EVENT: Great Commission Prayer Summit

prayer-summit-logoSource: SVM2

“God is stirring the prayer movement in his global Church like never before. The Holy Spirit is taking us higher in the spirit of prayer,” write friends at SVM2. “The Great Commission Prayer Summit is a gathering with others hungry to partner with God in contending for global harvest in this strategic hour. Our overarching objective is listening to his heart and growing in effectively aligning in intercessory prayer toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.”

Can you get to Thailand this January? Go and join them, then bring home that passion for all-nations prayer to share with others.

When: January 19-22, 2017
Where: Great Commission Equipping Center (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Who: Church, campus ministry, mission leaders, prayer leaders, believers hungering to grow in Great Commission prayer

» Learn more or register to attend.

» Readers might also be interested in an SVM publication, The Handbook for Great Commission Ministries. It includes a number of resources you can use to raise up and equip laborers for the harvest.

FAMILY ACTIVITY: Advent Prayer Chain

Source: Weave Family Ministries

The countdown to Christmas is on! Focus your children on the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world. Make an Advent Prayer Chain with your family and intercede for unreached peoples living in cultures where the gospel has not yet penetrated.

Teaching Time: 15 minutes and ongoing prayer.

Materials: Printed Advent Prayer Chain sheets, scissors, glue/glue stick, stapler, and five sheets colored construction paper.

» Learn more and download the materials. They’re free. Weave has lots of ideas for connecting your family to God’s global story. Poke around their website!

» Holidays on your mind? See also 22 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Cross-Cultural Worker (A Life Overseas) and the Christmas section at OSCAR, the UK information service for world mission.

PODCAST: Social Media and Short-term Missions

Source: Global Missions Podcast

The Global Missions Podcast provides helpful resources and practical information to churches and individuals to help them effectively support and engage in global missions. It’s hosted by Rob Magwood, Canadian Director of SEND International.

In a recent episode, Social Media and Short-term Missions, “Mags” interviews Shayna Winn of Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa, Ontario about how she used social media to keep her church up-to-date on their summer short-term missions teams and engage the congregation in prayer. This isn’t rocket science, but there’s probably something here you haven’t thought about!

» Listen to the podcast. See also a previous episode with Scott Moreau of Wheaton College, Social Media and Missions: A Starter Conversation.

NEWS: Friday Roundup

Source: Justin Long

Researcher Justin Long serves with Beyond, a ministry that sends teams to the unreached to start movements. He publishes a great weekly “Friday Roundup” of curated links to news stories, articles about trends and strategies, and other resources useful in reaching the unreached. Join the growing list of subscribers and get helpful info in your inbox every Friday.

» Browse the archives and subscribe.

EVENTS: Upcoming Conference, Courses, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

Note: We’d appreciate your help gathering information about 2017 events so we can include them in a special edition of Missions Catalyst at the end of next month. Check the listings and let me know if you are aware of something that should be added. Thanks!

December 5-6, Support Raising Bootcamp (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

December 6-8, Finishing the Task Conference (Lake Forest, CA, USA).

December 8, Key Insights from the 2016 CEO and Church Mission Leader Survey (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

December 27-30, Cross Conference (Indianapolis, IN, USA). Conference calling students to the unreached.

December 27-31, Chinese Missions Convention (Baltimore, MD, USA).

» View the complete calendar. For additional information about a specific event, please contact the organizers.

» See also the UK-based mission information service OSCAR, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Christian Community Calendar, events with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, and an international calendar of network meetings at Linking Global Voices.

World News Briefs




elam-baptism-photoImage: ELAM Ministries. See a related article about ministry in Iran, Rapid Church Growth: How Is It Happening? This edition of News Briefs includes stories of God doing what Gracia Burnham (see below) describes as “what only he can do.”

