A Dangerous Mission
Remote, “forbidden” tribes. Prisons. Brothels. War zones. These are the types of places where Caleb Bislow ’00 feels called to serve. He refers to them as the 13th floor: the dark, dangerous and despised places where no one else will go. But Bislow, a missionary through Kingdom Building Ministries, has a passion for bringing the light of Christ there.
He recently wrote about his extreme missions in “Dangerous: Engaging the People and Places No One Else Will,” published through Bethany House Publishers.
“The heart of the book is to mobilize people,” Bislow says. “It’s grieved my heart because I know how plentiful the harvest is [Matt. 9:36-38], but I can’t do it on my own. My hope is to raise up unusual soldiers who can multiply disciples.”
A self-described quiet person who came to Bethel to study visual communication, Bislow says he got a vision for ministry his sophomore year while in a discipleship group with Dennis Engbrecht, Ph.D., former executive vice president and current history professor. Engbrecht challenged Bislow to search for God’s call on his life, encouraging him to take a summer internship at a church in Weeping Water, Neb., about three hours from his hometown of Franklin.
That did it. Bislow graduated in 2000 and took a youth ministry job at Colonial Woods Missionary Church in Michigan. He married Jessica (Laman) ’00, who he met at Bethel. But he wasn’t content just to minister to youth. He felt called to something greater.
He’d always been an extreme sports enthusiast and avid outdoorsman, but this new calling would take him to the limits of his experience and training.
In 2005, Bislow emptied his bank account and journeyed to a remote part of Africa to minister to the Maasai Tribe. He traveled alone, as fighting in the region made it too risky to bring a team. With the help of a translator he met online, he saw 300 people respond to the gospel. In taking a radical risk for Christ, Bislow found his calling.
“I saw God move in a powerful way, and found a cause worth living for — a cause worth dying for,” Bislow says.
After that trip, Bislow founded Unusual Soldiers, a small movement that has touched nearly every inhabited continent. As a full-time missionary with Kingdom Building Ministries, Bislow travels on about six short-term mission trips each year, sometimes with groups, and sometimes alone. His trips have taken him to war-torn Congo, a Guatemalan prison and an illegal red light district in Nairobi, Kenya, to name a few.
Though these trips have taken him far from his family, which now includes three children, he says he has his wife’s full support. She also has veto power if she deems a trip too dangerous.
“When we can’t talk, she prayer journals,” Bislow says. “On the same day Jessica wrote about it, an entire village came to Christ.”
Bislow realizes that not everyone is called to serve in unstable regions. But he hopes his book will inspire readers to look at “problem” areas in their own communities and see them as opportunities.
“The goal is to have people who are mobilizing discipleship on every continent to bring light to more dark, dangerous, despised places,” Bislow says.
“Dangerous” is now available in stores everywhere, including Sufficient Grounds Campus Store. For more information about the book, visit TheDangerousBook.com.