We have just finished four trips in four months to four different countries. It has been a whirlwind — the most intense travel schedule in such a short time that we have ever attempted. In two of those countries we have worked many times over. The other two were brand new places for Impact Sports. Three of these countries are dominated by 3 of the world’s major religions. One is dominated by the absence of religion. The largest percentage of Christians in any of these 4 countries is 8%, the smallest is 1.5%. This means that in all four of these countries, more than 9 out of every 10 people you meet will not know Jesus. Those are staggering statistics and hard for us to grasp in the Gospel-saturated places where we live.
In two of these countries, we didn’t need a translator to get around the city or work with those players and coaches. In the other two countries, there was a considerable language barrier. In two of the countries, we worked with a lot of college students and young professionals. In the other two, large portions of the population seldom finish high school. One of these countries is the most populous on the planet with almost 1.4 Billion. One of these countries is found at number 96 on the global population list with just over 8 Million.
Despite all of these differences, there was an amazing amount of similarities. I saw…
– the desire to belong
– the longing for fellowship
– the craving for validation
– the desire to compete
– the effort to improve
– the willingness to learn
– the joy found in laughter
– the passion for relationships
– the hunger for more
None of this should be a surprise. Our Creator knit them together in their mother’s wombs just He promised He did with us in Psalm 139:13. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that “He has placed eternity in the hearts of every man.” So no matter if they have become numb to the Gospel story because they have been blessed enough to hear it countless times, or if they have never even heard Jesus’ name before, we were all created for one thing — a relationship with him — a longing that can only ultimately be filled with Him.
The shortest of these fours trips took 19 hours of travel time. We flew east twice and west twice. We criss-crossed the globe, amazed at the size and variety of what it had to offer — all the while in awe of how small it is in His hands. The almighty, sovereign, all-powerful ruler and creator of this world knew us all intimately before we were even born. In our finite minds, that is hard to grasp, but our limited mental capacity doesn’t limit Him! I’m guessing that after reading the title, some of you had a song enter you mind, but it has never been proven more true for me than in these past four months. I am glad I belong to someone to whom the world is small. I’m thankful He loves me and knows me, even before I was born. I’m grateful that my world is small to Him.