Although Abraham from the Old Testament was called to complete his calling, it was far from flawless. Surprisingly, God honored him for his effort, giving him the title “the father of faith.” How should we understand this?
Well, calling has more to do with God’s plan than man’s infallibility. Of course, we strive for perfection, but of course man cannot fulfill it. Rather, it is about the motives of the heart. Intention can be perfect, even if the actions are not perfect.
Jesus invited his disciples (which is the core of a calling) to follow Him and “become fishers of men.” It’s an invitation I identified with early in life. I joined FEBA because I can live out my calling to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and give it new meaning. The organization’s mission to preach the gospel to the most persecuted, isolated, and unreached peoples in the world has, by implication, added a new dimension to my calling. Since I was appointed National Director for the South African part of the international organization FEBC a few years ago, I have experienced several highlights. I now also have the privilege of visiting countries I would not necessarily have visited otherwise. So, I visited Niger in October this year with the aim of exploring what the need is, and the possibility of setting up a Christian radio ministry there.
Niger is an unknown country to most people, and has been a stranger to me until now. The country got its name from the Niger River and it borders Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina, Faso, and Mali.
A huge 99.3% of the country’s population are Muslim adherents. The population of 22 million people speak several ethnic languages, but French is the official language. Most live in small communities in the far south and western parts of the country. Niamey is the capital, and is located in the southwest corner.
There is a great need for the gospel in Niger and FEBA has an incredible opportunity to establish a new station in the heart of the country. There are only about 0.4% Christians in the country, representing about 50,000 – 100,000 individuals.
What is the connection between the calling of an individual and the mission of an organization, you may rightly ask? The point I want to make is that when a calling drives you, you must consider all the circumstances to make sure that you will be successful in what God has called you to do. For many people, evangelism is a calling, but not all are necessarily successful, and not everyone fully understands the challenges that need to be overcome. Thorough research and thorough preparation are necessary if we want to be successful.
Evangelism in Niger has been started by American missionaries since 1923, but little success has been achieved to date. Some believe that Western missionaries have weakened and divided the young church in Niger from the beginning by making it too bold across denomination lines and dogmas. Other reasons include the lack of focus on the training of ethnic leaders; a failure to evangelize from an Islamic point of view; and a lack of vision to reach Muslims.
Against this background, FEBA South Africa has a very important role to play and a great task to perform. I see in the dire circumstances of the country and its people enough reason to further broaden the vision of FEBA to include Niger, and still remain true to my own calling. I have already done my research and put the ball rolling to get a radio station functional. The target date is early next year, in 2022. The initial cost is between R150 000 and R200 000; but I already know He will also provide in this need, because He has called us to fulfill the task of evangelism among the most unreached countries.
And what is your calling? Maybe it’s to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then an established organization like FEBA South Africa with its long list of success stories is the ideal vehicle to help realize your own calling. I have great appreciation for our supporters, our sponsors and our donors, because without them we would not be able to carry out our calling and realize the mission of FEBA.
Thank you for the support and thank you for your prayers.