GRAPHIC: Great Quotes on the Great Commission

Source: GMI Missiographics

While most of us can recite the famous words of the Great Commission, it’s another thing to walk faithfully in them. Take a moment to look at the Great Commission in light of these powerful words and be encouraged in your outreach.

Great Quotes on the Great Commission includes 17 quotations are all included in the book Expect Great Things: Mission Quotes that Inform and Inspire, compiled by Marvin J. Newell.

» Access full-size graphic in several formats and read some thoughts about how to use it, then browse the Missiographics library or subscribe to receive Missiographics by email.

BOOK: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care

Source: Mind the Gaps

Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care, edited by David J. Wilson, Believers Press, 2008.

Trinity Church in Redlands, California, put together a Missionary Care Team which has been developing a system of proactive care for their missionary families since 2008. In this book they share their firsthand accounts along with results of their research on missionary care. Mind the Gaps is designed to equip your church with tools to create your own system of proactive care and reduce burnout and attrition.

A few things about this book are unusual. It’s written by a committee, rather than a single author. It’s written by and for church leaders, rather than from industry professionals. It also covers a broad array of related topics: everything from recruiting a missionary care team and establishing a philosophy of ministry to predicting missionary success and evaluating mission agencies, as well as more traditional topics of missionary care such as meeting spiritual, emotional, and practical needs and walking with missionaries through transitions.

The result is a bit overwhelming, and maybe especially for churches that don’t have a mission pastor and a strong mission committee like Trinity’s. On the other hand, the book covers so much ground and provides so many practical tips that even if your church has a well-developed strategy for missionary care, there’s probably something here that you can use.

» Purchase from Amazon (or elsewhere) for US$10.95. Electronic editions not yet available but expected soon. To learn more:

  1. Visit the Mind the Gaps website. It features links and downloadable resources mentioned in the book.
  2. Attend the Mind the Gaps webinar that David Wilson, Trinity’s Mission Pastor, will lead for Missio Nexus on September 16.
  3. Send people from your church to the Mind the Gaps conference March 3-5, 2016 in Redlands, CA, which will feature some top leaders in missionary care today. More info will be posted on the Mind the Gaps website by mid-September.

PODCAST: Engaging Missions

Source: Engaging Missions

Every episode of Engaging Missions includes interviews with missionaries, ministry leaders, disciple makers, and church planters as they share about God’s work in their lives and ministries.

You can listen online, get updates by email, or subscribe through iTunes or other services. Host Brian Entzminger has recorded about 60 interviews to date. Here are a few of his favorites:

Can You Believe God Did This in the United States?: Gary Stump left business to pastor a church. Then God called him to flip everything on its head and plant a new church using the T4T principles.

How to Impact Lostness: While on a mission trip to Laos, Troy Cooper was convicted about how a “successful” ministry wasn’t impacting lostness. What happened between him and God has shaped his ministry going forward.

How to Get from Hello to a Gospel Presentation: In this episode, Kevin Greeson shares a simple framework to connect with someone through conversation and naturally bridge the gap to the gospel.

How to Recognize and Share God’s Love to a Sikh: After years in the corporate world, God to James Human in a new direction. Now, he’s a bit of an expert and helps train people to share the gospel with Sikhs.

How to Pray, Love and Minister During Ramadan. Don Perry is an expert on Islam but he’s not a pundit. He’s a minister and teacher with a heart for reconciliation and God’s Kingdom. As Ramadan kicks off in 2015, he shares his perspective on Christians and Ramadan.

» Learn more or browse contents.

BOOKS: Three New Titles

Source: Marti Wade

As I head into the final stretch on a grad school degree I’m having trouble keeping up with all the books I’d like to read for my own sake as well as to share with you! So I haven’t picked up these inspirational volumes yet. If you have, can you let the rest of us know what you think of them?

Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic, by Kent and Amber Brantly, with David Thomas. Waterbrook Press, 2015. 240 pages. Get the inside story on the couple’s commitment to serve and their battle with Ebola.

Martyrs of Malatya: Martyred for the Messiah in Turkey, by James Wright. Evangelical Press, 2015. 216 pages. The story of three men who gave their lives for Christ on April 18, 2007. We’ve reviewed several of Wright’s previous books here before.

Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Teach Us about Following Jesus, by Bryan Bishop. Baker Books, 2015, 240 pages. Bishop, a writer and researcher with Youth with a Mission, provides firsthand accounts of fresh expressions of faith in Jesus outside the boundaries of traditional Western Christianity.

» Share your thoughts about these books or other new releases you’d like to recommend on our website.

VIDEOS: Pray with Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana, and Iraq

Source: OneWay Ministries

We love the Prayercast videos! Check out new videos designed to help you learn about and pray alongside the people of Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana and Iraq for their countries. Each piece is insightful, engaging, and God-focused. How could you use them with your family, students, church, or small group?

» See the whole collection.

EVENTS: September Classes and Conferences

Source: Missions Events Calendar

September 3-5, Missions Fest Kinshasa (Kinshasa, DRC).

September 4-5, Missions Fest Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa).

September 7-11, ETHNE Global Gathering (South Asia). ETHNE is a global movement focused on seeing each people group reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

September 7-20, ORIENT (Joplin, MO, USA). Pre-departure training for cross-cultural workers provided by TRAIN International.

September 11-12, Without Borders (Houston, TX, USA). A conference for Christian women to learn how to reach Muslim women. Provided by Crescent Project.

September 14-15, Support-raising Bootcamp (Richmond, CA, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

September 14 to December 13, Encountering the World of Islam (online). Twelve-week class will help you discover God’s heart for Muslims.

