VIDEO: God Wrote a Book

Run

Source: Desiring God

Overwhelmed by world events and the barrage of news stories, conflicting perspectives, and calls to action? “Keeping up” is part of our job at Missions Catalyst, but sometimes it all becomes too much. How glad I am that amid all the books written, resources produced, and opinions expressed, I can restore my focus through the Book that God wrote.

I’d encourage you to watch this five-minute video about knowing God through his Word. (“God wrote a book. Where else will we run?”)

» Watch the video (or click on image above).

» For more short, inspirational videos to use in presentations or share with others, check out Moving Works.

MAP: Top 40 Least-Reached Places

Source: Justin Long

“Closure” strategies in world mission are complicated by the reality that some of the world’s largest countries include both some of the least reached and most reached peoples and provinces. Breaking data down at the level of provinces, counties, or districts can help. For a visual take on the world’s least reached regions, see this map of the top 40 least-reached places. (Thanks to Bryan Nicholson at CartoMission who made the map from Justin Long’s data.) You might pray about what this information could mean for the ministry efforts you pursue or support, or how you intercede for the needs of the world.

Justin Long is also in the process of researching and publishing profiles of each of these 40 least-reached provinces in Global Church Outlook updates. These profiles or a subscription to the series (and other resources) are available for a modest donation to support the ministry.

» Readers with interest in the Muslim world or global migration may have caught recent statements about the connection between Muslim immigrants and terrorist events. Another recent post from the same source explores a troubling question that’s been raised, Should We Stop All Immigration of Muslims to the United States?

ARTICLES: The Middle East in Crisis

Source: Mission Frontiers

Few world news sources are lacking in articles about tensions in the Middle East, but you might find perspectives you don’t hear elsewhere in the July edition of Mission Frontiers. It tells stories about God bringing hope in the midst of darkness and the gospel going forth to the brokenhearted.

Read how ISIS is spreading the gospel, a piece about the harvest in the Middle East, two about ministry among the Yazidis, an article calling us to walk in the steps of St. Francis, and another on how to pray for the chaos and suffering in the Middle East.

» Read the whole issue.

EVENTS: Upcoming Classes and Conferences

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

August 2015

August 3-9, MK/TCK Re-entry Retreat (Gaston, SC, USA). Retreat designed for teens transitioning to college from missionary families.

August 8-14, ReBoot Re-entry Program (Calgary, AB, Canada). For returning missionary kids, ages 17-20, transitioning to life in Canada.

August 9-15, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (Pittsburgh, PA, USA). One-week intensive.

August 10-12, Crisis Management Seminar (Bali, Indonesia). Learn how to develop a competent security and crisis management program.

August 11, Four Things Every Friend of a Short-term Missionary Needs to Know (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

August 17-21, Kairos Course (Watkinsville, GA, USA).

August 17 to December 20, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

August 20, CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

August 20-21, Support-raising Bootcamp (Blooomfield, NJ, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

August 27, Hope in the Face of Hopelessness (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

September 2015

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, IBAM Impact Conference (Location TBD, USA). Take the next step in business as mission.

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 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.

Resource Reviews

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9046279700_e701593057_zImage from Tommyscapes / Flikr

In This Issue: Road-trip reading, Ramadan, and more

Dear Readers,

In a few weeks my husband and I plan to drive some 3,000 miles across the country to take up residence in Columbia, South Carolina. If Missions Catalyst slows down a bit during the transition, you’ll understand why! With such a long car trip ahead of me, I’m looking for podcasts and audio books to inspire and edify me along the way. Recommendations? Let me know!

History suggests that many Missions Catalyst readers will also be traveling in the next few months. Want a good read for the plane, train, car, or beach? The first item in this edition highlights some of our recent reviews and other finds and might give you some ideas.

Blessings,

BOOKS: Summer Reading Suggestions

Sources: Various

Got kids? Check out the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series, by Janet and Geoff Benge, to interest them in world missions. A growing number of these are now available as audio books. The Not-for-parents Travel Book: Cool Stuff to Know about Every Country in the World could also be a good choice for a long car ride. If you (or maybe your favorite cross-cultural worker) is taking little ones overseas, get a copy of Jim Jobe’s Hudson on a Mission.

Need encouragement? Where There Is Now a Church, by James Nelson, is one of several recent books describing the Christ-ward movements taking place in the Muslim world, though this little gem might get lost in the shadow of more widely promoted books like A Wind in the House of Islam and Miraculous Movements (which we also recommended). Find reviews of all three in our archives.

How about a mission biography? We recently wrote about Unbelievable, by Graham Bee. Elisabeth Elliot’s books are sure to be on many people’s re-read lists this year. And I just finished (and would recommend) Kay Bruner’s moving story, As Soon as I Fell.

The team I serve with at Pioneers likes to read and discuss books we think might be good picks for church mission leaders. We really liked Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask Before Launching Overseas, by David L. Frazier and Finish the Mission, by David Mathis, John Piper, and others. David Horner’s When Missions Shapes the Mission: You and Your Church Can Change the World is no beach read, but it gave us plenty of food for thought and might do the same for you, as did Gospel Meditations for Missions.

» Share your suggestions with other readers on our website.

ARTICLE: Ramadan, an Opportunity

Source: SBC International Mission Board

With more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, you are likely to be around Muslims at work, at school, or in your community. Your attitude toward them could be a determining factor in their openness to the gospel. Will you take the opportunity of Ramadan to reach out to your Muslim neighbors?

Ten Practical Ways to Reach Out

  1. Prepare a bag of dates and nuts to pass out to Muslim neighbors right before sunset and introduce yourself.
  2. Visit a mosque in your city with a friend.
  3. Fast and pray each Friday throughout the month of Ramadan.
  4. Ask a Muslim neighbor or friend about Ramadan.
  5. Invite some international Muslim students from a local college or university to your house to break the fast one night.
  6. The “Night of Power” falls on July 13. Plan to stay awake through the night with other believers praying for Muslims.
  7. Prayerwalk a neighborhood that has a significant Muslim population.
  8. Go to an evening meal at a Muslim family’s house.
  9. Visit and eat at a Muslim-owned restaurant that is offering the evening meal.
  10. Make plans to connect with Muslims you have met after Ramadan.

» Read and/or share the rest of this article, an excerpt from RAMADAN: An Opportunity. Download the complete prayer guide to gain an understanding of what Muslims believe and learn how to effectively pray and share the gospel with them.

» See also the widely distributed 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.

SURVEY: Effective Mobilization

Source: Launch Survey

Long-time mission mobilizer John McVay and a few others are exploring what it would take to effectively launch more people into long-term global service. They need our help!

If you are currently serving in an international, long-term mission capacity (or have done so in the past), would you be willing to participate in a survey about your journey to the field?

  • Questions are multiple choice or require brief answers.
  • The survey should take about 10 minutes.
  • The survey uses a secure website and avoids terminology that could endanger those serving in sensitive locations.
  • Participants can fill it out anonymously or provide an email address to get the survey results.

If you serve on a team or through a sending agency, could you invite your colleagues to take it too? Even if you aren’t serving overseas, please consider forwarding this email or sharing the link with others you know. Please contact johnmcvay@gmail.com if you have questions or comments.

Your participation could help raise up a new generation of global servants!

» To get started, just go to launchsurvey.org.

TRAINING: Zwemer Center

Source: Columbia International University

Have you heard about the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies? Since 1979 they’ve been equipping Christians to reach out to Muslims.

Now they’re also making many resources available online. The new virtual Zwemer Center is live at Zwemercenter.com. Designed to train Christians to understand Islam and build relationships with Muslims for the purpose of an effective witness in the model of Samuel Zwemer, the site offers an online Masters Degree in Muslim Studies, non-degree certificate-level courses, and church training modules. It also includes articles and podcasts by prominent scholars and missiologists as well as practical training guides.

The Zwemer Center is a part of the College of Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University, which for 90 years has been educating students from a biblical worldview to reach the nations for Jesus Christ.

» Learn more. Editor’s note: As I’m pursuing a CIU degree myself (part of the upcoming move to South Carolina), I’ve taken several Zwemer classes in the last few years and found them very helpful.