Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once famously said,
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.
We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late.
This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
This is how I felt when I snapped this photo 14 years ago today.
I was the High School Pastor for a fast-growing church, leading a team of teenagers on a three week journey through Africa.
We were teamed up with 50 other professionals — mostly doctors and nurses — setting up free HIV Clinics and Medical Treatment Centers to serve the poorest of the poor.
The poverty, the desperation, the heartache… If you were born in America, you have NO IDEA what POVERTY IS until you go serve in a third-world country. Seriously, what we call “poverty” in America is not really poverty.
Amber and I were struck by the strikingly high numbers of orphans we encountered in Zambia.
HIV has wiped out nearly all the adults and a generation of young people are playing soccer in the dusty trash without help, direction, or supervision.
It was absolutely heartbreaking.
That’s why our students would not only pray over patients but would also share the Gospel through large event rallies with Zambian students.
I was standing behind our teens as they lead songs of worship and in the midst of the thundering echo (bad acoustics) and sticky heat, I snapped this photo.
Over one thousand Zambian children and orphans were laughing, having fun together, and discovering the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
Seeing this photo come up on my TimeHop reminds me that the work is not finished.
God used our summers in Africa to give my wife and I a tremendous burden and passion for adopting orphans and reaching people far from God.
14 years later, we’ve adopted five times and planted 4 churches (one in Ohio, three in Michigan).
And my heartbeat remains the same: I want to reach the lost at any cost.
I’m not here to play games.
God hasn’t called me to a life of comfort and tiddly-winks.
As Dr. King said, “This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
The advancement of the Gospel is always urgent.
The love of God compels us to move forward with compassionate service and bold proclamation.
There is a fierce urgency right now.
For you see, even though I proclaim the good news, I can’t take the credit for my labors, for I am compelled to fulfill my duty by completing this work.
It would be agony to me if I did not constantly preach the gospel!
Now, even though I am free from obligations to others, I joyfully make myself a servant to all in order to win as many converts as possible.
I have adapted to the culture of every place I’ve gone so that I could more easily win people to Christ.
I’ve done all this so that I would become God’s partner for the sake of the gospel.
(Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16, 18, 19, 22, 23 in The Passion Translation)