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Sharing the Treasure: Focused and Steadfast

Sharing the Treasure: Focused and Steadfast

Not long ago, Irene and Evan,* workers serving among least-reached people in the United States, shared a praise: Two men from a least-reached background had placed their faith in Christ! Their good news caused my heart to rejoice; but as I read on, I discovered an additional reason to praise the Lord: These workers had been reaching out to one of these men for eight years.

Eight years is a long time to minister without knowing if your efforts will result in fruit. And yet Christar workers often invest in the lives of least-reached individuals for just as long or longer—sometimes for decades—before they witness hearts soften and minds open to the message of Christ. I think of another worker in the U.S. who finally saw a woman believe in Jesus after a decade of ministry among this woman’s people group without seeing any other ladies trust in Him, and of teams that have served faithfully year in and year out but are still waiting for the beginnings of a church plant. They and so many others persist in their service because they believe that their efforts to give least-reached people access to the gospel are never wasted.

This belief isn’t a mere hope. It’s a promise, directly connected to the command to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” After Paul exhorts the Corinthian church to persevere in service to God, he assures them of the value of their faithfulness, declaring “that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). It’s this assurance that fuels endurance in ministry among least-reached people, and I thank God for giving us this precious promise.

This promise can be difficult to believe when the years pass but visible results fail to emerge. But we are empowered to trust in it fully as we fix our eyes on our Savior. In Hebrews 12, on the heels of the “Hall of Faith,” we’re told “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” We can persevere, confident our service is not futile, because our focus is on Christ.

While we certainly abound with joy when we hear reports of fruit, we also rejoice in endurance. We praise God that He does not measure our faithfulness by the results we can see from our earthly, time-bound perspective. And we give thanks to Him that as we look to Jesus, we are given the grace to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.

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