A missionary to Africa has said that the greatest threat facing mission work there is terrorism.
The Christian Post reports that Lee Sonius, director of sub-Saharan Africa at Reach Beyond, a Colorado Springs-based ministry outreach, said that the rise of terrorism presents a particular threat to mission work, although the advancement of technology and communication in mission work have added to the success of ministry in Africa.
“When we first started out as missionaries almost 30 years ago, we were still writing letters back and forth to the U.S. which would have a turn around time of two to three weeks minimum," Sonius said, adding that now missionaries can use Skype and other social media platforms to communicate.
"These technological changes have also given us far more ways to proclaim the Gospel. You can now live-stream a 'radio station' almost for free and without a license over the Internet. Pod casting is also another way to get short messages across," he continued.
Sonius has been working with Reach Beyond for 18 years and has ministered in Ghana as well as the Ivory Coast and a number of other African countries. He shared about his experience ministering during the Ebola crisis.
"We raised money to have a local partner provide buckets to people in neighborhoods that were filled with all kinds of things to help combat Ebola. In the bucket there were things like hand sanitizer, bleach solution, food items, protective gear like gloves, so the bucket was filled with all kinds of small items," he explained.
Although mission work is advancing in Africa, Sonius said the rise of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Shabaab in Kenya present new threats to missionaries seeking to minister and spread the Gospel in Africa.
“Security issues constantly have to be in the forefront of our thinking and planning,” he said.
Sonius also shared about Reach Beyond’s upcoming outreach effort on May 15, which has been designated as the International Day for the Unreached.
The effort includes the help of evangelical leaders in the U.S. such as Pastor Rick Warren, and aims to reach two billion people around the world with the Gospel.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: March 7, 2016