Missions Catalyst 4.23.14 – Resource Reviews

April 23rd, 2014

In This Issue: Videos, books, events, and more

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

Marti WadeMarti Wade is a writer, speaker, and project manager for the Church Partnerships Team at Pioneers. As a mission mobilizer, she has also trained and sent out many short-term teams to do relationship-based research to serve among the world’s least-reached peoples.

Marti has managed and published Missions Catalyst since 2004 and is the author of Through Her Eyes, a book about the lives of women serving cross-culturally in the Muslim world. She and her husband Chris live in Oregon.



VIDEO: How Does Translation Work?

April 23rd, 2014

Source: The Seed Company

Whether you know a little or a lot about what it takes to translate the Bible into another language, you’ll probably learn something from the Seed Company’s recent, snappy overview, How Does Translation Work? It’s about five minutes long. Maybe you could show it to your church, family, group, or class as well.

» See also the music video Word of God.

BOOKS: Three Tools for Your Toolbox

April 23rd, 2014

Source: GMI

Our friends at GMI have recently published three short, informative books that might be good tools for you as you seek out, mobilize, and equip tomorrow’s kingdom workers:

1. Searching to Serve: Recruiting Kingdom Workers Online, by James Nelson with Carla Foote. GMI Books, 2014. 78 pages.

Based on 2013 research previously published in GMI’s Agency Web Review report, Searching to Serve describes five kinds of people who look online for mission service opportunities and what they like and are looking for on mission agency websites. It provides many simple suggestions for tailoring your website (and social media activity) for various kinds of seekers in order to attract, engage, and retain the interest of the greatest number of the most qualified candidates. Very practical.

» Learn more or get the book from GMI for US$9.95; US$4.99 for the ebook edition.

2. Seeing Your World: 10 Key Global Shifts That Will Change the Way You Serve, by Andy Butcher. GMI Books, 2014. 70 pages.

Trends in migration, religion, education, technology, and more are transforming people, nations, and the ways the Great Commission is carried out. Butcher summarizes key points from GMI’s Global Briefing presentation and illustrates each trend with quotes and commentary from a different Christian leader, explaining how these shifts are forcing them to rethink the ways they serve. Illustrated with helpful charts and maps.

Seeing Your World is designed to be affordable and readable enough to give as a gift or use as a conversation starter, though readers may also want to also dig deeper into each subject.

» Learn more or get the book from GMI for US$9.99; $4.99 for the ebook edition.

3. Crossing Cultures with Ruth: Lessons on Thriving in Missions, by James Nelson. GMI Books, 2014. 177 pages.

What helps cross-cultural workers, those who launch out and say “your people shall be my people,” transition well and come to a place of effective ministry? Author James Nelson finds lessons for contemporary cross-cultural workers in the ancient book of Ruth, seeing in Ruth’s story many of the same strengths that make missionaries successful.

“The more I studied the book of Ruth,” says Nelson, “I began to see her as a teacher, mentor, and even companion in cross-cultural service. For interns and new missionaries, Ruth could be a memorable role model for the ministry techniques they were learning.”

Crossing Cultures with Ruth also includes insights from Nelson’s years of work researching “fruitful practices” of church planters working in the Muslim world (also documented in From Seed to Fruit and Where There Was No Church). I found this book winsome and intriguing and am already scheming ways to use the contents as I teach and write.

» Learn more or get the book from GMI for US$14.99; US$9.99 for the ebook edition.

Think you can use all three? Contact GMI about bulk discounts. “The idea is that all three of these resources together help an agency to recruit online better, engage new recruits with the global realities of mission, and help new missionaries prepare for cross-cultural service,” says president and CEO Jon Hirsh.

CURRICULUM: Count for Zero

April 23rd, 2014

Source: Issachar Initiative

Issachar Initiative, a think-tank advocating for ministry to the world’s least-reached people groups, offers churches and individuals a free, six-week, small group curriculum about fulfilling the Great Commission. The Count for Zero curriculum includes high-quality video sessions, a participant guide, and sermon outlines. Registration required.

» Learn more or get started. Or just take a minute to watch the promotional video.

READERS WRITE: More Practical Ideas on Praying for the World

April 23rd, 2014

Source: Missions Catalyst Readers

Thanks for the great response to our recent feature article, Passing on Prayer: Practical Ideas on Praying for the World. Readers contributed a few more great suggestions we want to share as well:

1. Pray together

“Pray with others,” says Greg. “Something deep, powerful, and encouraging happens when we join with others to pray for the world.” Good word, Greg.

2. Pray through the newspaper

“This isn’t anything new, but it is a strategy we use in our Perspectives class prayer times, and that is to bring newspapers to class and pray through headlines in the news,” says David. “There is not a day goes by that you can’t find something in the headlines where God is at work.” David also encourages us to watch the video, Prayer Causes Things to Happen (John Piper). Thanks for the reminder, David.

3. iPray2014

“Thursday, May 1, has been set aside as a National Day of Prayer [in the U.S.],” writes Paul. “We’d like you to join us in prayer throughout that day. Pray for your family, neighborhood, classmates, co-workers, customers, or employees. Be intentional about connecting with God throughout this day as you continue doing what you’d normally do. To help remind you and direct your prayers, we’ll be sending out several text messages (that day only) to anyone who subscribes. All you need to do is text “iPray2014″ to 95577. We’ll send you encouragements, reminders, and suggestions for prayer.” Great idea, Paul.

4. 30 Days

“How could you forget the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world?” asks Tamara. “For over 20 years this prayer movement has involved hundreds of thousands of believers from all over the world in loving and learning about Muslim people through prayer during the month of Ramadan. The beautifully illustrated prayer guide is available in over 35 languages, and there is also a children’s edition. The event starts July 28 this year, so, plenty of time to order guides for your family or prayer group!” We’re in, Tamara!

5. Prayercast

“I work for an organization called OneWay Ministries in a branch of their ministry called Prayercast,” says Liz. “You tapped right in to what we are trying to accomplish. You asked for any resources that people may have to help others pray. Well, Prayercast.com is a phenomenal resource and free for anyone to use. We currently have a Prayercast video and prayer resources for every nation on earth! We are working to expand these resources in BIG ways in the days ahead.” Looking forward to seeing what’s ahead, Liz; we love Prayercast!

6. 2Tim22.com

“2Tim22.com has a number of resources on prayer, much of it related to reaching the world of university students, but this can easily be adapted to other groups,” says Dennis. “In particular, I find helpful the reminder that we are joining God in what he is already doing.” Thanks for the link, Dennis!

EVENTS: April Calendar

April 23rd, 2014

Source: Missions Catalyst Calendar

May 8-10, Christian Community Health Conference (Atlanta, GA, USA).

May 16-18, The Journey Deepens (Fort Washington, PA, USA). Retreat for those considering missions. Sponsored by MissionNext.

May 19-21, COSIM Conference (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Annual gathering for the Coalition on the Support of Indigenous Ministries.

May 19-23, Christian Community Development Conference (near Stuttgart, Germany).

May 21-23, Global Children’s Ministry Equip Conference (Johannesburg, South Africa).

May 21-25, GO Equipped TENTmaking Course (Larsmo, Finland). Provided by Global Opportunities.

May 22, Faith-based Safety & Security Training (Columbia, SC, USA). Training for mission team personnel provided by an instructor from Fort Sherman Academy.

May 23-24, Al Massira training event (Scarborough, ON, Canada). Learn to share your faith with Muslim friends.

May 23-31, Single Vision (Lisbon, Portugal). Renewal for single missionaries.

May 28-29, Interchange 2014 (Philadelphia, PA). Bi-annual conference. This year’s theme is recruiting global workers in the church context. Sponsored by Catalyst Services.

May 29-31, Serving Internationals (Atlanta, GA, USA). Annual conference by the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI).

May 30-31, Al Massira training event (Ottawa, ON, Canada). Lean to share your faith with Muslim friends.

May 31, Frontiers Connect (Central Coast, CA, USA). Explore work among Muslims.

May 31 to June 8, Darshan training in outreach among Hindus (Chicago, IL, USA). Classroom training and daily guided Hindu community interaction. Provided by Christar.

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

Missions Catalyst 4.16.14 − World News Briefs

April 16th, 2014

In This Issue: The unstoppable gospel


As Christians around the world gather to celebrate the Resurrection, we’re reminded that the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is also at work in and through his Church. Today’s news briefs include stories of that power made manifest.


About Us

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

PatPat 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 NorthernChristian.org website. You can connect with her at www.whatsoeverthings.com.



UKRAINE: Unity and Spiritual Awakening

April 16th, 2014

People of all denominations pray together each day in the public square in Kharkiv, Ukraine (photo by Sergey Baliuk).

Source: Rostyslav Stasyuk, Ukrainian Bible Society, via United Bible Societies, April 2, 2014

The dramatic events in our country have led to a remarkable unity and a spiritual wakening across the nation. It has been amazing to see the solidarity between representatives of different religions. … Last week, Archbishop Eustratius of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate), shared the astonishing news that Crimean Tatars − the Muslim minority in the disputed territory of Crimea − have offered to host the church’s services in their mosques.

“They said that if it became difficult for our priests and parishioners to pray in our churches in Crimea, they would make room for us in mosques. They have also assured that they would help protect our rights,” said the archbishop.

“Over the past month, as the situation in Crimea and the southeastern regions has escalated, churches, and individual Christians have become very active in speaking out and sharing the hope and encouragement found in the Bible. Christians of different denominations have been fasting and praying together for peace and wisdom for Ukraine’s leaders and other world leaders involved in the situation.

In Eastern Ukraine, prayer meetings are held every morning in the central squares of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk. In the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine, a 15-minute prayer session is held every hour from 9am to 9pm in the central square. In Kiev, the prayer tents that were erected during the protests in Maidan square are still there, and many people still come and use them as places of prayer.

The same kind of thing is happening in almost every city and town in the country.

» Full story with pictures.

» See also Missionaries Expect God to Work in the Midst of Eastern Ukraine Crisis (Commission Stories) and “Holy Desperation” in Ukraine (Baptist Press).

INDIA: Eunuchs Coming to Christ

April 16th, 2014

Source: Mission Network News, April 11, 2014

Eunuchs. Castrated males. There are about 1 million of them in India. Eunuchs are ignored by society. They form their own communities. Are people reaching them with the gospel? Are they ignored by Christians, too? A worker with Scriptures in Use (SIU) says yes, but not any more.

“We introduce storytelling to cultures that are non-literate, or what we call traditional oral learners. … Jesus told stories. He told parables. He allowed the story of the parable to speak to the hearts of the individual listener.”

[SIU's] India partner became what’s called a “well-wisher” to the eunuchs in a community in Orissa State. As the relationships were established, the storytelling began. It started with 14 [participants]. The stories began with the Fall and continued through to the New Testament. “For three days we shared stories and then asked questions about the stories. At the end of the three days, we finally got to the Gospels. When it was done, all 14 of them accepted the Lord.”

It wasn’t a one-time thing. “We’re seeing some significant changes in them personally and then this desire to begin, in some way, to share their faith with fellow eunuchs and their families.”

» Read full story.

» Following India’s ongoing elections? You might be interested in this article about how Indian Christians view them (Christianity Today).

THAILAND: Believer Sold His Own Blood to Help Bible Students

April 16th, 2014

Source: God Reports, April 2014

“Teaching the Karen tribal people is such a privilege,” [write missionaries from the California-based organization, Pastoral Training of Asia]. “Serving in the refugee camp with no electricity [or] running water and pit toilets [is] always eye opening. Those living there are happy, not complaining but rather glad for the safety from … the hands of the Burmese soldiers.”

“We went to a memorial service of a deeply dedicated believer. He had a heart to help Bible school students and the only way he could give was to sell his own blood. Unfortunately, he gave so much that he weakened his own condition, got sick, and died. He gave his all to equip others to proclaim the gospel.

“The sense of love and unity in this Christian community is a wonderful thing to witness; may it spread to our shores and to our hearts and churches as well.”

» Read full story.

» Readers might also be interested in Refugee Survey − Most Do Not Want to Go Back to Burma (Karen News).