by Tim Salley
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in I Chronicles 12:32: “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” These sons of Issachar were on the cutting edge of understanding their culture and their generation. They had both high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and high EI (Emotional Intelligence). Most importantly, both their IQ & EI were combined with the knowledge of God which produced God’s wisdom in their lives. As a result, they took these gifts from on high and proceeded to make great impacts in their time for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
The antithesis of the sons of Issachar are people that swim with the culture, people that react in knee-jerk kinds of ways to the times and people that are caught up in the temporal instead of the eternal. These folks seek to enlarge their own kingdoms, not God’s Kingdom. There are many that would fit into this camp. They lead their lives by human reasoning and are led by the conventional wisdom of the times. God forbid I spend my life this way!
Raymond Yap and Arnold Rajan are 21st century sons of Issachar. Both of these men are church planters living and ministering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Raymond planted his church close to 20 years ago, Arnold over a dozen years ago. I have personally been in ministerial relationship with these men for a decade now. I have seen first-hand how these men operate in the times they live in.
Malaysia is a destination for many refugees fleeing all kinds of problems in nearby Asian countries. For example, people from Myanmar (historically called Burma) have fled their homeland for many years now due to religious persecution, economic hardship and political unrest. Thousands and thousands have arrived in Malaysia. Additionally, thousands of refugees have fled the country of Sri Lanka for similar reasons. Unfortunately, the government of Malaysia does little to help these refugees. Often the government participates in the further persecution of these vulnerable human beings.
Both Raymond and Arnold have responded in ways that would make the sons of Issachar very proud. Each of these men, together with their local fellowships, are aggressively and proactively reaching out to both of these refugee communities. They are feeding, clothing, housing, and educating these people. Most importantly they are sharing the Good News of Christ with them. When their culture and their generation are saying “we don’t care about these refugees,” Raymond and Arnold are leading the way to make great impact in the lives of these helpless refugees, men & women, boys & girls made in the image of God. God grant that I spent my life this way!!
God is looking for sons and daughters of Issachar to raise up in our cultures and in our generations. I want to be one of these sons. How about you??
**If you want to know more about how you can participate and partner with Raymond and Arnold please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org