September 15-21, Traction Conference for Men (Wilderswil, Switzerland). Provided by Catalyst International.

September 16, Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

September 17, Mission in Honor-Shame Cultures (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

September 17-19, Field Security Seminar (Lake George, CO, USA). Skills for field staff working in dangerous environments around the world.

September 17-19, GO Equipped TENTmaking Course (Chennai, India). Provided by Global Opportunities, hosted by Tent.

September 18-20, The Journey Deepens (Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA). A weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

September 18-20, Controversies in Christian Mission (Dallas, TX, USA). Annual meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society.

September 24-26, “Upward” Mission Leaders Conference (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Missio Nexus.

September 26, Heart for Asia Conference (San Mateo, CA, USA). Join OMF’s 150th anniversary celebration.

September 29, Do Your Short-term Mission Trips Measure Up? (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

September 29-30, Fund Raising for Ministry Organizations (Longview, TX, USA). Provided by Missionary TECH Team.

September 29 to October 3, GO Equipped TENTmaking Course (Detroit, MI, USA). Provided by Global Opportunities and Send International.

September 30 to November 25, Mobilizer Equipping School (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Provided by Student Volunteer Movement 2.

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

World News Briefs

Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_largeMissions Catalyst News Briefs 8.19.15

  1. EAST AFRICA: Muslim Imam Risks Life to Become Christian
  2. TURKEY: Kurdish Pilgrim Touched by Jesus in Mecca
  3. CENTRAL ASIA: Thirsty for God’s Word
  4. ALGERIA: “No Competition” between Churches
For additional news, see our Twitter feed.


Image: United Bible Societies (from Algeria story below).

Dear Readers,

While we usually aim for a balance of personal stories, traditional “news,” and broader analysis, today’s edition has a bumper crop of personal testimonies and encounters with Christ. As you skim them, you might pause to praise God for his work in the lives of individuals all over the world and linger to read the rest of the stories that catch your interest.

Reports like these bring several thoughts to mind. I’m skeptical enough to question how some of them are told; have others pressured storytellers to frame their testimonies in certain ways? As I pick and choose, cut and paste, am I doing the same thing? Yet I also ask myself if I am as faithful in seeking God in impossible situations and telling others how he has been at work close to me.

As you read, ask God to sustain those he has called to himself as he builds his kingdom worldwide. Seek the Lord to open doors to share these stories (and your own) with others so that they might give him glory and grow in their knowledge of him.


EAST AFRICA: Muslim Imam Risks Life to Become Christian

Source: World Watch Monitor, July 31, 2015

Tofik trained to become an imam at an Islamic (madrasa) school in Africa. “In school I only learned about Islam,” he said. “Parts of our teaching were about destroying Christianity. So we did what we learned, by attacking Christians once we finished our training.”

He said he was taught that Christians are bad people, and that he and the other students were encouraged to steal from and kill non-Muslims.

“We beat them, attacked the church and burnt their Bibles… Our teachers would tell us every time there was a new church in town and we were told to go and attack the people and destroy the church. So that’s what we did,” Tofik said.

Tofik was one of 14 students selected by the local mosque to be trained in Saudi Arabia for further Islamic studies. After finishing his education, he became an imam. He led the construction of 16 mosques in his area. He also imposed a rule: No village leaders or visitors could preach Christianity in his town.

[But then] Tofik began working with Christians when a church in a neighboring village started a project and appointed him as a coordinator for the area’s social work…

» Read about what happened next or watch him tell the story on video.

» Other stories with “Saul to Paul” themes include Yazidi Leader Healed and 136 More Come to Christ (Godreports), Cambodian “Saul” Killed for the Khmer Rouge, Transformed into “Paul” by the Word and the Spirit (ASSIST News Service), Boko Haram Members Convert to Christianity (Christian Today) and Former Sandinista Now Part of God’s Army (ASSIST News Service). Let’s ask God for some extremist monks to come to Christ, too! (Asian Correspondent).

TURKEY: Kurdish Pilgrim Touched by Jesus in Mecca

Source: ASSIST News Service, via Godreports, June 30, 2015

Ali Pektash grew up in a Kurdish family with 10 children. He was rejected by his mother, which opened a deep wound in his life. He was taken in by his uncle, but he too chased him out.

He met and married Zehra, but succumbed to heavy drinking, which began to destroy his life. He would start to shake if he didn’t have a drink and things got so bad that he was beating his wife several times a day and struggling to breathe after just a few steps.

Friends persuaded him to find work in Saudi Arabia, where the sale of alcohol is forbidden. But he was surprised to discover there was plenty of it available there.

Perhaps Mecca held the key to success, friends suggested, so he agreed to join a group on hajj (pilgrimage) during his time in Arabia.

“I knew I belonged to God somehow—he was my friend—but I did not belong to a religion I could find. I circled the Ka’ba seven times (one of the specified rites involved in the pilgrimage), and watched everybody kissing this black stone. But I walked the other way. I believed in a living God, not in a rock.”

When they retreated to their tents for the night, he chose to sleep under the stars because it was so hot.

Then something remarkable happened in the middle of the night.

“Jesus came to me in a dream, put his finger on my forehead and his hand on my heart. He was smiling at me and said: ‘Get up and leave this place.’”

» Full story with pictures.

» Editor’s note: A different sort of pilgrimage will happen in the USA soon and can use our prayers. Read this insightful piece about “Burning Man”: A Journey towards Understanding Alternative Spiritualities (Billy Graham Center for Evangelism).