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Provoke me to dare more boldly

Uche Izuora is a Nigerian missionary to the Sudan. That’s a tough place to minister, but Uche is tougher. He and I have been corresponding for several years and he inspires me with his boldness and humility.  Because of radicals like Uche, I believe there’s a good chance that we’ll reach…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Uche Izuora is a Nigerian missionary to the Sudan. That’s a tough place to minister, but Uche is tougher. He and I have been corresponding for several years and he inspires me with his boldness and humility.  Because of radicals like Uche, I believe there’s a good chance that we’ll reach the world for Christ in our lifetimes.
 
Every year, he leaves his wife, Sola, and his children to go and minister in the Sudan for months at a time. Sola stays behind, working to support them.
 
The ministry in the town of Yei is rich.  Just across the border from Uganda, Yei is beautiful and relatively safe. Young people there are crying out for Jesus. Last year, five out of the nine secondary schools in Yei held weekly fellowships. Uche aims to celebrate the lordship of Jesus every lunch hour in all the secondary schools in Yei before the end of 2009. 
 
This week Uche is running a conference and wrote me today to say, “Just know that we had 860 students here and 228 of them made commitments to Jesus.” 
 
His vision for Sudan is great: “We look to change the stories out of Sudan, from that of wars, genocide, hunger and starvation to news of the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, as we yearn to make Jesus famous and followed. We pray all night every Friday asking the Lord to make His way known so that His will may be done.”
 
Let me issue a challenge on Uche’s behalf: A few of you reading this need to go work alongside him in Yei. The fields are “white unto harvest” there and someone needs to help disciple all these new believers. You’ll find that your boring life takes on resonance and fulfillment there. It won’t be easy, but you’ll do what God made you to do. So, if your heart begins to pound as you read this, please contact me and I’ll send you more information about the opportunity.
 
Last week Uche sent me this adaptation of a poem I had posted to my blog some time ago. Here it is:
 
Adaptation of Sir Frances Drake’s poem by Uche Izuora

Stir me, Lord, when I’m too pleased with myself and contented.
When my dreams have come true because I dreamed too little.
When I arrived too soon and safe because I sailed too close to shore.
Disturb me, Lord, when with the abundance of things I possess,
I am losing my thirst for the springs of living water.

Having fallen in love with this life, my dreams of eternity are now shrivel;
And in my desire for a new earth, my vision of Your new Heaven dims.
Provoke me, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas;
Where storms will show Your mastery; where losing sight of land,
I shall find the stars and bask in Your ever abounding grace.

Arouse me, Lord, when with seemingly good reasons I welcome slumber;
And ignore the rise of little follies that contend for my affection.
O stir me, when the flesh cries for mercy, and I listen and show concern.
Disturb me, Lord, when Your word seems stale and boring;
And I’m spending hours on TV, entertained by sports and movies.

Will You not arouse me Lord?
When my spirit grows lean with ease being starved of fellowship with Your Spirit,
and yet my friends and family are amused at my latest outfit- a bulging stomach.
Will You give me rest, Lord, when the sighs of the sinner, the cries of the orphan
and the groans of the widow fill the air and I think it’s noise? Forbid this Lord.

Stir me, Lord, when my choices seem to make You No.1;
though I know You seek to be All in all, the First and Last and I object.
O Lord, may the cause of the Cross and the witness of Your empty tomb
ever remind me of what great price You paid to have all of me.

This I ask in the name of My Lord and Commander,
Jesus, The Christ.
Amen!

I’ve been greatly inspired by Seth Barnes of Adventures in Missions, whose blogs have been a source of motivation over many seasons. Sir Frances Drake, wrote some lines of this prayer in 1577. Having merged here my longings with his, I hope someone prays along today or tomorrow.
Sir Frances said, “The advantage of time and place in all practical actions is half a victory; which being lost is irrecoverable.”

Comments (5)

  • Hi Seth,

    The encouraging reality is that even as a growing part of the North American church focuses “inward” there are Uche’s in the world who model (more than give lip service) to sacrificial living. I often tell people if we believed in eternity everything would change in our lifetoday. The day of self-righteous religious performance for cheap applause is coming to an end as we line up behind the living epistles of people like your friend. I’d be interested in the information even in this season of healing and service. Love you friend. Butch

  • Brother Uche was God’s gift for the Sudanese church whom God dropped in the middst of our confusion.
    He dropped a big ball of fire that kindled gods love in the hearts of many in my country sudan, by the way the fire is still spreading and very soon it will out of Yei more to the north the direction we all believe the gospel should go on its way back to jerusalem irregardless of the political dynamics.
    I respect Uche so much for His humility and love beside many other qualities. He is bold venturing into those place where nations don’t dare trying.
    Sister, Sola you are blessed among women to have Uche as your spouse, may the Lord bless you and reward all your endavours in expanding the kingdom.
    I am completely in support of his missions and soon we are giving him the sudanese citizenship for he is doing sudanes homework. I believe he is one of few missionaries who deserves to receives God’s resource to do the right thing.
    John
    Eden keepers farms
    South Sudan

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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