Last weekend, Don and I stepped out of our typical world of college admissions and invoicing/public relations/running a household & business and connected in with a church body (E Free) and their conference about their mission efforts in Hungary. I think they have been sending people to Hungary for at least 13 years. The most interesting thing to me was that no one there seemed to have any connection to Hungary by ethnicity except for one guy, who was a Hungarian from Hungary, and me. But these people were all so passionate about Hungary and her people. God gave them a heart for Hungary! And then I read Kisses from Katie and she, too, had no ethnic connection to Uganda, but fell in love with the people of Uganda. God gave Katie a heart for Uganda!
If you don’t have a heart for a certain country maybe God is giving you a heart for a people group. Some people become connected to and passionate for a country or a people group because they have heard a missionary speak. Maybe you know a missionary in the field who has asked for prayer. Ask God to cultivate in you a heart for encouraging those who serve in missions and a passion for sharing the Gospel. And ask Him to give you a heart for something bigger than yourself!
As you pray for a country or people group, consider these PrayerPoint starts:
* receptive hearts to the Gospel
* native ministry partners
* creative & relative connecting points to share the Gospel
* funds needed for the workers and programs
* careful spending of the funds donated
* healthy and multiple partnering churches and church bodies
* creative ways to work through governmental issues
* language barriers to be removed
* the Gospel to be shared in many ways
* long-term relationship building
If you have a certain country on your heart, keep in mind, you may never be called to serve there. Being a prayer partner for a country or a people group is a big job but don’t be so overwhelmed that you are unable to do anything. Take it one step at a time. Learn about the country. Trace a map and label the top 5 cities. There are other hands on and practical ways to become more connected to a country. And if you have kids or work with kids, follow their lead. Encourage them to adopt a country or multiple countries during a year. If you do it monthly in your home or classroom you can pray for 12 countries in a year!
I do suspect God will grant you a heart for a country or a people group if you ask Him because He loves people. If you ask Him for a heart like His, He will certainly grant you a heart for missions. Having a heart for missions opens the door for God to work and develop in you a heart for certain people.
And who knows where that might lead.