in this issue 01 April 1999, Vol. 3 No. 2
- People Profile
- Agency Profile
- Resource Reviews
- Web Site Review
- News and Needs
Ultimate Sacrifices Result in Ultimate JoyLibby spoke at InterVarsity's missions conference at Urbana, Illinois, in 1996. Hers is a story of commitment like the kind we make for duty, honor, and country.
by Libby L.
Our family was called to Afghanistan twenty years ago and we are still there. I am trembling here before you, not from the frightening things we have experienced living in a war zone, but from recalling the times that God called us to stay and not leave the place of suffering. We found God in that place longing to communicate his mercy and loving kindness to those who suffer.
It did not take long for the glamour of missions to wear off. The memory of the applause of friends back home was soon drowned out by the thunder of Migs bombing our city. We heard the terrified screams of children in the street and the moans of the dying in houses nearby.
During the first lull in fighting, a convoy was arranged to evacuate all foreigners. We struggled, my husband and I, to hear differently, but God's call to stay remained. The convoy came and went without us. Our neighbors were puzzled. We became known as "the people who stayed."
We learned the full impact staying had during our first Christmas there. Over fifty women with their children squeezed into our little living room to hear the Christmas story. Many were hearing it for the first time. Some wept. Others ran to tell their husbands to go to the house of "the people who stayed" and hear the Good News.
During the next fifteen years of civil war, two of our team members were murdered. Colleagues were tortured. Our homes were hit by rockets. The hospital where my husband worked was completely destroyed, and the front line of battle moved into our neighborhood streets.
Weeks were filled with dragging the wounded and dying from collapsed buildings and herding terrified children to safety.
Team members experienced beatings, robberies, threats, and attempted rapes.
The hardest part for me was trusting God for the safety of our three daughters. I think of the times they were asked to stay near the injured while we ran for help -- when our oldest daughter peeled charred skin from a little boy's back -- when our other two helped us register desperate crowds at refugee camps.
Often I wanted to escape. Just last Christmas I frittered away a whole day putting up decorations, trying to ignore the mayhem outside our door. But that evening someone came to our gate. Before I saw who was there I felt Jesus say, "Put all of that away and make room for me."
At our door was a family of nine. They were covered with splinters of glass, bits of shrapnel, and soot. Bloodied faces told of a narrow brush with death when a rocket hit their home. They had come to stay with us.
That night, whenever Jesus touched their pain and suffering with his mercy, the Holy Spirit filled us with joy.
There is an urgency to living life in a war zone. Things move quickly from the superficial to the deeply personal.
Eight men knocked at our gate on a day of heavy rocketing. "Why have you come today?" I asked in disbelief. They answered, "We may die tomorrow. Tell us today what is true."
Actions during times of crisis speak volumes. A friend of mine spent each day for several weeks running from her shelter, ducking machine gun fire, to reach a hospital to care for the wounded. She heard patients say, "She comes to us because she's a Christian." We know of staff and patients who have come to a living faith at such times with very few words from us.
We will return to Afghanistan in a few weeks to join a team of international Christians called to do medical development and relief work to the glory of God. Each of us knows that obedience to God does not mean immunity from suffering.
Staying may involve injury, even loss of life. We believe Jesus would say that in his kingdom there are things worth dying for.
At a time when short term mission trips are popular you might consider long term service. God may want some from your generation to go and stay, long enough and near enough to share deeply in the lives of those you are called to serve.
Gordon Kline in his book Seeing the City Through the Eyes of God writes, "The authority to speak into people's lives comes from a commitment to live among them as servants."
Some say people today define good and bad in terms of comfort and safety. The Great Commission cannot be squeezed into a safe or comfortable mold. Jesus is on the front lines. He may be calling you to join him there to bind up wounds and comfort those who mourn. Having witnessed a flesh and blood battlefield for fifteen years now, it seems that such places of service are sadly neglected.
In The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, "When Jesus calls a man he bids him come and die." This is not a call to personal performance. It is a call to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Unconditional obedience to him brings exceedingly great joy.
