“I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from the Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food… If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 26-30
Paul bore the marks of suffering in his decision to follow Christ. He not only faced trials, but he boasted in them. To be considered worthy of the suffering of Christ… what an honor, albeit hard to comprehend, it was and is. Following after God’s will did not diminish Paul’s struggles, but continued to test him as he spread the gospel with the people groups he was called to by God.
Reaching those in dark places who don’t know Christ has become the heartbeat for a number of Christ followers today, including the founder of Unusual Soldiers, Caleb Bislow. He speaks to the idea of seeing the world in the 3D, by reaching out to Dark, Dangerous and Despised places around the globe, all for the sake of Christ. Caleb has ventured to what he calls the “13th floor,” or the places where the unreached, hunted, marginalized, infected, convicted, despised and enslaved reside.
As I sat listening to Caleb and his team speak, my biggest take away was the real examples each individual gave of how they lived out the heart cries God had placed within them. After all, it is easy to want to help, but it is much harder to take after Paul and go.
For one young woman, ministering to the marginalized looks like reaching out to the homeless in her neighborhood, speaking life into the lives of those who feel unseen and often misjudged. For one young man, it’s relating to atheists and satanists within the screamo music scene. God is using his common music interests to personally relate to this alternative and often despised people group. For a third team member, a trip to Africa is in the works to build relationships with the unreached in dangerous areas. Three ordinary people, picking up the challenge God placed before them, in hopes of spreading Good News.
Whether local or global, God is calling His followers to the blessing of suffering for the sake of others. Several of the Forge students felt drawn to people groups they have personal connections to. What a blessing that God can give purpose to our struggles, as He allows them to become our own personal outreach for Him! Our sufferings and our strength show the power of God. We simply need to allow ourselves to be everyday jars of clay, illustrating that God can do immeasurably more through us than we could ask or imagine.
As a Forge speaker and as founder of Unusual Soldiers, Caleb strives to train ordinary people to courageously bring the hope of Christ to dark, dangerous, and despised places around the world. To learn more about Caleb’s ministry, visit UnusualSoldiers.com.
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