Not So Exotic

By Cary Ramsay, South East Asia Whirlwind tours of teams, time zones and mission fields among the unreached people groups of the world are part of my role as a coach for new missionaries with Pioneers. My last trip was very profitable—personally and professionally. We spent time visiting team leaders and missionaries in Southeast Asia, and I also gained new insight to the spiritual reality of the unreached world. We started our time in a beautiful island location that is billed by travel agents and websites as a paradise. But perceptions are funny things. What I had read and heard about this place seemed wonderful, but when I experienced it in real life it was so different from what I expected. The spiritual oppression there was dark and heavy, almost tangible at times. We had time one morning to walk on the beach. Although we had our bathing suits with us, we didn’t even want to get in the water. Everything felt dirty and dark, even the sea. The images I searched for on the Internet left out the reality of what it really feels like to be on an island of 4 million people and 1 million idols. The experience made me reflect on how often I assume that the gospel has been shared enough and that most people know about Christ by now. It’s deceptive. The reality is so different, as today nearly four million people wait to hear about Jesus for the first time on that island alone. My prayer is that God would give me His eyes to see the truth of the world around me instead of my own perceptions. May we all have His vision.

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