If allegiance to our country makes us willing to risk life and limb, how much are we ready to risk in allegiance to Jesus?
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Missions Executives Call You to Be "On Mission With God"God is working his will in the world, and He is calling you to be a part.
In the third edition of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, Avery Willis and Henry Blackaby say, "God is on a mission." They say, "You cannot be in a relationship with Jesus and not be part of that mission."
On knowing God's will Willis and Blackaby write, "Since all true mission is really God on his mission, there is not a different mission for you, for me, or for the people who lived a thousand years ago. . . . God's mission is to glorify His name, to establish His kingdom, and to reconcile the world to Himself."
Reconciliation to God in Christ is most noticeably lacking in the poorest and least stable parts of the world for which military target folders are continually being updated.
Like the rich man, we get to see Lazarus nearly every day, even though he's on the other side of the world. On judgement day the sheep and goats will say, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison?"
These parables teach that exposure creates opportunity which leads to responsibility that is a privilege.
Willis and Blackaby say, "Learning to follow God's ways may be more important than making sincere attempts to do His will." They write, "On mission with God, you will experience that God is love. His will is always best. He pursues a love relationship with you so you can join Him in His mission. . . . Let God orient you to Himself and then you will be oriented to His will."
Could anything be more fulfilling than following God on His mission?
Henry T. Blackaby and Avery T. Willis serve with the Southern Baptist Convention. Henry is Special Assistant to the President of the North American Mission Board. Avery is the Senior Vice President for Overseas Operations at the International Mission Board.
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Karen Refugees Declare Faith to S.E. AsiaSince the early 1800s, when missionary Adoniram Judson traveled to Burma, the population of dedicated Baptist Christians in that nation has remained strong. Known as the Karen, they have high standards and a strict justice system within their jungle communities.
by Hope Flinchbaugh
Reprinted with permission from Family Research Council's Washington Watch, November 1998 issue (vol.10 no. 1).
They are the largest ethnic group in Burma resisting the rule of the communist-backed State Law and Order Restoration Council. For the "crime" of being Christian, Karen adults and children have been terrorized for 48 years.
At least 120,000 Karen refugees have crossed the border into Thailand for refuge. They are scattered throughout a series of camps, each camp holding an average of 10,000. Within the camps, Karen refugees govern themselves but they are not Thai citizens and cannot get jobs or an education.
They subsist primarily on the food they can grow. Although they receive some rice from Burma Border Consortium (a government agency), they are not allowed to receive assistance from the United Nations.
Even in Thai refugee camps, the Karen are not always safe. The SLORC has raided some of the camps, capturing and torturing refugees of all ages.
Still, the Karen hold fast to their faith in Christ. Within the camps are many bamboo churches, filled regularly with fervent worshipers. There are also three-year Bible schools for ages 15-19; "graduates" go on to train students in other camps and evangelize in Burma.
Jim Jacobson of Christian Freedom International recently visited one of these camps. He recalls seeing a cluster of grass huts where one refugee woman cares for 30 traumatized but well-behaved orphans. Jacobson asked the children, aged 4-15, to draw pictures of what they had seen: "They drew horrific pictures of being shot and babies bashed against rocks."
Pray for the Karen People, that God will be their refuge and that they will bring Him glory.
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Sends Agents to the Hard PlacesInterServe was begun in 1852 to take education and medicine to isolated and oppressed women in Asia.
Today InterServe sends over 400 well-equipped partners into the hard places to share professional skills and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in culturally appropriate ways.
Potential career partners must be well-grounded in their Christian faith, have marketable skills, attend cultural training sessions, often learn a foreign language, and raise adequate financial support before leaving. InterServe also sends partners out for one month to one year short terms of service.
The International office of InterServe is on the island of Cyprus. Partners are deployed from National Councils, Committees, or Auxiliaries in fifteen countries.
InterServe is currently recruiting for over 600 positions in hard to reach countries. Many careers like medicine, computer programming, teaching, business, agriculture, and engineering are represented in these positions.
