OC Director's Blog: February 2022 Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Where is Your Home?
Pictured above is the house where I grew up as a child. I lived in this house for 12 years, longer than I have ever lived in any other place. We have moved around a lot and have lived in many different houses. It helps me have a different perspective on what we call “home.”
The truth is, as much as we try to make our home warm, welcoming, safe, and comfortable, it is always temporary. The Bible reminds us that this world is not our permanent home. If we choose to follow Jesus and accept him as our Savior and Lord, we become children of God with citizenship in Heaven. Jesus is preparing an eternal home for us in Heaven (John 14:1-4). There is a lot of unrest and anger in our world today. We have a lot of things to argue and complain about, and we don’t like having someone trample over our rights and freedoms. However, sometimes we need to consider our present trials in light of what is to come. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”(Romans 8:18). God has bright plans for our future!
Last week I heard testimonies of Christians in other parts of the world who genuinely suffer persecution. One said, “it’s not that we are looking to be persecuted, but when it comes, we welcome the opportunity to suffer for our faith as Jesus suffered for us.” This man feels at home in the face of real persecution and the threat of death.
It has made me think about where my home is. Of course, it is where Heather and I are together, but in another sense, it is something that I have not experienced yet. I am looking forward to a perfect home in the future. One day I will truly be at home in the presence of God, where all of today’s challenges and trials will fade away like distant memories.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am.” -John 14:1-3
What’s going on in OC right now?
Last week I participated in our OC Global Alliance North American Leadership Summit. It was great to hear about the new opportunities and challenges facing us as missionaries in North America. It was challenging to hear that our US partners now have as many missionary staff in the USA as they do serving overseas. Some have returned for retirement or family reasons, but many are also displaced by the pandemic or political events. I learned about one location where almost all Christians have had to leave a geographical region, but God has not abandoned them. The Holy Spirit is at work, people are following Jesus through dreams, and new pastors and missionaries are being called out of the rubble of broken communities.
This week, I also had an exciting phone conversation with a denominational leader who asked for help. They are beginning to receive requests from missionaries in the majority world wanting to come to Canada as their mission field. Missionaries are mobilizing from places like Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Costa Rica to come and share the gospel of Jesus here in our country. We are helping connect others in this situation to knowledge and experience to do it well and right.
I sat in a webinar this morning listening to the stories of churches in North America that are experiencing a new revival. They have shifted their focus from being religious, right, and information-driven to loving, discipling, and oriented toward obedience. As a result, these churches see transformation and growth as people live out their faith and discipleship multiplies!
God is at work in our world and our nation. These have been some hard years for our churches. Still, there is an opportunity for us to discard some practices that have drained resources with minimal outcomes and replace them with new fruitful practices for evangelism and discipleship.
Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada. After 15 years of pastoral ministry in western Canada, Craig, with his wife Heather, served with OC in southern Africa before returning to lead the ministry in Canada. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods.