What would you change? | Resource Reviews


From Forest Hills Church in Charlotte, North Carolina: Watch this reminder that we have much to be thankful for.

  1. SURVEY: Missions Catalyst in 2018
  2. ONLINE TRAINING: Building Bridges with English
  3. BOOK: The Advent of Relationship
  4. CLASSES: Perspectives Intensives
  5. PODCAST: What’s Happening in Missions Today?
  6. DECEMBER EVENTS: A Conference, a Convention, and More

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SURVEY: Missions Catalyst in 2018

Greetings, readers! We’re thankful for the chance to serve you and grateful to our families and colleagues who continue to give us the freedom to keep this thing rolling. Much thanks!

Quick question for you as we head into the last month of 2017:

What’s one thing you would have us change about Missions Catalyst to make it more helpful to you in 2018?


ONLINE TRAINING: Building Bridges with English

Source: ECFA ReachGlobal

Need ESL training? Building Bridges with English might be just what you need. This 25-hour course is geared toward missionaries, volunteers in church-based ESL programs in the US, and Christians who have a heart for reaching out by tutoring English. The four-week course (with orientation the week preceding) is facilitated by ESL professionals. Most find the course requires 4-6 hours per week.

The course includes audio, video, interactive lessons, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, readings, online discussions, and practical application assignments. Participants also have access to a library of ESL resources with hundreds of free tips, ideas, lesson plans, worksheets, templates, and even a number of free, downloadable books and teaching manuals.

The next course offering will be January 15 to February 18, 2018.

» Learn more or register for the course. The cost is US$75.

BOOK: The Advent of Relationship

AdventSource: Peregrini Press

The Advent of Relationship, by T.J. MacLeslie. Peregrini Press, 2017. 66 pages.

“Have you ever been alienated from a loved one? Have you ever been estranged from a friend? Have you experienced separation where you desire connection, distance where you want closeness?

“I have. I have experienced geographic distance, as I have lived across the sea from my family and friends. But I have also known what it is to be physically close but a million miles away in the heart.

“Relationship is the root and trunk of the universe. God designed and created us for life with him. We are hard-wired for relationship. But we messed up. Both corporately and individually we have made mistakes (some of them willful) that have broken our relationship with the Community that is our Trinitarian God.”

  • In what areas of your life are you aware of God’s nearness?
  • How might you cultivate broader and deeper awareness of him?
  • As you approach Advent, is there anyone with whom you need to seek reconciliation?

T.J. MacLeslie is the author of several books we’ve highlighted here before. This one is a devotional which includes only glancing references to cross-cultural ministry. I think, however, you’ll appreciate its portrayal of many of the dynamics of walking with the God who took on flesh… and living out our faith in relationships.

» Purchase The Advent of Relationship from Amazon for US$5.99 (paperback) or US$2.99 (Kindle) to read and meditate on alone or with others during the Advent season.

» For something a little lighter to do with your kids, download Kate & Mack’s 12 Days of Christmas and learn how 12 different countries celebrate (Wycliffe Bible Translators). It’s free but requires registration.

PODCAST: What’s Happening in Missions Today?

Source: Global Missions Podcast

Got 25 minutes for a podcast? The November 7 edition of the Global Missions Pocast features Ted Esler of Missio Nexus providing an overview of how the North American church is participating in missions. He highlights three major trends and gives advice about how to respond.

» Listen to the podcast or skim the show notes. See also the North American Mission Handbook (reviewed in our October edition).

CLASSES: Perspectives Intensives

Source: UnMissions.net Events Calendar

“So you have always wanted to take the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class but could never make it work out with your schedule. It always happened to be on a night of the week which wouldn’t work,” write mission advocates Joe Steinitz and Dave Shive of unmissions.net. “How about cramming a semester’s worth of Perspectives into one week?”

“You can still do the reading before and after the class itself, but you’ll have one week exposure to multiple teachers. Definitely worth the investment. Great for pastors, missionaries, and others who can’t make it to a weekly class spread over four months.”

Upcoming intensives will be offered in Pennsylvania (January 7-13), Florida (March 4-10), and Texas (July 22-28).

» Check out these classes. About 160 regular 15-week classes launch across the US in January. Online classes start throughout the year.

» Kairos, too, is offering one-week intensives, this winter in North Carolina (January 3-10) and Kentucky (January 15-19), as well as classes in Spanish and Korean. And don’t forget PathWays to Global Understanding, though their website doesn’t list 2018 courses yet.

EVENTS: A Conference, a Convention, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

December 5-7, Finishing the Task Conference (Lake Forest, CA, USA).

December 7, The Porn Phenomenon and Its Potential Impace on Mission Recruitment and Retention (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

December 12-13, Support Raising Bootcamp (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

December 17, Mobilizing the Church for the World (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

December 26-29, Chinese Mission Convention (Ontario, CA, USA). An annual gathering.

» View the complete calendar. We’re posting more and more 2018 listings now. Please let us know about mistakes or omissions. For more about a specific event, though, you should contact the event organizers.

World News Briefs


Filmed in six languages across five continents, this short film captures the faith-filled thoughts of children as they contemplate the attributes of God.

In this issue:

  1. IRAN/IRAQ: Deadly Earthquake Strikes
  2. LEBANON: Prime Minister Resigns, Future Uncertain
  3. EAST ASIA: Artist Escapes from the Buddhist Wheel of Life
  4. WORLD: Latest Figures on Bible Translation
  5. SUDAN: Through the Eyes of a Persecuted Pastor

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Did you watch Like a Child, the new short film from Moving Works? Amazing what profound thoughts can be communicated by children, and here in only two and a half minutes. You might like to use this (possibly with the related discussion guide) for Universal Children’s Day, observed each year on November 20. See Universal Children’s Day: A Reason to Listen (World Vision).

Our friends at SAT-7 just finished a week of prayer for children in the Middle East. They produced short video clips on equipping children in seven important ways. Take a look.


IRAN/IRAQ: Deadly Earthquake Strikes

Source: Open Doors, November 13, 2017

More than 400 people have been killed and 7,000 injured in an earthquake that struck along the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, November 12. Officials are calling it the deadliest earthquake in the world in 2017. The BBC reported that teams are looking for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. The death toll is expected to rise.

The earthquake struck late Sunday night, sending terrified residents fleeing their homes into the streets. The US Geological Survey said the epicenter was 19 miles outside the Iraqi city of Halabja.

Authorities in Iran and Iraq have initiated rescue operations. According to Iran’s semi state-run Tasnim news agency, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were reportedly traveling to the affected areas to help with rescue efforts. On Monday, Iran declared three days of mourning.

Fatalities of the quake have already exceeded September’s Mexico City earthquake, in which 369 people were killed.

Please pray:

  1. For the western Iranian town of Sarpol-e-Zahab where more than 100 people have been killed.
  2. For grieving families and friends who have lost parents, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters in the quake. Pray that those who don’t know God would feel his comfort and presence and come to know him as their Savior.
  3. For healing and medical care for the more than 7,000 people injured in the earthquake. Pray for strength and knowledge for medical workers and other first responders who are assisting with rescue efforts. Pray that more people would be rescued in the days ahead.
  4. For believers in these areas as they look for ways to show Christ to the families of victims and pray for the wounded.
  5. For organizations mobilizing to provide shelter, food, and clean water to families who have lost their homes.
  6. For the quick restoration of running water and electricity in the cities across the Iran/Iraq mountainous border that were hit hardest.
  7. For the Iraqi and Iranian people in these border areas. Pray for them in the months ahead as they begin recovery and the difficult process of rebuilding homes and lives from the rubble.

» Read full story and 15 Specific Prayers for God’s Work in Iraq.

» Also read Talk about Jesus to Me: Revival in Iran (PE News).

LEBANON: Prime Minister Resigns, Future Uncertain

Source: INcontext International, November 2017

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly resigned on Saturday, November 4, during a trip to Saudi Arabia, saying his life was under threat. His sudden departure creates a leadership vacuum in an already politically divided country. He accused Iran of meddling in the region, causing “devastation and chaos.” He went on to say: “Iran controls the region and the decision-making in both Syria and Iraq. I want to tell Iran and its followers that it will lose in its interventions in the internal affairs of Arab countries.”

Iran has refuted these allegations. Mr. Hariri’s resignation is seen by others in the region as orchestrated by his patrons, the Saudis, to isolate Hezbollah by collapsing Lebanon’s national unity government, which included both Hezbollah and Mr. Hariri’s Sunni faction.

There are growing fears that Lebanon could become another battleground for the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as war-torn Syria has been in recent years. This small, yet strategic Mediterranean country could face economic collapse or even conflict if a quick resolution to the current crisis is not found.

Lebanon currently hosts approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees who now, together with the 5 million Lebanese, face an uncertain future.

Please join us in praying for Lebanon.

“God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope” (from Hosea 2:15).

» Read full story.

» Also read A Call to Prayer for Lebanon, which includes links to a variety of news stories (Lebanese Society for Educational & Social Development).