Post 28 / The Next Language

What Are You Doing Here?

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?  … And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1Ki 19:9, 13 KJV)

And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. (Gen 32:27 KJV)

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Act 1:11 KJV)

I love when the All Knowing, Omnipotent Creator God asks a question of mortal man. Obviously the question is not asked because God doesn’t know the answer.  Usually it is because God wants someone to stop and think.

In the case of Elijah we have a tired, depressed, paranoid prophet hiding in a cave hundreds of miles from where he and God had accomplished the crowning power encounter with the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel and brought an end to the 3 1/2 year drought that had scorched the land at the word of God and Elijah.

God’s pointed question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” seems to speak to not only what he was doing but also to where he was standing.

I think that if we will honestly look back, we will be able to see where God has asked us the same question.  I know that about 2015 God got my attention with that question and I had to answer that I was busy in politics and farming. That’s when I began to seriously question if that was really how God wanted me to finish my useful life.  Most of you know that triggered a desire to return to the unfinished languages of Colombia and subsequently of the whole world.

I think it would be useful to listen and then discern whether God is asking us as a mission, “What are you doing here?”  I think that if we were to be really honest, we would have to answer, “Very little.”  Especially with respect to the total number of languages remaining that still have not heard the first sound of the gospel.

Our statistical reports show an increasing number of hits on in over 5000 languages (even in the millions per year) but the recording rate for total number of new unrecorded languages is so slow that it would take 150 years to complete the job.

I think that if God had our attention He would be asking “What are you doing here?” with the obvious implication that He wants us to move out.  It will be easy to blame it on Covid-19 this year but in 2018 our total count of newly recorded languages worldwide was 28. In 2019 that number was 27. The Americas had the lowest numbers of any area of the world.

The good news is that God doesn’t ask questions without a divine intent and an answer.  He immediately gave Elijah instructions for the rest of his career that included naming a successor to his own ministry and prophesying the last outreach of and judgment upon the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

I believe that in like fashion God is redirecting GRN now to focus on the unfinished task. Covid-19 seemed like an unnecessary delay, but it did open the door to new tools for training and collaboration that a year ago we would probably not have utilized.  We will speak more to that next time.

We at Catalina are in the middle of an intense course, training the next wave of field recording technicians. There are battles daily and we covet your prayers.

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

P. S. As a “thank you” for your continued support of the ministry of Global Recordings Network USA, and in celebration of over 80 years of God’s faithfulness, we have compiled a collection of 80 daily devotions written by GRN founder, Joy Ridderhof. You may read or download your copy of Rejoice Always – 80 Devotions with Joy Ridderhof  here.

Previous “The Next Language” posts
The Next Language – Post 27
The Next Language – Post 26
The Next Language – Post 25
The Next Language – Post 24
The Next Language – Post 23
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