For information contact. . .
P.O. Box 418
Upper Darby, PA 19082-0418
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Small Unit Leadership Training Gets Taken to a Whole New LevelIf you've successfully risen to the challenge of small unit leadership in your career, then you'll love rising to the challenge of small unit leadership in your faith.
Macedonian Project of Campus Crusade for Christ will be training leaders for small unit ministry teams this summer in Colorado Springs from 3 to 5 June. The training is fast-paced, practical, and interactive. Prior ministry or cross-cultural experience is not necessary.
Macedonian Project teams minister short term (two to four weeks) among the world's least evangelized peoples in the world's most challenging areas using special ministry tools and tactics.
100 Sunport Lane
Orlando, FL 32809
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Frontiers Will Take You to the Front Line
Master the hinged thumb technique for eating rice somewhere along the trans-Sumatran Highway and a two-fisted burger will never seem the same.
The Frontiers line-up of short term ministry trips this summer offers more than just an exotic vacation. It offers you the opportunity to learn and share with unreached peoples on the cutting edge of world evangelism.
Frontiers' short term opportunities are based on long range goals. Participants usually work with long term teams under the oversight of experienced leaders. You can be sure that contacts will be followed up and that your contribution will be a lasting one.
Here are a few of the trips offered:
- Indonesia Mountain Biking Adventure
3 July to 6 August
Build relationships with rural Muslims in Sumatran mountains while biking through some of the most exotic terrain on the face of the earth.
- Turkish Delight
3 July to 6 August
Get inside the culture by staying with university students. Do friendship evangelism, cultural learning and build a passion to pray for Turks. See some historic sites of the early church.
- D. A. R. T. (Doing a Radical Thing)
3 July to 6 August.
Do evangelism and outreach in undisclosed locations. Cross-cultural experience and strong faith is required.
- Two Week Prayer Journeys
15 to 31 October
Undergird a work among Muslims with prayer.
Costs approximately $2500.
- M. K. Care
Assist a long-term family or families with childcare, homeschooling and chores to free parents up for language learning and ministry. Dates, costs and time commitments (1 to 12 months) are flexible.
P.O. Box 31177
Mesa, AZ 85275-1177
Pioneers Puts You on the Cutting EdgeLike the 72 disciples Jesus sent out, The Edge is preparing the way for the gospel among people who are beyond reach by ordinary means. After a week of orientation, Pioneers will take you into the edge of a new culture. You will be involved with, not just "exposed to," the people you meet.
Here are some of the opportunities from 16 June to 12 August 1999:
- Ghana, West Africa
Work with local African evangelists doing exciting open air evangelism in primitive villages.
- Sarajevo, Bosnia
Help a growing evangelical church with community and sports outreach and by helping people learn English.
- Central Russia
Live with a local non-Christian family. Teach English, computers or business. Participate in youth sports outreach and help begin Bible clubs in untouched rural villages.
12343 Narcoosee Road
Orlando, FL 32827
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The Church Is Bigger Than You ThinkThis book reveals that the church of Jesus Christ is growing on a global scale that is unprecedented in world history.
By Patrick Johnstone
It guides the reader through the historical development of Christian missions and anchors it in the eternal perspective of Biblical truth. It discusses strategies and structures and provides practical suggestions for breaking down barriers between local churches, training institutions, and mission agencies. Graphs, charts, and diagrams facilitate understanding and personal illustrations add life.
Johnstone identifies the geographical, urban, cultural, sociological, ideological, and spiritual challenges in establishing a church for every people and getting the gospel to every person.
Dr. Kenneth B. Mulholland of Columbia Bible Seminary and Graduate School of Missions calls the work, "a devotional masterpiece." He says, "It provides the framework to understand what God is doing in our world, why He is doing it, and how you can be a part of the action."
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The Move of the Holy Spirit in the 10/40 WindowThis book by Luis Bush and Beverly Pegues compiles stories and testimonies describing extraordinary events orchestrated by the Holy Spirit in the neediest and least reached parts of the world. It brings Habakkuk 1:5 to life.
