By Michael Kaspar
Michael Kaspar mobilizes his generation to pray for, give to, and go to the unreached parts of the World, especially the Arab World. He serves with Operation Mobilization and with the SVM2 USA facilitation team.
Recently, three believers were killed for their faith in Turkey. Two were Turkish nationals and one was a German man serving in the country with his family. Upon hearing this news I personally tried to identify with the close friends and family of these people.
What if that German message bearer were me—living in Turkey? What would my journey have looked like up to my last day? What would my deep convictions have been that had gotten me to that point? (His wife is planning to stay in the Turkish city of Malatya where her husband is buried).
Is there anything I can do before that time to prepare if I were ever tortured or killed for my faith in Jesus? God, I know this is distant from my “world,” but WHAT do you want me to do in light of your message bearers being killed for witnessing of you?
These events seem far from college life, but fellow followers of Jesus—we are more connected with this event than you may realize. It is so much on God’s heart. He loves the nations and desires peoples from all nations to be drawn by His love.
Perhaps many of you are seeking to go long-term to an unreached part of the World. I’d like to discuss some practical actions can be taken right now while in college (or recent college grad) to strengthen you and help you get to an unreached part of the World . . . and when you make it, to be sustained by God during your journey.
We are in a daily fight to maintain our first love and our deep convictions. The choice is this: fight or give up? Some of you have been drawn by God to work in Turkey or among Muslims long-term. From God’s perspective, He has seen many (too many for us to count) people who receive a deep conviction to go to an unreached part of the World.
Then, within a year or two, they begin dating someone without a similar conviction OR get married, have a child or two (and perhaps 2 dogs, cars, house, and half-a-cat) OR go to get more education only to arrive at graduation with loads of debt or a big job opportunity.
The list of reasons why people don’t go continues to grow. How might the temptation to be distracted from a deep conviction to pray for, give to, or go to the UNREACHED ONES be affecting you today?
If you’ve received a deep conviction to give your life to serve among unreached parts of the World, then FIGHT for this call to be sustained. Here are some practical fighting techniques which you can learn, apply, and pass on to others while you’re in college (or recently graduated):
1. Pray. Have you started a prayer group for the nations on your campus or with friends yet? One idea is to start and get connected with Global Prayer Teams at www.SVM2.net.
God delights so much when we come to him interceding on behalf of these needy nations. Where you put your time and energy today will have a major effect on where you end up later. Every decision made today effects the person you will one day become.
2. Read and Study your Bible. This seems simple and basic. From personal experience, I love the bible, but I’ve experienced so many days when Satan pulls me away from meditating on God’s Word. I must humble myself each time and return—for His Word is better than life!
3. Find a mentor. I might rephrase this—Find a mentor who also loves the nations and wants to help you launch out into an unreached part of the World. If you receive a deep conviction from the LORD to go to an unreached part, and then get connected with a mentor encouraging you to go an already reached part of the World.
I can still remember my junior year being offended when a mentor-friend of mine said, “Michael, what are you doing for the unreached this week?” How did he have the right to offend me (I was thinking). I thought about his question for several months, and he spurred me forward. Wow, I’m eternally thankful!
4. Create a fellowship group. One idea is to create a group in your community which focuses on where you want to go. Learn. Taste. Pray. . . all to keep your vision fresh. Maintain a consistently teachable spirit and do life in community with a focus toward an unreached part of the World.
This can create an awesome focused group of abandoned people. I believe this group will spur your heart through some of the barriers you’ll face on your journey.
If you’re focused on loving Muslims, connect with www.crescentproject.org and start an Oasis group on your campus! Also see the Movement Manual at www.SVM2.net for how to start and keep these kinds of groups energized on your campus.
5. Know yourself. What energizes you toward your initial vision? Vision must be renewed like a library book or taking a shower everyday (you’ll smell better to others if you shower daily—you’ll smell better to this World if you keep basking in God’s love daily.)
Essentially, what do you feed your mind and heart . . . prayer, podcasts, websites, movies, what you talk about, and what you write about. Each influences and shapes you! By knowing yourself and how you’re inspired, you can reconnect to God’s heart for the unreached.
6. Know yourself—part 2. What are your obstacles or barriers to going? People don’t plan to fail, but they often fail to plan. In short, people don’t identify what their weaknesses might be. For example, I really like mac computers and technology.
I enjoy the whole feeling of getting a new toy. My wife really enjoys good quality health food (the kind you can’t get if we live overseas in some of the places we’re dreaming of.) These are great to identify as potential barriers to what is holding us back from going. Just be honest.
Grab a pen and paper. Jot these down. Share them with someone and keep praying.
7. Mobilize others. You need to help other people along their journey toward the unreached. Just like you’ve been on a journey with different parts and people have influenced you. God has placed you in your specific place to intersect with specific people.
As you’re making a difference getting God’s people encouraged and inspired, God will meet with you in a fresh way. Use the SVM2 Message Bearer Creed commitment card to challenge your peers to serve among the unreached following graduation.
More Info about recent killings in Turkey:
1. From a popular Turkish journalist:
2. From a Christian journalist:
3. From the UK:
4. Middle East Research Blog: about some Turks who showed their horror at this event saying “Stop Fascism, we are all Christians”:
5. A Turkish doctor’s report about the 3 hours of torture before they were killed: