Light into Darkness

By Michael O’Halloran

John 8:12: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“Hot, humid, sticky, salty, and tired” were the words that flowed from the lips of those that traveled to Mombasa, Kenya on October 25, 2010. The purpose of the trip was to “scout out the land” and see how a church could effectively reach a Muslim tribe in East Africa with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This tribe, the first to convert to Islam, lives along the Indian Ocean, flush with palm trees, white sand, coral rock, and plenty of sunshine.

After a few short days of meetings, the words quickly changed as they learned of the inhumane practices of this tribe, especially towards their young girls. “Horrid, appalling, morbid, unspeakable and demonic” were the words that now flowed from their lips. The beautiful landscape quickly vanished when the stark relativities of the darkness—spiritual darkness sank deep into their hearts.

However, the Bible speaks that everyone that does not know Christ sits in darkness, those who practice unspeakable atrocities and those who practice self-righteous actions—for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The ancient prophet Isaiah spoke of a people who walked in darkness but have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2). The New Testament is quick to reveal that Jesus is this light, and those who by faith receive Him no longer walk in darkness. They have their sins forgiven, and are clothed in the very righteousness of Christ.

Today the Digo tribe, though once lost and walking in darkness now have the light of Christ being revealed to them by God through a local church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The sacred Scriptures are clear: that declaring the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the light and hope of the world—brings salvation!
How did this church decide to reach this tribe in East Africa? Well, to be honest, the Holy Spirit spoke to the leadership of this church. The church had a God-given desire to be focused, intentional, and strategic in their missions’ vision, but did not have a clue where to begin. This is where sixteen: fifteen came into the picture.

Sixteen: fifteen had the privilege of taking this church through the 3D Missions Coaching Process. The coaching process allowed the church to see the big picture of world missions, yet, not so big they count not finds their place to advance the cause of Christ. The coaching experience is not a one-size-fits-all approach to completing the Great Commission. However, it is a customized process that is tailored to the unique makeup of each local church. Nor is it a vision of a few people that over time will vanish, but it is a church-wide vision that can stand the test of time.

Stop and think for a moment, a Muslim tribe once sitting in darkness, without God and without hope, now has the resources and talents of a local church (Christ’s Body) and the right in-field partners (Missions Agencies) focused and committed long-term towards reaching their needs, both spiritual and physical. It is not a work of a few, but it is the work of the entire church. Will you join us in praying for the Digo tribe in Kenya?
Sixteen:fifteen is not the answer; Jesus Christ is the only answer and only hope for this world. Sixteen: fifteen exists to mobilize Christ’s Church to reach every tongue, tribe, and nations with the love of God—the light of the world.