Thoughts from Steve Hafler

StevePreachingInRainforest

My friend Steve Hafler is a veteran missionary who has spent ten years in Africa. He filled a crucial role in our Madagascar outreach last month through his familiarity with foreign cultures, sensitivity to unreached peoples, and motivating passion for souls. Below is an account that Steve wrote for his monthly publication, “Across Africa.”

As the helicopter hovered to find a “reasonable” landing pad, in an area where there seemed to be none, the entire village began to gather below us. What do you say to an entire village that was not expecting you today?  When you do locate the chief how do you explain why “you” just dropped out of the sky and why “his” village was chosen over hundreds of others we just flew over?  It gets real simple.  We are here as ambassadors of Christ to give you the most wonderful message in the world, and we are gong to leave you God’s Word to read even after we depart.

ChildrenInVillage

This is a glimpse of what happened when I recently traveled to Madagascar with Jim and Paiton Wiginton as we assisted Daniel Threlfall on a reconnaissance mission.  What we saw took several days to process and we remain staggered by the needs across Africa.  We went deep interior to this disturbingly vast island country that remains 70% animistic.  Many thoughts pierced my mind while ministering to these forgotten and unreached people. Thoughts like “why is no one here telling these people about Jesus?,” “do we as God’s children really believe that everyone will spend eternity somewhere?,” and “God is still looking for a man to ‘go.’”  These thoughts can lead to a “spiritual post-traumatic stress” unless we  remember, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen. 18:25).  Yet, the responsibility reveals our failure to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).  We looked into hundreds of dark Malagasy eyes gazing back at us who had never heard the Gospel – not even one time.  We were in villages where there is no  Bible – not even one copy.  I was reminded of the essence of missions – proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is the liberator of sin by grace through faith to all who believe.  I felt alive as our team taught from creation to Christ to entire villages gathered to hear “the Word of life.”

JimAndChief

In one village far north on the sand dune peninsula surrounded on each side by the Indian Ocean the blind chief, after hearing the entire story from creation to Christ, said “be blessed in the name of our ancestors.”  Pray that he would be unfettered from animism.  We believe many did trust Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin.  Please continue to pray (1) for the Malagasy people to believe in Jesus Christ, (2) that God would strengthen the hand of national evangelists and pastors, (3) that missionaries who are already ministering in Madagascar would be encouraged and effective in their outreach, and (4) that God would raise up and send evangelists and pastor teachers to these lost people.

~Steve Hafler

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09 2009

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  1. Jennifer Lewis #
    1

    Daniel, thank you for sharing. American Christianity has forgotten the simplicity of life found in Christ. We don’t need more young men debating what translation of the Bible to use or which side of the Armenian vs. Calvinism scale one lands on. We do need those who will give up the shallow life lived on the comfortable, risk-free, and sideline life offered in American Christianity to enter a continent that is truly in need of hearing the gospel.

    May God give us good men! Men who fight for truth, labor hard and long, and stand strong. Men who can truly sing with all their heart “There IS JOY in serving Jesus!”

  2. 2

    Hello,

    I was wondering if I could have your permission to use one of these images on my website?

    Thanks



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