History, Geography and Sovereignty

24 06 2008

Operation World is a superb resource for seeking God on behalf of the nations. Patrick Johnstone and his team of researchers have done an excellent job of compiling (and condensing) information about the global church, and the continued need for cross-cultural mission worldwide. John Piper gives his thoughts on the value of Operation World here, for those interested in his opinion on it.

One of the things which I value most highly about this wonderful book is its capacity to encourage the reader to see the providence of God in global events. Every now and then Johnstone will include a fact which is mind-boggling in terms of how the activities of godless nations lead to the exaltation of God’s name among the nations. Time and again the sovereignty of God over the events of history is highlighted with great force. An example is the following quote I read this morning about Indonesia. We tend to associate this group of islands with pain and persecution for the body of Christ, amidst an increasingly hostile Islamic society. The following quote shows our God at work in the Indonesian government’s efforts to resettle remote island areas with citizens from densely populated localities. God has been at work in the midst of this population shift.

“The Transmigration Scheme is one of the world’s largest planned resettlements of people ever organised. Vast areas of virgin territory in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua have been opened up for migrants from overpopulated Java and Bali. Over 8 million were relocated between 1969 and 1998. These new settlements have been hard on the newcomers; with harsh conditions, poor soils and inefficient financing and communications. Yet among these migrants there is an openness to the gospel, and Christian groups have thrived despite the preferential selection of Muslims. Pray that these Christians may be lights for the Lord in areas never before evangelized – especially Sumatra and Sulawesi. There are also large numbers of migrants to the cities. Urban areas are rapidly becoming multi-cultural centres where people are more open to the gospel”.
[Patrick Johnstone, Operation World, p.342]

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