Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews

Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_largeIn This Issue: Stories of hope, spiritual equipping, and more


See how a devastating tsunami changed the work of Bible translation in this new documentary from Wycliffe Bible Translators.

BOOK: The Finish Line, Stories of Hope through Bible Translation

Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators

The Finish Line: Stories of Hope through Bible Translation, by Bob Creson (with Carol Schatz). Wycliffe Bible Translators, 2014. 148 pages.

Until the year 2000, the number of languages researchers believed would need their own translation of the Bible was growing. It topped out at around 3,000, and then, for the first time, began to drop. Today, due to new technologies, strategic alliances, and the sacrificial service of translators worldwide, the number keeps dropping. “We are participating in the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation ever witnessed by the Church,” says Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA. “In light of the current pace, we know that the last translator—the translator for the last language needing Bible translation—is alive somewhere in the world today!”

The Finish Line is a book about the task of Bible translation and includes stories from the experiences of Creson and his family as well as many others. It’s an inspiring and easy read and of course includes suggestions for how we can be part of this work. At points this feels a bit like a Wycliffe infomercial, though a winsome one, but the ministry’s commitment to celebrating partnership with other organizations lessens that effect.

» Purchase the Kindle edition, currently priced at US$.99; US$10 for the paperback. Watch an author interview (CBN).

» You might also be interested in Arop, a recently released 30-minute video from Wycliffe. It beautifully tells the story of what God did through a translation effort in Papua New Guinea and can be watched online or downloaded for use with groups.

VIDEOS: Pray for Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and More

Source: Prayercast

Prayercast, producers of high-quality, free videos that encourage prayer for the nations of the world, are now working on materials to inform and inspire prayer for the followers of various world religions. As with the “nations” videos, each one is narrated by the prayers of someone from the same background as those for whom they are praying.

Be sure to check out some great related materials, including succinct summaries of each religious group’s background, beliefs, what God is doing among them today, and how we can pray, as well as audio files in which the narrators tell their own stories of coming to know Jesus Christ. These and the videos could be good resources to use with groups and classes.

So far, there are pages about Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, and Occultism, and more are to come. I found the material about praying for atheists particularly insightful.

» Watch videos and learn more. Note that the world religions map is interactive: scroll over the name of a religion to see where followers are concentrated. See also a new video about praying for the Ebola crisis.

CURRICULUM: Helping without Hurting in Short-term Missions

Source: Moody Publishers

Helping without Hurting in Short-term Missions, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, with Katie Casselberry. Moody Publishers, 2014. 128 pages. Leader’s guide sold separately.

Are you a fan of Corbett and Fikkert’s When Helping Hurts? This new curriculum for training and debriefing mission teams applies to short-term missions the key ideas of the widely read book. It includes teaching and examples with questions and journaling assignments, all designed to prepare short-termers for service that doesn’t hurt the poor they are trying to serve. Six of the eight lessons are built around free, online video content.

» Learn more or purchase from Moody for US$12.99 (slightly cheaper on Amazon). See also the Leader’s Guide.

» Also see another new curriculum for training short-term mission teams, Mission Launch Team Training.

CHILDREN’S BOOK: Hudson on a Mission

Source: Center for Mission Mobilization

Hudson on a Mission, by Jim Jobe. Center for Mission Mobilization, 2013. 32 pages (full-color, staple-bound paperback).

Are you in ministry and looking for a gift for donors who support your work? Check out the kids’ book, Hudson on a Mission. It tells the story of Hudson, a young raccoon, and his family, as they move into a remote village of turtles to bring them the Good News of Jesus. The book illustrates cross-cultural ministry, church planting, and multiplication (particularly in a tribal context) in a way that kids can grasp. This would be a good resource for families, donors working with children, and supporting churches. Jobe wrote it to help his young son prepare for their family’s relocation to Asia Pacific with New Tribes Mission.

Center for Mission Mobilization is selling the books at $US4 a copy if you buy ten or more. The normal price is US$6.95.

» Preview the book, learn more, or purchase from Center for Mission Mobilization (coupon code: HudsonChristmas). Thanks to Karen from Weave family ministry for telling us about it. Find lots of other great mission resources for kids and families at WeaveFamily.org.

BOOK: Spiritual Equipping for Mission

Source: InterVarsity Press

Spiritual Equipping for Mission: Thriving as God’s Message Bearers, by Ryan Shaw. InterVarsity Press, 2014. 208 pages.

Spiritual formation and discipleship are at the core of effective and fruitful mission, says Shaw, president of Student Volunteer Movement 2. Our methods and strategies for reaching others are useless if we are unable to live the holy, faithful lives God intends for us.

In this book the author describes—from scripture, research, and his own experiences—ten spiritual keys essential to the life of cross-cultural workers (whom he calls “message bearers”). The book has a strong emphasis on hearing from God and discerning his guidance. It also explores disciplines like Bible study, prayer and fasting, humility, perseverance, and focus.