By Luis Bush and Beverly Pegues
Look among the nations and watch be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.
Paul Eshleman, Director of the Jesus Film Project says, "This book is bursting with hope and packed with challenges to complete the task of world evangelization . . . It is the story of the sovereign work of God."
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Light The Window:This book by Floyd McClung profiles sixty-five countries along the FEBA of the advancing Kingdom of God. Over half of the world's population and ninety-five percent of the people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus live in these countries.
Praying Through the Nations of the 10/40 Window
By Floyd McClung
This book will stir you to informed prayer and intelligent action in the spiritual battle along the gospel's final geographic frontier.
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Video Documents Complex Dimensions in TurkeySprings of Living Waters produced by InterServe for Friends of Turkey tells the story of a fledgling movement to Christ in a highly strategic but schizophrenic country.
Every Christian either professionally or casually interested in Turkey should watch this video.
Turkish World Outreach will send you one for free. You may send a voluntary contribution as you feel led.
508 Fruitvale Court
Grand Junction, CO 81503
1-(970) 434-1461 (fax)
Brigada.Org's Missions Moblizers (BOMM) Conference Indexed Archives Are Available Here
web site review
The Mission Mobilizer's Database is an organized collection of all the mission mobilization resources covered in the Brigada - orgs - missionmobilizers e-mail conference from March 1998 to present. Here is a list of just some of the information available:
- Bible studies on missions
- Top 25 recommended books
- Calendar of regional missions events
- Reviews of children's materials
- Homeschool curriculum
- Case studies
- Mission conference planning
- Missionary care
- The persecuted church
From the index you can click on the headings to see full listings of articles for that subject or use the search function provided at the bottom of the index page.
To subscribe to the BOMM conference and be informed of the latest mission mobilization issues and resources send an e-mail message to NateWilson@xc.org requesting a subscription application.
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John Piper Gives Perspective and Prophetic Word on Y2K
news and needsJohn Piper is an author, pastor, and the director of Desiring God Ministries.
Do you want a prophetic word about Y2K? I have two prophetic words about Y2K.
First, the greatest need on January 1, 2000 will not be basements stocked with food and water and generators, but hearts stocked with the Word of God. You will be fruitful, you will flourish, you will be life-giving not by seeking the very things the world seeks (Matthew 6:32), but by delighting in the Word of God and meditating on it day and night.
What the world will need and does need from the church is the Word of God that fits us to say, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, peril, or sword? . . . In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:35-37)
The other prophetic word about Y2K is this: Nothing is going to happen on January 1, 2000, nothing, that is as bad as what is already happening to persecuted and starving Christians in Sudan. Or to the staggering numbers of orphans in Malawi and other AIDS devastated countries of Africa. Or to survivors in Honduras and Nicaragua. Or to lonely dying old people in dozens of skilled care centers around the Twin Cities who have outlived their families.
There is something that smells of hypocrisy in the talk about stockpiling supplies in our homes to "minister" to others in the coming Y2K crisis when there are more places to minister this very day that are worse crises than anything that is going to happen a year from now.
Y2K will happen to someone every day in 1999 many of them within your reach.
Delight yourself in the Word of God, meditate on it day and night, and then take the fruit of your life and go minister to the lost and the hungry and thirsty that are already so many.
Then you won't even notice when Y2K happens.
For information on additional resources and a free catalog call:
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Saudi Arabia and Sudan Top Persecution List
news and needs
by Jeff Taylor (Compas Direct)
Countries ruled by Islamic governments continue to rank highest in Christian persecution, according to the Open Doors World Watch List released in January. Saudi Arabia topped the list, followed by Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Four communist countries came next: North Korea, Laos, Vietnam and China.
Reclusive North Korea has the potential to top the list, but little is known about the church there compared to other areas, making it difficult to assess the situation accurately. However, an increasing number of reports from North Koreans who have fled to northern China paint a picture of severe oppression and famine.
