So what are we doing? And why? Let’s go back in time a little bit.
We got back from Mexico over a year ago. Before leaving there we were presented with an interesting and exciting opportunity to keep working with GFM full time. But at that time we were very confident that Airdrie was where we were supposed to be. And we were correct. The last year and a half has been a fantastic time of growing, learning and resting. What we didn’t know was how long we were going to be here.
Now let’s take a little detour. You got a little bit of the what, but the “why” is much more important.
Michelle and I were impacted greatly by many things in Oaxaca, that the reality 95% of the world lives in is vastly different than the one that most of us in North America experience. Our wealth is magnificent, our possessions unmatched. We believe that big houses, fancy cars, ample food and lots of recreation time are needs and even rights! (I’m pretty sure those things are not in the US or Canadian constitutions.) We just couldn’t keep pursuing this reality when so much of the world doesn’t get a sniff of even the basic needs.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
– James 1:27
Something we also learned was the importance of missions in the Christian life, in fact when we started searching through the bible we could find no greater command than taking the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…”
– Mathew 28:19-20
We don’t know why we never were taught the importance of this command growing up. It was mentioned, but we never got the impression that it was something vital and important to the Christian walk. But you know what? This was the last command Christ gave to the disciples (and all Christians) before He left the earth. And I haven’t seen any command since that revokes it. And you know why? Because bringing the gospel to EVERY tribe, tongue and nation is a vital part of God’s eternal plan for the world. In fact, when we dig around the Bible we find that is appears to be an absolute necessity.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
– Mathew 24:14
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
– Revelation 7:9
Jesus wants people from every tribe, every language, every ethnic group to join Him in heaven worshiping the Father. And it seems pretty clear that He’s not coming back until it can happen. So what do we do then?
Well, Michelle and I have decided that we can’t ignore the command of Christ. We’re going into the world. And for us, the destination is Sugar Land, TX which is a suburb of Houston.
Why this place? It does seem a little strange to pick a large American city as a focus for international missions. But here’s a little secret that we hope will no longer remain quiet. Cities like Houston, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Toronto and Vancouver are rapidly filling with peoples from all over the world. They are leaving their homes to find a better life. They may also have been forced from their homes due to wars, famine or persecution. But they are coming by the millions. And most of them come from areas where we have NEVER been able to get a witness for Christ to them. It could be because of the extreme difficulty for a Christian to enter, or it could’ve been because of a lack of us trying, but these people have never had a chance to hear about the salvation of their sins. But now, the chance is there. And we’re going to tell them.
(It seems cool doesn’t it? Almost like God wanted people so badly from these people groups that He decided to bring them to us since we weren’t going to them!)
When we get to Texas, we will be working with Global Frontier Missions. This was the organization that we worked with in Oaxaca, Mexico. We are joining up with them as full time staff as leaders in the Mission Training School, coordinators of the local work, disciplers of the students and anything else that comes our way. We will also be focused on establishing simple churches amongst the various peoples living in Sugar Land, which is estimated to contain over 100 different languages! There are various ministries going on right now in the area. We could find ourselves working with recent arrivals to the area; peoples who have never seen a toilet, stove or fridge. They need someone to help them learn how to survive. They need training in English. They need someone to love them. We can show them Jesus and His gospel by being there for them.
In Sugar Land we will be living in an apartment complex with the rest of the GFM staff and students. The apartments are an excellent example of the various ethnic groups living in the area and will be our base. We’ll also be working with many local churches to assist them in their existing work and to also ignite a passion in them for the amazing opportunity they have been given in their own area.
Our income will be 100% support based. This means that to make this work we need the prayer and financial support of our friends and family. Our commitment is to be gone for two years, but our plan is to stay “gone” until we’re told to come back. So this is not a short term trip, this is our life and our career. We are completely trusting in God to provide. So our first request of you is to pray for us. Pray that God would provide all of our expenses and needs. Pray that He would use us to reach the nations living in Texas and around the world. And please pray that God would use you in this work as well. It may look like regular prayer and communication with us, or it may be that God is asking you to become a regular financial supporter of ours. Our greatest concern is that more Christians would become passionate about reaching others for Christ and God’s glory. And if you are able to go, then Go! If you are able to send, then send!
Financial support will be collected via Commission to Every Nation, and every gift is eligible for a tax receipt. This applies for both American and Canadian givers. We also want to be able to correspond regularly with you. So please do not hesitate to send us an email or letter with an update on your life and how we can pray for you.
So there you go, that’s what we’re doing and why. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on how you can help. We would love to chat with you, your bible study group or friends on how you can partner in this work.
Ryan and Michelle Diks
2 Replies to “Why we’re doing what we’re doing (or it’s time to go!)”
Hey, congratulations Ryan and family.
Yeah, you’re completly right when you say that Mission can be done among us. That’s why we thought about Vancouver as well. There are people from around the world there.
May the powerful hand of God, the Father be upon you, the solid rock Jesus Christ sustain you, and the Holy Spirit give you power and knowledge to spread His word!
Thanks Mauricio. Sorry for keeping it from you guys, but it was necessary for a time. I will make the “official” announcement next week when I get back from Texas.