  1. SYRIA: Refugee Finds Light in Ongoing Nightmare
  2. USA: Gracia Burnham Reflects after Captivity in Philippines
  3. SOUTH ASIA: From North Carolina to Bhutan and Nepal
  4. IRAQ: A Monastery among the Refugees
  5. BURUNDI: Wishing the Best for Those You Hate

SYRIA: Refugee Finds Light in Ongoing Nightmare

Source: Christian Aid Mission, September 29, 2016

Even as civil war rages on in Syria after another failed cease-fire, those who remain in the country are finding the light of God, including one mother who benefited from dreams amid the ongoing nightmare.

The director of a ministry based in Syria said the woman dreamt repeatedly of a man who told her that three people would come and bring her good news.

“She continued to have this dream for six days in a row,” said the director, who granted Christian Aid Mission permission to publish his comments. “On the seventh day, one of our teams was doing home visits and decided to visit a new house. The three of them sat down in this woman’s house to have a short visit, but when they opened their Bible, she instantly fell to her knees.”

When her husband and children came in later, she could not contain her excitement.

“These are the people that the man in my dream told me to meet!” she told them.

» Read full story. Readers might also be interested in news from another country in this region: See God Bringing Momentous Growth to Iranian Church (ASSIST News Service).

USA: Gracia Burnham Reflects after Captivity in Philippines

Source: Mission Network News, November 8, 2016

If you’ve read In the Presence of My Enemies, you know the story of Martin and Gracia Burnham. They were missionaries in the Philippines who were kidnapped from a resort in 2001 with several others by the Abu Sayyaf, a Jihadist terror group. They were kept hostage for a year. The Philippine army attack that rescued Gracia also killed her husband, Martin.

There have been miraculous developments in Burnham’s story. “I have found some of the guys who held us captive, [who are] in a maximum security prison in Manila, and I’ve been able to work with them in a small way through a missionary couple who works in the prison. So far, four former Abu Sayyaf have come to know Jesus as their Savior.”

“God writes really good stories. All of that could be happening in the Philippines, and I wouldn’t even know about it. But the Lord let me even be in on some of it, and I’m just very grateful to him.”

Coming off the heels of the International Day of Prayer and the focus on the worldwide Church, we asked Gracia how her life experience has influenced her thoughts on missions.

“I think my philosophy on missions is you just love people and you invite them into your circumstances. You tell them your story and what God did for you—and how God can work in their hearts and lives as well.”

Ultimately, says Burnham, “It’s an honor to tell my story… I just try to love people and do what I can do, and watch God do what only he can do.”

» Read full story. And check out Gracia Burnham’s second book, To Fly Again: Surviving the Tailspins of Life.

SOUTH ASIA: From North Carolina to Bhutan and Nepal

Source: Mobile Ministry Forum, October 18, 2016

Three years ago I met Pastor Naina, a Bhutanese Nepali pastor who was a refugee relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. Naina speaks nine languages. The day I met him, I showed him the JESUS Film mobile app and helped him install it on his mobile phone. Naina knew lots of people who spoke different mother tongues, and they spoke many other languages too. A lot of them had a mobile phone.

Two weeks later I had a chance to stop by and see him again. After I’d left earlier, he emailed or texted 142 different people the app in their appropriate language. Then he put it on Facebook for 550 friends to see. All in one day.

The first afternoon he sent it to Ruben, a young relative near Washington DC, who was also a refugee. Ruben downloaded it and played it for some buddies who’d been playing soccer together. After watching, three of the four received Christ. People also opened the app and watched the film in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and several states in the US. Comments and stories started flowing back.

Kumar, a pastor still near the refugee camp in Nepal, opened it, and downloaded it. Every evening over the next two weeks he showed it to 14 families near his home. Four of the families (22 people) received Christ. Kumar’s church was growing. Over the next six months, Kumar, using his mobile phone, planted five more churches in five nearby villages.

» Read full story. See also Make the Case: Why Mobile Ministry? and a story from India about church planting with MicroSD cards.

» You might check out a curated list of sites and apps to help you share scripture (and more) with Arabic-speaking friends (Arab World Media).