Sometimes it’s difficult to see opportunities that are present. Such was the case last Wednesday night when listening to the Deputy General from the Filipino Consulate speak at the Filipino American Christian Convention. He welcomed all who were in attendance and then shared this startling statistic: there are 80,000 Filipinos in the city of Chicago and a total of 130,000 in Chicagoland. Talking with people after that service, I remarked on what he had said with the words, “I had no idea.” Most of those I spoke with had the same response.
How is it possible to miss a people group as large as this? These stats opened my eyes to a possible opportunity: planting a church to reach unchurched Filipinos in Chicagoland. (We do have a wonderful church reaching out to this people group: Chicago Suburban Christian Church. I also realize that they cannot reach everyone there is to reach.)
Opportunities for outreach, ministry and influence are all around us, this is why it’s important to keep our eyes and ears open. The second night of the conference, I talked with several people about the need for planting churches that would reach Filipinos. I opened the door for future discussions with people who understand this culture and will be able to teach us how to reach the unreached in this people group. I’m grateful I was at the convention that night, because God opened my eyes to a new opportunity.