Run to the Fire
I don’t know that I have ever wanted to be a fireman or a policeman; well, maybe as a young kid I probably wanted to be a fireman so I could be that guy that hung on the back of the fire engine as it sped down the road heading to a fire. Now as a grown man I think about them a lot, especially as September 11th is less than a month away. In the midst of the greatest American tragedy in the 21st century, the images of firemen and policemen running into the Twin Towers and not from them is forever burned in my mind.
As I have observed Christianity over the past couple of decades, especially in America, we tend to play it mostly safe. Sure, we go to church, pay our tithe, do our good deeds and go on an occasional mission trip. But rare is the person who runs to the fire, goes into the trouble to make a difference, to take a great risk. One of my greatest mentors was an unknown missionary of the 19th Century. He was bi-racial man from a very poor family that became a botanist and a head gardener of a large estate. His name is Thomas Birch Freeman. He heard the call to go to Africa when he was 28.His response was, “It is necessary that I go, it may not be necessary that I live.” He also used the phrase, “spend and be spent.” He lost two British wives in the Gold Coast and lived 50 plus years there and is buried there.
I want to be one of those people that is marked as a guy who will run to the fire. As I sit here in Tamale, Northern Ghana there is an epidemic of cholera killings scores of people in the capital of Accra. Ebola is spreading in many surrounding countries here in West Africa. I want my brothers and sisters in Africa to know that they are not alone, that I stand with them in the darkest and most dangerous days. That is what Catalyst for Africa is all about, coming alongside our African brothers and sisters and being that spark of hope, encouragement and presence. We don’t live Christianity in a vacuum. It is to be lived out in all kinds of circumstances, not being stupid, but also not being afraid. Join me in making a difference in this world. We want to change the world in Jesus’ name, one relationship at a time