Putting Hope Within Reach
The Global Teen Challenge Executive Council and Board of Directors recently met in Denver, Colorado to continue praying and believing God to help us to Put Hope Within Reach of Every Addict.
We believe God has given a Prophetic Invitation to every Teen Challenge leader and ministry in the world to partner with this great dream. Consider the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8 when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” That is our personal invitation to reach the lost.
When Jesus spoke those words, he was looking across the valley from the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. His 11 disciples saw Jerusalem, and when Jesus said, “to Judea”, they likely turned to the left to see the Judean hills. When Jesus said, “unto Samaria”, they would have turned to the right to see the rolling hills of Samaria. When Jesus closed with “to the ends of the earth”, they would have likely had a picture of Rome in their minds.
Note that Jesus challenged them with goal of reaching the world and there were just 11 of them. He challenged them to go back to Jerusalem where they would be risking their lives for the sake of the gospel. He said go there first. They would have understood the danger, the challenge, the personal sacrifice. Notice he did not give them each a bag of coins to fund their evangelistic efforts. He sent them out and the body of Christ along the way took care of their needs.
As we each consider these words, consider our realities and consider the most hopeless -- the functioning addict and those at risk of addiction in our nations, we must exercise our faith.
I want you to know that we believe the dream of Putting Hope Within Reach is a prophetic invitation for each of us. We are seeing nations literally accomplish this goal. They are raising up workers, who in turn are taking the message of hope to the hopeless. Testimonies are coming from cities who have individuals engaged with taking hope to the most hopeless. In one night, 15 drug addicts gave their lives to Christ and many others were referred into the program. If we will go, God will bless and lives will be exposed to the hope of the gospel of Christ.
First, I want you to know that we believe we are to take the words of Jesus literally and go into all the world and put the hope of
Christ within reach of every addict.
Second, we recognize that we cannot do this alone. We must partner with the body of Christ globally. That means that we each need to work in unison with the local church in our community, region and nation. GTC staff are working on prevention tools right now to offer the local church to serve them and help them reach their goal to keep their kids and youth from turning to drugs. If we serve them, we can build the necessary relationships for partnering. We also must develop working relationships with other Christian organizations who are engaged in reaching the lost for Christ. Jacobus Nomdoe recently told us about a partnership with local churches in South Africa who are developing homes of hope where addicts can come for help. They don’t offer residential care, but they do offer meals, care, small groups and discipleship. Many are coming to know Christ. Even Jacobus’ own 82-year-old father walked into one of those groups and committed his life to Christ. Praise God!
Third, we must cover all our efforts in prayer as we know prayer will break down the barriers that would inhibit our dream of putting hope within reach of every addict. Prayer means power and more prayer means more power. We must pray, we must pray again and keep praying for God’s favor on every effort. Every plan, every strategy, every effort must be covered in prayer if we remotely hope to see God’s blessings on our efforts. Can I encourage you to develop a prayer focus in your center for this prophetic invitation?
I believe God is calling us to a renewed commitment to the lost and our specific burden is for those with life-controlling problems--those who are addicted and are seeking hope.
Will you begin asking God a couple of questions? If money and personnel were not an issue, what would it look like to put hope within reach of every addict in your country? How might you reach the most hopeless? How would you consider reaching those who are functioning addicts? I mean those who are addicted but are able to work. Although not outwardly “hopeless” they need a Savior and freedom from their addiction. Then ask yourself, “How can I protect those who are at-risk from ever entering the drug scene? What kind of prevention programs might work to help?”
Can I challenge you to begin praying, dreaming and working on the dream for your reality? Remember, if money and staff were not an issue, how would you plan to reach this goal?
God is raising up an army of visionaries who are embracing this dream to reach their nation. Yes, it is overwhelming, but with God’s help and with a clear strategy and partnership with the body of Christ we can make a real difference in thousands of lives, even hundreds of thousands and, one day, millions of lives. May God help us as we press forward.
We need Innovation!
We need Collaboration!
We need Participation!
We need Implementation!
Most importantly, we need God’s help!
Putting Hope Within Reach,
Jerry Nance PhD