Elaine Fallesen with friends in eastern Turkey during Mission: Ararat 2015. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13 (ESV)
How far would you be willing to go for a friend? Climbing For Christ is literally willing to GO to great lengths.
We once were asked why we went back to a particular unreached and hard-to-reach place time after time after time. The answer was simple: we’d made friends with a family there and we wanted to see them come to Christ.
But I have always been challenged by the verse at the top of this page. Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loved us. He loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for our sake. Are we capable of doing the same?
This week we have discussed some of our Muslim friends; some who have converted to Christianity and others who are not yet what we call Muslim background believers (MBBs). Let’s pause for a moment and pray:
Heavenly Father, You know those people who have become such an important part of our lives because You put them in our lives. We know that You do not want anyone to perish, but that everyone would come to repentance. Our prayer today is that all should know Your Son, Jesus, as Savior.
Project Prayer: Ramadan 2017 is intended to educate and inform. But, most importantly, it is meant to elicit your PRAYERS.
We all need to make time for prayer. If we can’t pray for our friends, we can’t begin to go to the lengths that Jesus has commanded us: To lay down our lives.
When a ministry or a mission begins, we feel called to reach those who have not heard of or about Jesus, who died for their sake. We seek to deliver the Good News to them. But at the start it is only a “people group” or a “number.” We do not see them as our Sending God sees them. It is only after we have met them, spent time with them, and become a part of their lives that we realize how important this task is.
They become our friends. We realize what Jesus is saying when He tells us to “love one another as I loved you” (John 15:12).
In Turkey, we have spent enough time with several Turkish and Kurdish friends that we can say we love them. That’s what has made the events of the past two years so heartbreaking. The violence in the Kurdish part of Turkey has blocked our return. We have watched those we know in the tourism sector suffer financially. I reached out to one of these friends this week.
“The tourism is almost finished,” he said. “No work.”
He told about another friend of ours who had moved to the coast looking for work. “But I think he could not find suitable work yet,” he said.
“We are looking (forward) very much to see you next year,” he concluded. “If Ararat is not open, which we think is not possible, we can plan a trek to the Taurus Mountains in Cappadocia.”
This is now my prayer. I need to see our friends and spend more time with them. For the love of Christ and to the glory of God.