» Learn more or purchase the paperback for US$12 from InterVarsity; available for less from online retailers and in electronic editions.

» Another book written to address a common blind spot for global workers is coming out soon, and has steep discounts for advance purchases. See Werner Mischke’s The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in our Multicultural World and the recent review in Brigada Today.

EVENTS: November Calendar

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

November 2 or 9, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (global).

November 6-8, Oasis Conference (San Diego, CA, USA). Annual event from Crescent Project.

November 6-8, Open Expo (Raleigh, NC, USA). Business as mission event for BAM/B4T practitioners.

November 6-8, Global Missions Health Conference (Louisville, KY, USA). An annual event.

November 6-8, Canadian Network of Ministry to Muslims Annual Conference (Richmond Hill, ON, Canada). Creating a welcoming community.

November 7-8, Southeast Michigan MissionNext Forum (Brighton, MI, USA). Find insights into options in missions suited to your skills and passions.

November 13-16, International Conference on Missions (Columbus, OH, USA). Conference of the Christian Church / Churches of Christ.

November 15, Bridges Seminar (Spokane, WA, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

November 16, Global Mission Sunday (international). Marking the 40th anniversary of the Lausanne Movement.

November 20, Extreme Poverty: What it is, and What To Do About It (online). Missio Nexus webinar.

November 26-30, TENTmaking Course (Terkicko, Czech Republic). Provided by Tent Norway and Global Opportunities.

» View the complete calendar and/or submit an item. We could use some help finding events planned for 2015!

Missions Catalyst News Briefs


In This Issue: Release for the captives

Peyangki in the city.

Image from The Himalayan Boy and the TV Set (BBC)


This week yielded an unusual number of stories with happy endings, including charges dropped and captives set free or escaped. A human rights activist was even freed in Burundi. Burma agrees to repatriate Royingya refugees in Bangladesh and released more than 100 child soldiers from the army.

While there seems to be a season of release for the captives (Isaiah 61:1), why not pray for whole groups of people enslaved spiritually? See the new BBC documentary, The Himalayan Boy and the TV Set (72 minutes) and pray for the Buddhists of Bhutan and the changes coming to the Himalayan peoples. If you are inspired to touch the lives of children in the Himalayas, read about a literacy project among orphans in Nepal.

Can you use some good news this week? Read on.



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

AFGHANISTAN: Answer to Prayers for the Pashtun

Source: Godreports, October 8, 2014

Last year the U.S. Center for World Mission began equipping thousands of churches in Latin America to pray for the Pashtun, one of the biggest least-reached people groups in the world.

The Pashtun number over 30 million and the Taliban are included within this ethnic group in Afghanistan. “If you are wondering whether prayer really makes a difference, in this particular case, we have the proof,” says David Taylor, with the U.S. Center.

A Christian radio ministry had been broadcasting for years to the Pashtun and were receiving about 60 responses to their program each month. “As soon as thousands of churches in Latin America began praying for the Pashtun, this radio program began receiving hundreds and then thousands of responses each month,” Taylor exclaims. “Like the Bible story of the disciples whose nets could not handle all the fish, this ministry is now asking for help from others to handle this unexpected interest in the gospel!”

Some of the churches praying for the Pashtun are located in El Salvador. In one of these Salvadoran churches, a man was dying of HIV-AIDS. “He decided to come to the Wednesday prayer meeting which was focused on the Pashtun,” Taylor recounts. “As he was praying for them he felt the Holy Spirit come upon him and move throughout his body. He felt as though he had been healed. The next day he went to the doctor to have his blood checked. When the nurse came back with the results, she was beaming. His blood was completely clean of HIV!”

Taylor sees a valuable lesson for believers here. “When we bless the nations, God blesses us in return. This is the principle we see in Psalm 67: ‘May the peoples praise you O God, may all the peoples praise you! Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God will bless us.’”

» Full story with pictures.

PAKISTAN: Blasphemy Charges Dropped

Source: Barnabas Fund, October 13, 2014

Charges against 55 Pakistani Christians who were falsely accused of blasphemy have been dropped after a written compromise was agreed between the Muslim accuser and the believers involved.

The accusation of blasphemy was made against a group of Christians in a small village in Tehsil Samandri district, Faisalabad, on September 3 following a dispute with a gang of Muslims over the use of land for a graveyard. Thirteen Christians, including a 12-year old boy, were arrested; they have now been released.

The Christians were originally charged under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which refers to defiling the name of Muhammad and carries the death penalty. Remarkably, following the intervention of Barnabas-funded Christian lawyers, this charge was later overturned in a rare move by police.

» Read full story.

» Also read Iran Drops Death Sentence against Pastors and Laos Releases House Church Christians (BosNews Life).