God is Sending the “10/40” Window to Portland Oregon: 3 Reflections

The “10/40 Window” is a rectangular region covering North Africa, Middle East, and Southern Asia. Most of this section of the world is considered “unreached,” meaning people have little or no access to the Gospel. You cannot go to these countries on a missionary visa. The Great Commission is technically illegal in most cases.

But an extraordinary thing is happening. Millions of people from the 10/40 Window are moving into our neighborhoods, and I believe God’s purpose is to glorify his name through the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

You don’t need to be a missionary junkie to reach the 10/40 Window or fulfill the Great Commission. You just need to love Jesus and to be a good neighbor.

This summer, Brittany and I finished an internship with an organization called the Keystone Project. We gained a lot of experience interacting with internationals. We have had the privilege to start dozens of new relationships with Burmese, Laos, Saudis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Somalis, etc.

We are by no means cross-cultural experts, but we have walked away with a few reflections:

  1. Engaging internationals is easy.

Before this summer, there was a wall of intimidation between me and any foreigner I might see at the grocery store. I have learned that starting a conversation with a refugee or a foreign student is much easier than doing so with an American. Internationals are generally hungry for spiritual conversation. And in general, they are much more excited about a cup of tea.

There are countless needs for English tutors, conversation partners, and life coaches at organizations like IRCO, Lutheran Community Services, and Catholic Charities, if you need somewhere to start.

2. God is doing something historic, don’t miss out. 

The church has labored and strategized for hundreds of years to reach the countries that are coming to our city today. I believe what is happening will be a pillar in the history of the church. God is doing something extraordinary. Don’t miss out.

3. People are never your project. 

You don’t need an agenda when you get to know an international. Have fun getting to know them and learning about their culture. You can actually sincerely enjoy the friendship. People can smell a hidden agenda a mile away, even cross cultures.

This point is not mutually exclusive with the fact that you must share Jesus. If you are filled with the Spirit of Jesus you will share him with people you love. Very likely, this will be the first time they will hear about the Gospel. That’s why what is happening is unprecedented.

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3 thoughts on “God is Sending the “10/40” Window to Portland Oregon: 3 Reflections

  1. Good perspective in light of comments of presidential candidates desiring to send them all home. Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt…

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