E: Educate the Next Generation
I once visited a school just outside Johannesburg, South Africa. There were about 1,500 kids, and they all were sitting on the ground. They had no building; there was no water, no electricity, and no books.
Yet there is a waiting list of children wanting to get into this school so they can sit in the dirt and learn, safe and off the street.
I also visited a little school in a church where they have adopted 25 AIDS orphans. I asked the headmaster, “What is the greatest need for your school? Is it a building? Is it more students? Is it curriculum? What is it?” He said, “Books. We have no books.” How can you teach and how can a country be strong when its children are not educated?
How can a country grow and be strong economically when its citizens can’t read, can’t write, and don’t know the fundamentals of math and science that we take for granted? Over half the world is still illiterate. It’s no wonder these countries aren’t strong.
Only the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can take on these global giants. No government can do it. If they could have, they would have. No organization can do it. Only the Church can do it. Only the Church has the manpower — nearly 2 billion volunteers in churches all over the globe, waiting to be mobilized. Only the Church has the willpower to rise up in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God. And, most important, only the Church has the Holy Spirit’s power to enable us to do what is otherwise impossible.
Jesus has called us to do it, he has commanded us to do it, and he has commissioned us to do it. The question is, will you do it? Will you do what Jesus said? His command to go is not just for clergy or missionaries or professional ministers. It is for every follower of Jesus Christ. The rallying cry of the PEACE Plan is Psalm 67:2: “Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind” (LB).
The critical question of this hour is: Will we, the Church of God around the world, retreat in the face of these global giants, or will we face them in faith, claiming the promises of God and the power of his Spirit, and defeat these giants for the glory of God?
People of Ordinary Faith Working Together
These problems are gigantic, but ordinary people of faith who work together can chip away the chaos and bring hope back to the hopeless. We’ve trained thousands of Saddleback members to go on mission trips around the world.
They often take with them what we call “Clinics in a Box.” We take a box and fill it with common medicine — things we take for granted but are like gold in many places where there’s no health care. Small groups of our members deliver these boxes. They also help plant faith communities, train leaders, help the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Our mission has eternal consequences. Heaven and Hell are in the balance. God wants to use the people in our congregations to reach the world for Jesus. We need to show them that the greatest thrill and adventure in life is to be used by God.
Jesus said, “Only those who throw their lives away for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35 LB).
Learn more about the PEACE Plan at thepeaceplan.com.