"It has always been hard to be a Christian in our country, but now it is harder still. The government forces us to dig graves for all the dead, and while we dig, they blare orders over loudspeakers saying, 'Tighten your belts until 2004, when the Dear Leader will lead us to liberate the South'," one North Korean Christian said.
Laos jumped from 24th in 1998 to 7th in 1999, as the regime showed a growing intolerance of the Christian faith. Several Christians remain in prison in Laos.
China's fear of any kind of "dissent," plus its drive to register all house churches and meeting places, resulted in a growing number of arrests of both house church evangelicals and underground Catholics. With an estimated 50-80 million house church Christians, China has the largest number of Christians of any country ranked in the top 25.
"The year 1998 continued the trend that was visible in previous years more violence, less tolerance," the Open Doors report began. It noted that 1998 "was an especially violent year for Christians in India and Indonesia."
The report noted a positive trend that "Christians in the Free world became more aware of persecution of their brethren worldwide."
The Open Doors Watch List may be viewed at:
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World Prayer Center Coordinates Spiritual Air Force
news and needs
by PastorTed Haggard
We are living in the most exciting time of all generations! Today we are seeing the greatest spiritual harvest in the history of the Church. Christianity is the fastest growing religion worldwide. From Nepal to Argentina, God is supernaturally drawing all nations to Himself.
Many Church leaders believe the reason for this mighty move of God is prayer. Because of the Praying Through The Window initiatives, coordinated by Dr. C. Peter Wagner, millions of people from around the globe have united to pray for an area of the world known as the 10/40 Window. As a result, we have seen unprecedented Church growth in this area.
Denominational divisions are disappearing as Christians from all parts of the earth are coming together under the banner of prayer -- prayer for people who have never heard the gospel. That's why I am so excited about the World Prayer Center.
In 1984, when God gave me a vision to plant a church in Colorado Springs, He also revealed to me a globe with a person in the center praying for the nations. Years ago when I brought the idea of a prayer center to the congregation, their response was, "You're more than a little crazy." At the time the various technologies needed for a global prayer ministry either had not been invented or were exorbitant in price and there was no global network to coordinate prayer and evangelization.
But today the World Prayer Center stands in honor of God's vision and promise. The World Prayer Center will coordinate prayer requests with 50 million people from more than 120 countries.
Never before has the Church been so well equipped and prepared. We have the means to fulfill Jesus' command to take His gospel to every tribe, nation and tongue on earth. Prayer is vital to this task.
This is the generation. This is the time. This is the hour.
Ted Haggard is co-founder of the World Prayer Center and Senior Pastor of New Life Church.
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Bill Waldrop to Brief the Situation on Operation LordOverAllCurrent events filtered out by most of the mass media reveal that Jesus is pressing his claims over the whole earth. Operation LordOverAll situation and mission briefings for Christians in the military will be sponsored this spring in Colorado Springs by Operation Reveille.
news and needs
The first two briefings will be Saturday breakfast meetings from 0800 to 1000 on 24 April and 29 May at the Garden of the Gods Holiday Inn. Rev. William T. Waldrop is the featured speaker at the first meeting. Rev. Don McCurry will be speaking at the second.
Rev. Waldrop is a minister at large for Officer's Christian Fellowship. He has been the executive director for ACMC (Advancing Churches in Missions Commitment), and he is currently the director for Mission America's Joshua 2000 project helping churches extend Christ's worldwide dominion through "people group adoption."
Rev. McCurry has been a missionary in Pakistan and the director of the Zwemer institute for Muslim Studies. He currently directs a teaching ministry called "Ministry to Muslims."
Besides an all-you-can-eat buffet style breakfast and outstanding speakers, each of these briefings will feature exhibits highlighting practical things that are being done to extend Christ's dominion and showing how you can get involved.
The cost is $15 if you register by 19 April for the 24 April briefing and by 24 May for the 29 May briefing. There is a dollar per person discount for couples and a two dollar per person discount for registration as a group of six or more. There is a five dollar surcharge for registering late.
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The Reveille Shofar
Volume 3, Number 2 - O1 April 1999
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