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二○一九年九月二十一日/九月二十二日                                                                                   Click here for English version

無懼困境,勇於回應

周曉暉牧師

北非和中東的局勢比起我們的城市更加動盪,但宣教研究指出,近年該區卻湧現穆民歸主的大浪潮。顯然,聖靈會轉化使用一些困境,讓穆民更渴慕找到人生終極的答案。即使在紛亂的世代,你若願意,就隨時能被神使用。

初期教會的腓利因教會大遭逼迫,而離開了耶路撒冷,往撒馬利亞去。正當腓利在撒馬利亞的教會大有發展,他突然聽到神的呼召,要他去到荒蕪的曠野路上(徒八 26)。

他去到後按著聖靈臨場的指引,接近一輛車子,然後放膽問了車上的非洲人一個問題,因而打開了話匣子,開始傳講耶穌。這位非洲人就在這荒蕪的曠野路上,受洗歸信了耶穌。

不少穆民尋覓真理之時,神會在看似福音荒蕪之地,使用人作福音使者,完成「臨門一腳」的工作,引領尋道的穆民踏進福音的窄門。

一位埃及的大學講師暨清真寺的教長,有感穆斯林信仰中的矛盾:既宣講愛、仁慈和寬恕,卻去炸教堂、殺基督徒。當他向旁人透露這疑問,隨即面對壓逼和針對,身心受到煎熬,常常頭痛欲裂,就連醫生也束手無策。

有一天,他到藥房買藥,店員因為他來得頻密,便問了一句:「你身體有甚麼事嗎?」他說:「我生活裡失去了神,我不知道誰是我的神。到底怎樣才能填滿我的心?」店員回應:「今日吃藥前,先讀讀我送你的這本聖經。」

他回家後,隨便打開這本聖經,一開始讀,整個人就被基督的話震憾了,因為從未讀過如此有啟發性的真理。耶穌的話就是活水,湧進了他的生命,他讀到第二天清晨,便把生命交給耶穌。那位店員,完成「臨門一腳」的工作,成了帶給他福音的使者。

有時,神會呼召人去宣教工場做收割的工作。的確,過去有前人播下種子,今天已熟透了,而基督也透過神蹟奇事和異夢,讓穆民去尋找祂。只差人作成「臨門一腳」的工作。

今天,當神的呼召一到,願意你都能勇於回應,成為福音使者。我們或許未被呼召成為「腓利」,但我們可以成為支持和差派「腓利」的教會和會眾。以往對穆民宣教,多靠福音電台和郵寄事工,現在則要轉型至網絡媒體和衛星廣播事工,這些工作都需要有持續的人力和奉獻支持。

在動盪的歲月裡,願我們都無懼困難,勇於回應上帝的宣教呼喚。

(本文撮錄自今年《差傳特刊》文章。)




Pastor's Sharing
Responding Boldly amidst Difficult Circumstances
Rev Arnold Chow

The situations in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) are turbulent, much more so than ours. But according to mission research, there has been a strong trend in recent years for Muslims in MENA to convert to Christ. Obviously, the Holy Spirit transforms and uses some adversities to grow the Muslims' craving for the ultimate answer to life's questions. So, despite the turbulence, you can still be used by God anytime if you are willing to.

In the early days, a great persecution broke out against the church, and Philip was among those scattered outside Jerusalem. Just as Philip saw opportunities for work advancement in Samaria, he heard God's call to go to the desert road (Acts 8:26).

Directed by the Holy Spirit on-site, Philip approached a chariot and boldly started a conversation about Jesus with an Ethiopian. The African was then baptized in the wilderness.

Many Muslims seek the truth. God miraculously brings to the gospel wilderness messengers who put in the finishing touch and lead Muslims to Him.

An Egyptian university lecturer and imam of a mosque was well aware of the discrepancy between the Muslim belief in which love, kindness and forgiveness is proclaimed and the reality that churches are bombed and Christians killed. When he disclosed his doubts to others, he was targeted and persecuted. It brought physical and mental torment and gave him a severe headache about which even doctors could not do anything.

One day at a pharmacy, the shop attendant asked for the reason of the lecturer's frequent visits. "Are you all right?" the attendant asked. "God is missing in my life. I don't know who my God is, or how the vacuum inside me can be filled," he answered. "Before taking the medicine today, read this Bible I give you," the shop attendant responded.

Back home, the lecturer casually opened the Bible. But as soon as he started reading, he was overwhelmed by the Word of God. He had never read such inspiring truth. The words of Jesus were like living water springing into his life. He read the Bible until the next morning, and he gave his life to Jesus. The shop attendant became a gospel ambassador who put in the finishing touch and led him to Christ.

Sometimes, God calls Christians to harvest the mission fields. Indeed, the seeds sowed by some predecessors have ripened. Through miracles and dreams, Christ makes Himself known to Muslims. What is pending is a finishing touch.

Today when God calls, may you boldly respond and become an ambassador of the gospel. We may not have a calling to become "Philip" but we can certainly be the church and congregation that supports and sends "Philip." In the past, evangelism efforts to Muslims have centered around gospel radio and mail. Now it is via online media and satellite broadcasting. All these need sustained manpower and funding support.

In turbulent times, may we be fearless in the face of difficulties and boldly respond to the call of God to take part in His mission.

(This is an abridged version of Rev. Chow's original article in this year's NPAC Mission Journal.)