Recently, I was travelling through Chicago O’Hare International Airport, waiting for a flight connection back to Canada. I found myself in a very long line of weary travellers trying to navigate the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security clearance. As the line got longer, the airline representative encouraged passengers to try the new facial recognition program to avoid the throng of passengers waiting to be screened.

Tempted by the offer, I read the fine print on the sign. “This would make life simpler and eliminate future wait times.” The future was biometrics—a picture of your face would be your ID, and that would be your digital signature and access to stress-free onboarding for future flights. TechTarget explains how facial recognition software works:

The software identifies 80 nodal points on a human face. In this context, nodal points are endpoints used to measure variables of a person’s face, such as the length or width of the nose, the depth of the eye sockets and the shape of the cheekbones. The system works by capturing data for nodal points on a digital image of an individual’s face and storing the resulting data as a faceprint. The faceprint is then used as a basis for comparison with data captured from faces in an image or video. 1

So, your faceprint is unique to just you. Facial recognition is part of our everyday world. Face ID technology lets users secure their smartphones, authenticate purchases, tag individuals in social media photographs, and initiate payment methods (“selfie pay”) with a 3D faceprint mapped by the device. It is currently used in airport security, by law enforcement in their search for missing people, in businesses for entry to buildings, by marketing companies to target specific audiences by age, gender and ethnicity, and in many other contexts.

There are no duplicates, and like your fingerprints, voiceprint and DNA, you have a unique signature. As Psalm 139 reminds us, we have been fearfully and wonderfully made. God’s creative power is amazing. The faceprint distinguishes you from everyone else on planet Earth. There are over eight billion people with different faces, and God knows each one of them by nose, earlobes and mouth.

As we continue engaging the now 40 million Canadians with the gospel, I think of how many people remain unaware of the truth—lost for eternity without Christ. But they are not just nameless, unidentifiable people. I feel compelled to remind us that lostness has a face. Often, we point out groups of people we need to reach near our homes or churches—whether they are new Canadians or a specific geographic, demographic, language or people group. However, our God sees individual faces. He desires to have a face-to-face relationship with His people. Exodus 33:11 is a picture of this relationship: “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” We see the same in Moses’s benediction: “[T]he LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:25-26). He made everyone unique; He has a personal plan and destiny for each specific person (Ephesians 2:10).

Lostness also has a name.

“But now, this is what the LORD says … I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). He knows our names and stories! One skill we can relearn while engaging in relationships with our neighbours and friends is to properly use and pronounce their given names. Often, new Canadians take on anglicized names to assimilate. During interactions with our neighbours, what if we make it a goal not to use or assign nicknames that are easier for us to pronounce? Let’s aim to learn and use real names—their origin and meaning and how to enunciate them. As we move to intercession for our neighbours, what would happen if we had specific names and faces in front of us when we pray? Kayla, Jesse, Marie, Alex, Zoe, or Matt. How diverse does your prayer list sound? What a powerful statement that evangelism started with prayer, long before any spoken witness or servant deed. Each name brought before heaven, uttered by an intercessor, confident that the Lord knows each name and sees every face.

Brian Egert has served the PAOC as the Mission Canada director since 2012. Mission Canada serves to reach the missional gaps in Canada or the Acts 1:8 “Samarias.” He and his wife, Beverly, have three adult children and one new granddaughter. They reside in Burlington, Ont.

This article appeared in the January/February/March 2024 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2024 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photo by Vidushi Rajput on Unsplash.

  1. “What is facial recognition,” TechTarget, accessed November 12, 2023,

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