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August 25, 2014
Could people be critically endangered?
In a few very isolated African mountains live the remaining mountain gorillas. Most of us have heard of the mountain gorilla due to its risk of becoming extinct. Because of factors such as ongoing civil conflict, poaching and an encroaching human population, the mountain gorilla is listed as a critically endangered species and it is estimated there are only about 880 of them left. Considerable amounts of money and effort have been poured into reversing the plight of the mountain gorilla, and it seems that their numbers may be slowly increasing.
Along the banks of an equally isolated river in North Eastern Africa, I had the opportunity recently to meet some of the Kwego people. This partly nomadic tribe of fewer than 900 people, primarily fishermen, hunters and cultivators, have lived in this remote, semi-arid location for centuries. A massive hydroelectric dam on the river on which they depend, and which governs the pattern of their lives, is nearing completion, dramatically changing their world. Various regional and international organizations believe that the dam will have catastrophic consequences for the Kwego and the other local tribes, and it is believed by some, that they will become extinct. The gospel has not yet penetrated or taken root among this people. They are in desperate need of the Saviour, time is running out.
There are many more people groups, in various parts of the world, existing in isolation, lacking hope for today or eternity, that could also be listed as critically endangered.
Urgency to share the Gospel
Sometimes in life we need to have something of significance to remind us where our priorities should be or we become victims of the loudest or latest demands. “Look on the fields,” Jesus tells us, do you see the people in the world needing to hear the Gospel? (John 4:35) Paul pleads in verse one of 2 Corinthians 6 “not to receive the grace of God in vain” referring to the sinful indifference of the Corinthians whose lifestyle reflected no urgency with the Gospel. He reminded them that a day of judgment was coming for the world. He was insistent that the Corinthians realise it was God’s time to save the lost and they were supposed to be ambassadors to help spread the message:
“Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2)
2 Cor. 6:2 is mostly applied to unbelievers to urge them to place their faith in Christ today. But the context also argues for something else: today is the day to proclaim salvation, not trifle away our lives as Christians,wasting our time, talents and resources on things that have no eternal value.
The fields of the world “are white already to harvest” today… now.
By: Ross, August 2014