to their place and fed us lunch.
While we sat talking about life and ministry, Brad came back to the front room with an arm full of books.
“These books are very important to us, but we feel to give them to you.”
God was speaking to them about me and what he would have me do in the future. Each of the books was about “Unreached Peoples” and God’s global movement throughout history (Perspectives).
This simple divine appointment sparked my thinking in a new direction concerning missions. I would focus on the places of the world found in an area known as the “10/40 Window”. This area is home to two thirds of the world’s population and the three main bloc religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. It is also home to the world’s poorest of the poor, most of whom live on just a few dollars a day. There are found some of the last strongholds of darkness that must be penetrated before Matt 24:14 becomes a reality.
95% of the people living in the 10/40 Window are unevangelized. Many have never heard the Gospel message even once. There are either no Christians or not enough of a Christian movement in many cultures of the 10/40 Window to carry out vibrant near-neighbor evangelism. If those groups are to be evangelized, believers will need to leave their own culture to enter another where they will seek to plant the gospel.
I have never seen or heard from Brad and Sarah since this day, but our short time together had a profound influence on my ministry focus and thinking; primarily “need” and “access”.
Without them, I would not be the man that I am today, and I would probably not be moving my life into the 10/40 window to preach this Gospel of the Kingdom of God.