By Rev. Nick Alfaro
I recently spoke with a pastor from India who shared about the work of the Christian church in his country. I was very excited to hear the wonderful testimonies of how God was moving in a powerful way in India. This brought to mind a similar move of God in the church in Mexico while I was growing up. I longed in my spirit to have a move of God like that here at home.
I suddenly remembered the words “CRISTO VIENE” (translated “CHRIST IS COMING”) written in all caps, in red paint, displayed across the hood of my dad’s white van while I was growing up in Mexico. For some reason I shared this memory with the pastor from India. He then told me that he also has a similar message written on his church van in India. I believe this message speaks to the urgency that both my parents and this Indian pastor sensed in reaching the lost.
I believe that to effectively reach this world for Christ, we must have an urgency for the lost.
I believe that compassion for the lost births the urgency that compels us to pray, give, and go.
In 1947, a man named Robert Pierce, a Youth for Christ worker, departed for China to hold an evangelistic crusade in the country. On the trip, he met Tena Hoelkedoer, a teacher. She introduced him to a child named White Jade, who had been beaten and abandoned by her family upon her decision to follow Christ at his crusade. Unable to care for the child herself, she asked Pierce, “What are you going to do about her?” Pierce gave the woman his last five dollars and agreed to send the same amount each month to help the woman care for the child.
While in China, Pierce saw widespread hunger. He felt compassion for the people. Robert Pierce turned his personal crusade into the foundation of World Vision, now one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world. He later wrote these words in the flyleaf of his Bible: “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
- Matthew 9:36 states that when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.”
- Jeremiah 8:21 states “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed.”
Robert Pierce saw the widespread hunger in China. Jesus saw the crowds as sheep without a shepherd. Jeremiah saw the coming destruction of God’s people. All three were moved by intense compassion and were compelled by urgency to do something about it.
Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to share Christ with the over 4 billion people on earth that have not yet had an adequate witness of Jesus Christ. Compassion for people will birth in us an urgency to reach some of the estimated 30 million people worldwide who will die without knowing Christ this year.
I challenge you to ask God to break your heart with the things that break His, to give you an urgency to reach the lost and to fill you and empower you with His Holy Spirit.
Rev. Nick Alfaro serves as the Director of Hispanic Ministries for Global University, and as the Hispanic Ministries Pastor at Nixa First Assembly of God, Nixa, MO. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.