BOOK: Critical Questions to Ask Before Going Overseas

Source: Equipping Servants International

Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask Before Launching Overseas, by David L. Frazier. Equipping Servants International, 2013. 192 pages.

Those of us with a passion and position to mobilize the next generation of cross-cultural laborers sometimes forget that not everyone who volunteers to go has the calling, gifts, self-knowledge, training, and church support to make it as a cross-cultural missionary. David Frazier’s book encourages both goers and senders to slow down and confront unhealthy idealism. It takes a look at the gaps and asks 15 critical questions about missionary appointment, preparation, placement, and care. The book’s goal is to reduce attrition and send out well-prepared workers who understand their callings and are prepared to thrive cross-culturally.

Mission Smart also includes thoughtful questions and assignments for missionary candidates to work through with a mentor.

» Purchase from Amazon for US$11.70; US$9.99 for the Kindle edition.

PODCAST: Crescent Project Radio

Source: Crescent Project

Love Muslims? Listen to podcasts? Check out Crescent Project Radio, which airs every Wednesday night on Revival Radio WROL 950, a Christian radio station in Boston, Massachusetts.

Crescent Project is a nation-wide U.S. Christian ministry focused on equipping the Church to share the gospel with Muslims. Launched in January of 2014, Crescent Project radio is a half-hour program featuring powerful teaching, testimony, and truth about God’s miraculous movement in the Muslim world and how we as Christians can join him in this kingdom work.

One recent broadcast, dated August 22, explores the growing phenomenon of Christian women turning to Islam through relationships with Muslim men. Host Matt Bonner interviews one such woman and shares his findings about how and why this is happening and resources available to help.

» Learn more or listen to broadcasts on the Crescent Project website or subscribe in iTunes.

DOCUMENTARY: In the House of Islam

Source: World Christian

We’ve mentioned David Garrison’s book A Wind in the House of Islam several times. But did you know there’s now a documentary version? The DVD, In the House of Islam, provides an overview of Islam, the history of Christian-Muslim relations, and stories of the unprecedented movement of Muslims to Jesus occurring in our lifetime.

The same DVD includes a 17-minute version as well as 30- and 56-minute versions, and is produced by the video-sharing ministry, YWAM Organic.

» Learn more or purchase the DVD for US$18.39 from World Christian.

BOOK: Stories of Transformation from Kyrgyzstan

Source: Pioneers USA

God is transforming lives in Kyrgyzstan. A Pioneers worker serving in that country felt called to collect the testimonies of believers in Jesus from Muslim backgrounds, interviewed more than 100 of them (mostly Kyrgyz and Uzbek), and published this collection of 60 testimonies.

They Loved Not Their Lives: Stories of Transformation from Kyrgyzstan was originally published in the Kyrgyz language and with a local audience in mind, so even the English translation feels a bit rough. It does, however, include a helpful introduction and footnotes for non-English terminology. It also paints an accurate picture of common struggles and obstacles for Central Asians coming to Christ (including misconceptions that Christians worship three gods, ignore their parents, or have “sold” their religion to become Russians).

» Learn more or download the free ebook.

EVENTS: September Classes and Conferences

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

September 8 to December 7, Encountering the World of Islam course (online). This 12-week course is offered several times a year.

September 5-6, Missions Fest Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa). Free, community-based conference in the Missions Fest tradition.

September 11, How Should We Define Missions? (online). Free webinar from sixteen:fifteen.

September 12-14, The Journey Deepens (Canby, OR, USA). Weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

September 14 to November 16, Ministering in a Multicultural World (San Jose, CA, USA). Ten-week Sunday-evening class on cultural awareness and skills.

September 16-22, Traction Conference for Men (Interlaken, Switzerland). For men who serve in cross-cultural settings, hosted by Catalyst International.

September 17-18, Support Raising Bootcamp (Charlotte, NC, USA). Presented by Support Raising Solutions.

September 17-20, Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis: Trauma and Crisis Care (Englewood, CO, USA). Seminar from Crisis Care Training International.

September 19-21, IBAM Impact Conference (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Take the next step in Business as mission.

September 23-25, International Society for Frontier Missiology (Atlanta, GA, USA).

September 25-26, Mission Finance and Administration Conference (Atlanta, GA, USA). Provided by MissioNexus.

September 25-27, Mission Leaders Conference (Atlanta, GA, USA). Provided by MissioNexus.

