In the summer of 2008, we engaged in a food distribution in the bush country of Mali with the assistance of the Baptist Global Relief, distributing staple food items to over 30,000 people in 62 villages. In West African bush contracts are often verbal, and the strength of the contract increases when witnessed by more people. So as each village picked up their food, we insisted that all from that village that were coming gather at the same time.
Typically the food was picked up by the elders and leaders of the village. Over and over again we heard two things. Thank you for the food, or we would have died. But most profound, “We have never heard this name Jesus before.”
Romans 10 took on brand new meaning. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed. And how will they believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how will they hear unless someone preaches Good News.” Who is going to tell them?
Jesus gave the Great Commission to all Christians, not a select few. God gave gifted leaders to the churches to equip them for the tasks of ministry and mission. Together, we can carry the Gospel to all the people groups of the world.