When we flew to the 2004 wedding of my nephew Aaron Fudge in California, I had no idea of the mind-boggling spiritual challenge awaiting me there. Aaron, 23, and his wife Elizabeth are both deeply committed to Jesus Christ so I was not surprised when following the rehearsal pizza dinner they invited guests to their forthcoming one-bedroom apartment to pray for God’s blessing and Spirit to fill them and their new residence. However I did not expect Aaron to give all his guests a book which he said had changed his life — and which subsequently has transformed my own personal consciousness and commitment as well.
Titled Revolution in World Missions, by K. P. Yohannan, the 214-page book presents what I am now firmly convinced to be God’s plan for most effectively fulfilling the great commission of Jesus Christ in our day. Moreover, the stories this book relates — personal sagas of faithful sacrifice and suffering, dramatic tales of satanic opposition and divine deliverances, powerful accounts of supernatural kingdom results — can best be compared to some modern chapter of the New Testament book of Acts.
Let me put these stories in context. Mission experts generally agree that about two billion people on earth today have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Of that number, 90% live in a rectangular-shaped area stretching from West Africa to East Asia called the 10/40 Window (from 10-40 degrees north of the equator). The inhabitants of these countries live under the dark spiritual clouds of witchcraft, spiritism, paganism and anti-Christian distortions of now-forgotten biblical revelation. This 10/40 Window encompasses the majority of the world’s Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. Since World War II and the end of western colonialism, most of these countries have barred the door to missionaries from outside. (For more specific details, click here.)
As a result of this and other factors, 85% of missionary activity from the West focuses on serving people living where the Christian church already exists rather than on taking the gospel to the two billion people who have not yet heard of Jesus Christ. In fact, because much mission funding goes to benevolent enterprises such as hospitals, schools and orphanages (all good works within themselves), less than one-half of one percent of Western mission dollars are spent directly on the church’s highest priority — specifically telling people who know nothing of Jesus Christ about the only Savior of sinners everywhere.