My favorite attraction at Disney World is “It’s a Small World.” The theme song sticks in my mind as I have always loved visiting and learning about countries around the world.
In the last 20-30 years, international travel has become much more common. Consequently, we have also seen the migrating of many people to other nations. Many do this in hope of a better lifestyle and future for their families. When people change geographical locations, they take with them their customs and familiar habits.
It has intrigued me to watch the evolving of international cuisine into a cross cultural industry. Years ago, a British person would have never thought to put curry sauce on chips. In Scotland, we would have never dreamed there would be haggis curry. Tacos were for Mexicans and pizza and lasagna were Italian dishes. Now we have taco pizza and taco lasagna. Chinese curry is a popular dish. Grocery stores have many international foods.
Whereas years ago, a trip to another country was a big adventure, today it is routine. There are times my husband and I go to another country for one day which would’ve been unheard of years ago.
It used to be that communication with another country could take days or weeks. Now, through social media, it can be instant. Meetings and teaching sessions can take place through various technological means, bringing people together from around the world.
Also, the church has become a place for many cultures to blend together. It’s not uncommon to have dozens of nationalities in one church.
Indeed, it would seem the world has become smaller as so much is more easily accessible. Everything from travel to food to international friends to teaching and business can be accommodated so quickly. What once seemed so removed from us is now at our fingertips. Has the world truly become smaller? It would seem so when thinking of international accessibility. However, in reality the world is just as big as it ever was. There are more nations now than ever and more people live on planet earth than ever before. Our task of reaching this world is as great as it’s ever been. The challenges can seem insurmountable.
My heart is challenged to make good use of all the accessibility that I now have to nations and people around the world and to bring them the Gospel by every means possible. You never know who might be reached by your witness and take it back to their own nation and spread the Gospel. You never know what a positive impact can be made through technology. It would be wonderful to see social media have more positive impact than negative.
I am challenged to allow the Lord to burden me more for needs around the world. Whether it be through travel, the food I eat or the Home Bible Studies and Bible School lessons I teach via Skype or the people I meet in my church and in my city, I want to expand my ministry to reach around the world.
One of the best things I can do for the international community is broaden my vision of prayer. I am not called to every place but I can allow a burden of prayer to grip me as I am exposed to the cultures of others. There is no limit to what we can all accomplish through prayer and making ourselves available to be used anywhere by any means. Our prayers can indeed impact nations as well as individuals. When you read the news and learn of situations in other places, don’t just pass it off as having no value to you, but rather, make it a matter of prayer. Do not underestimate the valuable effect of your prayers. God’s love is truly displayed through your intercession for those you have never met but whom you choose to care deeply about.
May we all be challenged to do our part in reaching this small, BIG world!
Jerolyn Kelley, Missionary
United Kingdom, Ireland and Channel Islands
Europe/Middle East Prayer Coordinator
(Information from: WNOP Prayer Connect – World Network of Prayer firstname.lastname@example.org)