Every January, we take time to focus on global missions at ICC. I want you to understand why and for you to choose to participate in this important focus of our church. Toward this end, I want to share with you a statistic, a story, and an invitation.
A Statistic: The Maninka People in West Africa has a population 3,182,000. Among the Maninka people, only 0.02% are Christians.
A Story: Recently, a friend forwarded me this statistic in an email asking for prayer for unreached people groups. They knew I would take interest in this particular group. Why? Well, I lived among the Maninka in West Africa as a missionary about 15 years ago. When I see these statistics, I think of personal stories. The faces of three guys come to my mind. Three men I had the opportunity of introducing to Jesus for the very first time. So many other stories flood my heart as I think of these precious people. When I was there, there were only 14 known Maninka believers in Guinea. They're a hard-hearted group, but the main reason for the low number is the lack of missionary engagement. They are entrenched in tribal religion and Islam, but they are hungry for hope. Just recently, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic that is affecting the whole world, one of my Guinean friends reached out to me to ask for prayer because his young daughter died suddenly. Life is so hard there. Disease is rampant. Help and resources are scarce. However, he reached out because he now knows in Jesus there is hope. So many more there need to know the same. The church IS growing among the Maninka people, now about 600 believers, but there are so many who have yet to hear of and believe on Christ. In fact, about 3,181,400 Maninka have yet to believe. I want to tell you: They are more than a statistic - each number represents a life, a story, a hunger for hope.
An Invitation: We are a church for the nations. We operate with a missional mindset: a clear calling and active involvement to see the gospel spread and churches planted at home and around the world. It is our joy and responsibility as a church to get the gospel to the Maninka and other people groups of the world, being especially strategic toward those who have never heard.
For this reason, I want for you to make extra effort to be a part of our 2021 GO! Month Focus on Global Missions. Together, we will take the next step in understanding & participating in God's redemptive work in the world. Don't miss any Sunday. Don't miss the special discussions in Life Groups. This year, we are praying God will renew our passion & purpose for His glory among the nations... that they may know! Love y'all!