Kublai Khan, the grandson of Ghenghis Khan, ruled during the 13th Century. Kublai Khan’s empire, which he basically inherited from his grandfather, stretched from China to Central Europe and was larger than that of Alexander and the Roman Caesars. No one has yet matched the size of the Khan Empire.
Since the Khan Empire had reached its limit, Kublai focused on maintaining peaceful borders. With his mother being a Christian and with possible influence from Marco Polo, Kublai expressed interest in Christianity for helping strengthen his empire. The story goes that Kublai requested that 100 missionaries be sent by Pope Gregory X to the Mongol Empire to teach Khan and his people about Christianity.
That request went unmet, so Kublai Khan instead turned to Buddhism, which still exists as the dominant way of life in Mongol and the other areas previously part of the Khan Empire.
What if Pope Gregory X had fulfilled Kublai Khan’s request for 100 missionaries? We can only imagine the impact that would still be felt today not only in Mongolia and the rest of Asia but also throughout the world had that request been met.
While I am not a historian, nor do I pretend to understand the politics involved in Pope Gregory’s reasons for ignoring Kublai Khan’s request, I can say that this story has amplified my focus on reaching the lost. I realize even more the need to walk through the doors God opens. I’m more fully understanding that missions cannot wait. And, I have too often underestimated what serving and loving Jesus can do.
Time to Walk Through Open Doors. When God opens a door, I need to walk through it. I wish I could say I have all A’s in this area. Sadly, I do not. Like Pope Gregory, I too have missed some significant open doors presented to me by God. And, equally as sad, I will probably miss others. But I can say that this story has heightened my awareness of the impact of letting fear keep me from walking through those open doors.
Missions Can’t Wait.
Just as Kublai Khan did not wait to strengthen his empire through religion, reaching out to this lost and dying world can’t wait either.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
God’s patience astounds and even stupefies me at times, but 2 Peter clearly tells the reasons for that patience. This scripture also indicates the importance of reaching the lost.
While missions have been a priority financially for my husband and me for many years now, we both feel the calling to prepare for more. The opportunity for missions is now, and that is the path of obedience we commit to follow.
Never Underestimate What Serving and Loving Jesus Can Do.
One of my favorite aspects of Missions Month at my church comes through the many stories told not just about the miracles taking place but about the opportunities God constantly presents to those with a heart of obedience.
People living their lives serving and loving Jesus provide endless inspiration for others to go into the world themselves or to be a part in sending others. Examples of such opportunities include teaching natives of a country to speak English by reciting Psalms, Proverbs and poems by Mother Theresa. They also include receiving support from country officials in unexpected ways and through being able to provide Bibles in native tongues.
These stories of serving and loving strike a chord in my heart to amplify my own outward expression of the inward reality of Jesus being Lord of my Life.
Reaching the Unreached Through Education
“There are over 400 unreached groups in Northern Asia. Many of the best and brightest from these peoples end up spending four years in a university. This is a crucial window to reach these never before reached peoples.”
The Bassett Family serves “the university students of Northern Asia. This gives [them] access to reach the unreached before they are sent into the work force. [Their] family aims to serve the future leaders of Asia with excellence.”
The Basset Family has said yes to the call to reach the unreached in Northern Asia. They have chosen to walk through an open door. They are serving and loving in obedience.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:36-38)
You can learn more about the Bassett Family and their service in Northern Asia at Light4Asia.