By Mekdes Haddis, MBC Silver Spring Director of Discipleship
Growing up in Ethiopia, it was very easy and comfortable to invest in the local church I grew up in. But I don’t think I ever considered other believers around the world or even the other churches in the city I lived in. I mean why would I think of someone I hadn’t met? To be quite honest, I didn’t know there was a difference between the Local Church and Global Church. I understood very well the role I was to play in my local church but that was it. One day though, I passionately prayed to the Lord, “I love you so much, I want to know you more, and I’ll go wherever you want me to go.” Well, He answered my prayer. Everything I thought about Christianity changed when the Lord took me on a journey to discover His heart for The Church.
Shorty after I prayed that prayer, I finished high school and moved to the United States for college where I attended a Christian university. I didn’t know God’s plan for my higher education would also include spiritual richness. On my very first day in chapel, I was awestruck as I saw people not from my church, culture, race, language or country who passionately loved Jesus. And similar to my story, their lives had been changed by the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ. That blew my mind; the fact that I could travel almost 7,169 miles from home but still be home in the Body of Christ was not only comforting but also humbling. How big is this God I’m worshiping? Does He literally hold the world in His hands? All these people worship Him too? He’s not only the God of Ethiopians? I must seek and find out more about Him. How do I devote my life to worship, obey and live for His glory? He truly is glorious!
Even as I experienced cultural differences and homesickness, to know that in Christ we spoke the same language made me feel at home. I learned I could navigate through social issues by applying the Word of God, which made me cling to the Word and thirst for more. As a result, I sought out wise counsel and was introduced to a woman who took the time to disciple me all throughout college. God used our time in the Word to change my life, and I became a fully devoted follower of Christ.
That’s why I love the Global Church and love meeting believers from different countries and churches. I love asking them what the Lord is doing in their lives and marvel at His consistent, familiar and loving ways in which He works in their lives. I love praying with them and experiencing the unity of The Church. And I love when the Lord points out my blind spots, as I hear testimonies of other believers and how He’s working in their churches. That’s also why I love going on short-term mission trips. It’s a glimpse into heaven, it’s a way to see God’s heart for redeeming everyone, not just one tribe or nation, Christ died for everyone and one day we’ll all worship Him together in heaven.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Until then, let’s go to every nation and make disciples! We can start by simply praying, “God I want to know you and am willing to go anywhere you would have me.” I promise, you’ll see Him to be more than you’ve ever had and for me that’s worth leaving everything behind. Will you go and meet them?