Lessons from Refugees: Transient but filled with purpose.
James Abong attended a 10-week Church planting training in 2012 with several others from many other nations. But James’ path was different than the others; God had a unique plan for James and his wife. His path would take him places where I dare say none of the other trainees could have thrived.
After James had been trained in church planting, spiritual disciplines, & Bible Storytelling he returned to his home in South Sudan. Then, just a couple of months later war broke out in the country with some of the heaviest fighting was near his home.
We lost track of James and had no way of contacting him or knowing if he was okay. We just continued to pray for him and his wife knowing that God had a purpose for their lifes.
Two years later, missionaries Curt and Dede Iles were investigating the Refugee settlements in Uganda to assess what the Baptist response should be; they ran into a young man named James.
As they listened to his story, they heard about how God had not only protected them in the midst of the war, but he had prepared them for the future, even before anyone knew that war was coming. Once James arrived into the camps he saw people who were lost and unsure of what their future held. He began to share with them about Jesus and saw a great response. In just two years James planted six churches in the refugee settlements.
The refugee life is unstable. They don’t know if they will have food. They don’t know if their daily provisions will come. Many of them have only a temporary home. And they certainly don’t know if they will ever be able to return to their home in South Sudan.
But for guys like James Abong he has a purpose that overshadows any unsettled feelings that he might have. God has placed him in these camps, and rather than watching what is going on around him he has decided to build the Kingdom of God in a tough place.
I want to be like James, focused on the task God has given me, even if (or especially when) the circumstances are difficult or seemingly impossible. I want my purpose to overshadow my lifes situation.