An Unstoppable Force

by Billy Wells on July 30th, 2015

"So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us." - 1 Thessalonians 2:8

In Paul’s first letter to the Church in Thessalonica we find this simple sentence that I find to be incredibly full of insight into Paul’s motivation and definition of missions. The purpose of missions is to preach the gospel, but the message of the gospel is unified with selfless, sacrificial living. And this type of living is compelled by a deep, deep love for God’s people. In his full letter he encourages the people in their faith, he heartens them to continue through hardships with the promises of Christ’s eventual return, but he does not leave them with only airy spiritual concepts. He shows that the promises of God are true with a faith that they can touch and hold onto. He gives them himself.

I have been honored to be a part of Links these last few years. Links’ holistic and sustainable approach to missions encompasses the fullness that Paul writes about in this letter. The gospel is the foundation and the focus, but it is always proclaimed with tangible evidence that God’s kingdom is advancing - that where the good news of the gospel is preached hearts are not only transformed, but poverty is confronted, sickness and disease are defeated, and communities flourish. We get to see glimpses of the Shalom of Eden - full communion with God AND a flourishing community.

Paul’s letter was written to a church - a body of people that Paul taught and partnered with. God’s church is the hope of the world. Transformed people are empowered to transform other people. It is an unstoppable force. I love that Links partners with local churches to engage and attack the consequences of the Fall head-on. There is no cut and dry formula for world missions, and that is the beauty of Links’ methods. Relationships are made, problems are identified, and partners find many, many ways to conquer them. The gates of hell cannot prevail against a united, global people with the keys to the kingdom. Links partners with people all over the world to fully utilize those keys.
​When I was in Uganda witnessing some of the work of Links first-hand we spent a day in a small village where we set up hand- washing stations. It was just  a bottle of water hung from a tripod connected to a string that was controlled by a foot pedal. It enabled you to wash your hands without touching and infecting the same bottle that was meant to wash your hands. It was a small victory against sickness and disease. It was clean water that washed away invisible causes of death. It was living water. It was a tangible representation of the gospel; it wasn’t just truth for the mind - it was a message you could touch. It was an effect from, and a picture of how the gospel changes lives and transforms communities.

Links trips, stories, and relationships have shown me that God’s Kingdom is here, and has taught me how he answers the prayer for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

- Billy Wells, Links USA Board Member

Posted in Missions    Tagged with kingdom, Missions, Chaning Lives, Transforming Communities, Community Development, sustainable, gospel, Uganda, stories, empowerment, global, Church Partnership


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