September 26-28, The Journey Deepens (Charlotte, NC, USA). Weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

September 26-29, Experiencing Partnering Workshop (Dallas, TX, USA). Develop a partnering approach to ministry. Provided by International Partnering Associates.

September 27, Bridges Seminar (Cleveland, OH, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

September 30 to October 20, 21 Days for Global Harvest (international). Prayer campaign organized by the SVM2.

» View the complete calendar and/or submit an item.

Missions Catalyst News Briefs


In This Issue:

  1. EDITOR’S NOTE: Taking Risks
  2. LIBERIA: Ebola Giving Christ Center Stage
  3. NIGERIA: Market Price for a Christian’s Life
  4. UKRAINE: Christians Captured and Killed
  5. MIDDLE EAST: Children at Risk
  6. SAUDI ARABIA: Is God at Work?
For additional news, see our Twitter feed.

Dear readers, 

I’ve been thinking about risk: those at risk, those who take risks, and those for whom life has become too risky. You may have heard our local story about the Amish girls kidnapped and miraculously released. This happened about 10 miles from my home. Then there are the girls still missing in Nigeria, the Christian and Yazidi women and children in Iraq, and many in Gaza and Syria. What about the children who risk all to cross a border because life in their home country is far worse? How do we “think Christianly” about this?

Also hotly debated in the news are those who take risks, like missionaries that get Ebola, saints like the Vicar of Bagdad, and those that run to the battle.

I once heard it said that the risk ratio is the wrong number to look at if we wish to quantify risk. Rather, we should measure what might be gained by taking that risk. This way of quantifying risk is more useful when deciding if a risk is good or bad. John Piper says it better in his book, Risk Is Right:

“There are a thousand ways to magnify Christ in life and death. None should be scorned. All are important. But none makes the worth of Christ shine more brightly than sacrificial love for other people in the name of Jesus.”




Pat Noble has been the “news sleuth” for Missions Catalyst since 2004. In addition to churning out the news, she is working to create a SWARM (Serving World A Regional Mobilizers) in Northern New York using the website. You can connect with her at

LIBERIA: Ebola Giving Christ Center Stage

Source: Mission Network News, August 11, 2014

It’s now being called a “public health emergency of international concern.” We’re talking about Ebola. While you may not think it’ll affect you, the World Health Organization (WHO) made that statement to wake you up to the problem. WHO says Ebola took an additional 29 lives between Tuesday and Wednesday alone. Their report indicates Ebola has killed 961 people and sickened 1,779 others. This makes it the worst outbreak in history.

Two U.S. citizens, medical missionaries with SIM International Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, have been brought to United States for treatment.

In a statement release by Dr. Brantly, he said, “We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve him at ELWA Hospital. One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name.”

Since these Americans have contracted the disease, [SIM USA President Bruce] Johnson says doctors have responded by volunteering to go to Liberia to serve. “It’s that kind of sacrificial spirit that’s been such an encouragement to me, and I think really has been an encouragement to the whole church to see the sacrifice and willingness of our brothers and sisters to do that.”

Johnson says he could never have imagined being in the middle of this international media firestorm. SIM has been on many major television and radio networks. “We feel God is saying, ‘Express my glory through this,’ both in testimony as well as to help the U.S. government and other governments.”

» Read full story.

» See also Why Missionaries Put Their Lives on the Line (CNN

NIGERIA: Market Price for a Christian’s Life

Source: Jubilee Campaign

Seven suspected Boko Haram men alleged to have masterminded the attack on Ekklizivar Yan’uwa A Nigeria (EYN) Church in Biu, Borno State recently said they were paid N7, 000 [Nigerian Naira, local currency] each to carry out the attack which left no fewer than three worshipers dead.

One of the seven suspects, Ibrahim Mohammed Babangida, who spoke with journalists from his custody said one Magaji Bala, a butcher paid him to carry out the dastardly act.

“I was sleeping in my house when Magaji called me and handed over N7,000 to me for the operation,” he said, even as one of the suspects also corroborated the claim. The suspects told newsmen in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday that they were butchers by profession in Biu Market and were picked up in their different houses in Biu by the JTF operatives.

The suspects also claimed to hail from Jigawa and Katsina states, adding that they came to Biu, about 187 kilometers to Maiduguri and South of Borno, to eke a living.

So how much is 7000 Naira? It is about US$45. That is how much the life of a Christian in Nigeria is worth these days.

» Read full story.

» See also a Jubilee Campaign interview with one of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria (YouTube) and read Boko Haram Terrorists Find Salvation (WIN Reporter).