For Randy, how we use our resources to further God’s kingdom is something that we need to think about more carefully. This and other insights were what he shared upon his return from a vision trip to the Middle East.
Randy is an undergraduate who recently spent his term break in a huge city in the Middle East. It was a two-month cultural immersion during which he stayed with a local family of believers
Randy migrated to Singapore since young with his family. He desires to see the people of a Different Background come to know Christ personally. As he is conversant in their language and at home in their culture, he has been involved in reaching out to them and discipling the believers for the last five years.
About a year ago, he was thinking about moving out of his comfort zone here to explore outreach opportunities overseas. In the middle of this year the door opened for him to learn more about the Middle-Eastern way of life and he went. As he has studied the local language, everyday communication with the locals was not a major problem. Some preconceptions were corrected in this trip. The place was not as dangerous as he thought, and the people were warm and hospitable. He notes that the believers, who are a minority group in the country, are thriving but would need encouragement to press on as they experience discrimination and prejudices. Much as he found the trip enriching, Randy returned with a firmer conviction that his calling is to continue to invest his life in doing what he has been doing in Singapore.
He thinks the people of a Different Background here are largely overlooked by the body of Christ. To him, they are an unreached people group, and this big ‘pond’ is frequented by very few ‘fishers of men’. He notes that sometimes there is a lack of strategic planning in expending resources, with too much poured into a small ‘pond’, depriving the rest out there as a result. To him, mission work is not a romantic notion but a strategic plan to reach the unreached for Christ, so that all the earth will come to know Him. So he wants to continue to reach out to them. In this regard, his familiarity with their culture and language is an advantage. However, what is more essential is to build genuine friendships with them and that means spending time with them and being involved in their lives. In a nutshell, it is all about friendships. He is discipling these believers to be rooted in their own culture and traditions so that they do not alienate themselves from their own community but see their role as light and salt within their community. He recognises it is a tough journey for them and he wants to journey with them.
Randy cautions against keeping our faith secret from them as it would arouse suspicions about our motives. He is open in his Christian walk right from the beginning and does not withhold saying grace or sharing his experiences with the Lord with them, as he would with his Christian friends. This often arouses their curiosity and leads to conversations about God, during which Randy prays that the Holy Spirit will enlighten their understanding. It is more than dispensing information through witnessing with tracts or the four spiritual laws. He is walking the journey with them, bringing about a saving knowledge, transformation and multiplication in the community.