Anna Faith Smith, a native of Fort Worth, TX, has lived in Phoenix most of her life. She has been Associate Dean of the College of Theology since it was established in 2012. Her passion is cross-cultural communication and ministry. She has been married to Kenneth since 1984 and has two married children and four grandchildren.
As Jesus was preparing to ascend into heaven, He left His followers with a job and the power to complete it. He said, ‘You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.’
Jerusalem was the hometown where people spoke the same language and had the same values, Judea was the state/region and Samaria was the neighboring country.
Over the past 2,000 years, the world has changed, moving cultural boundaries that defined people so clearly. Many people no longer live their entire lives within a close radius of their birthplace as they did.
Today’s “Samaritans,” the people from the neighboring culture, live within the borders of other groups. Urban centers across the globe have received “immigrants,” “refugees” and other “aliens (or foreigners)” in large numbers.
So what does that mean for 21st century Christians?
It means that the mission given to us by Jesus has not changed, but the geographic differences have blurred. The people of the world, speaking their own languages and practicing their religions, live among us.
We have received power to complete His mission when the Spirit of God came upon us. We need to be His witnesses, where we are and wherever we go.
Spend some time taking inventory of the people who live near you. What languages do they speak? Do they worship a foreign god or a multitude of gods? Have you tasted their foods and heard their music? How can you make contact with them?
Make a point of crossing paths with them so you can be a witness for the God who loves them and has a great plan for their lives.
Thinking about going on a mission trip? Check out our recent blog post about how to pack for short-term mission trips.