“What’s the hook?” That was the question posed to us on the weekend by my sister-in-law. We were talking about how things were progressing for our departure to Namibia and part of that was the subject of financial partnership and it was in this context that the question was posed. Should we need one (a hook)? As Christ followers do we need a reason to support the taking of the gospel to unreached peoples? Is that not what Jesus himself told us to do? On one level maybe the answer is no we shouldn’t need a hook, but then the reality of life is that in this digital age we are bombarded by so much information that many, many things are vying to capture a slice of our time and attention.
What grabs your attention? My attention can be caught in multiple different ways. The weird or wonderful, the new, the quirky, the funny all can and do at times capture my attention. More consistently though I am captured by causes that I understand, relate to and which I feel make a positive impact in our world and for humanity in particular. A cause that seeks to restore and change life for those who struggle. For those who have been rejected, exploited, marginalized, forgotten or overlooked, those unable to help themselves,who have lost hope, for the least, for the most vulnerable, these are the ones that capture my attention.
The San are people who have been rejected, pushed out of their traditional lands by the imposition of boundaries where there had previously been none, modern society doesn’t value their cultural traditions or way of life and they have been brought together in artificial communities of other peoples making. The San have lost their understanding of who they are or why they are living. They are unseen by many but are seen by our Father. There is a place, a plan and a purpose for these people in His kingdom.
We will go as learners. Learners of language and culture most obviously, but learners on many levels. Our aim is to help people in ways that they want to be helped. Allowing the San to own and drive this “help”, working in ways that honour them. We want to share the gospel with them and help them to build a community of believers that enables them to express their faith in relevant and meaningful ways; encouraging and caring for one another and reaching out to others.This essentially is our hook. It is not tangible but rather is a philosophy and practice that is characterised by love and respect while changing lives for the better.