Last week I shared some of my family’s history and the importance of a multi-generational approach to transformation. I thought it might be interesting to share a story of how my family’s work began in Southeast Asia because it ties in so well with this theme.
God loves to build through family lines! God looks down through family lines and sees you and sees me. He sees a special person he has purposed to bring blessing on the earth.
My ancestors first set foot in Myanmar (Burma in those days) in the later part of the 19th century. William Marcus Young, my great grandfather, was one of the pioneering missionaries in this area. Reaching Myanmar from the United States was an arduous journey consuming multiple months. He had no apparent reason to believe others would want to hazard this journey or that his children would carry this same passion.
In 1904, he was visited by 12 elders following the white pony on a journey to find the teacher of the True God (shared in the video). His answers to the Wa representatives shows he grasped the importance of multi-generational work. As a visionary pioneer, he saw his work in the region was just beginning, but he was already casting the vision for the following generations. Now, more than 130 years later, his descendants are still carrying out this vision with their own unique perspectives and gifts added.
Even in the scriptures we see the importance of inheritance through genealogies. Many of God’s promises to friends like Abraham and David come to fruition through subsequent generations. The first chapter of the New Testament focuses almost solely on establishing the genealogy of Jesus. Throughout the Bible are chapters devoted to sharing genealogies. These chapters may not carry much interest for some readers, but it reminds us how God is actively building through multiple generations, and the long reaching purposes of God at work through those generations.
Some of my children have expressed interest in working in parts of Southeast Asia, and it excites me to think about another generation walking out their generational inheritance. Without that early family pioneer, it’s possible they wouldn’t be delighted about the many ethnic groups we serve today.
What about you? Today is a great day to stretch your faith over your own generations. Ask God for words to speak down into your generations. Call out family blessings and vision of serving God’s purposes in the nations. It is a really powerful thing to do.