In This Issue: Interviews with Ministry and Development Leaders
- RESOURCES: Praying for Muslims
- PODCAST: Interviews with Ministry and Development Leaders
- BOOK: No Longer a Slumdog
- BOOK: Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool
- EVENTS: Conferences and Conversations
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!
RESOURCES: Praying for Muslims
Source: The 30-Days Prayer Network
This year the month of August coincides with the Ramadan fast – a great time to join millions of Christians around the world in praying for the Muslim world. It’s been going on for 20 years now.
1. If you want to order copies of the 52-page prayer guide, act quickly. The 2011 edition has been translated into 40+ languages available from 30+ distribution centers. A PDF of the Spanish edition is now available for free download, and closer to August the English edition should be as well. This would be a great tool to use with your church, family, or small group. Additional materials are available just for kids.
2. You can join the mailing list for daily emails during the 30 days of prayer. Though based on the booklet text, they are shorter and easier to share with others. That’s what I’ve found most helpful in recent years.
3. Would a one-page flier work just as well for your purposes? See 30 Days of Prayer for Busy Christians on the Go. You might want to print out copies for your whole church and distribute them on Sunday, July 31.
>> Learn more and find other materials at 30-Days.
PODCAST: Interviews with Ministry and Development Leaders
Source: Ministry Spotlight
I just listened to a 19-minute interview with Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts. Ministry Spotlight highlights interviews on a number of interesting topics through an ongoing podcast available on their website or through iTunes. Hear leaders talk about short-term missions, global leadership training, partnering with the local church, and more.
>> Please feel free to comment on our website about other podcasts you’ve found helpful.
BOOK: No Longer a Slumdog
Source: Gospel for Asia
No Longer a Slumdog: Bringing Hope to Children in Crisis, by K.P. Yohannan. Carollton, TX: GFA Books, 2011. 166 pages.
Many readers will recognize the name of K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of the ministry Gospel for Asia. His widely circulated book Revolution in World Mission told his personal story and made a strong case for a shift of Western mission resources toward the support of native missionaries. This was especially controversial at the time of its first publication, but Revolution helped many Western Christians reconsider both mission strategies and their own spending and lifestyle choices.
No Longer a Slumdog tells the stories of children. It uses research and anecdotes to paint a picture of the atrocities suffered by South Asia’s poorest children, particularly India’s Dalits. It tells stories about girls like Asha, one of the 11 million Indian children abandoned by their parents, and boys like Nadish, one of India’s 50 million child laborers – both rescued and given new life through GFA’s Bridge of Hope Centers.
The only potential controversies I picked up on in Slumdog were some tendencies to vilify high-caste Hindus and to motivate believers through guilt. It calls the reader to identify with the poor and compare the lives of Dalit children to those of their own children, letting their hearts be broken by the contrast and responding with both compassion and action.
It appears that the chief purpose of the book is to inspire and inform support for the Bridge of Hope Centers. Currently they serve 60,000 children but hope to expand and serve at least 500,000. Supporters can sponsor a child connected with this program for US$28/month.
This push toward a specific ministry may lessen the appeal of Slumdog for some readers, though if you can get past that this book may be a helpful resource for anyone committed to advocacy for the poor. And, after all, it is free.
>> Learn more and/or request a free copy from GFA by mail. If you ask for a paperback copy you will also be given the opportunity to download an electronic version. Other free resources from GFA include a practical, four-page document called Guidelines for Effective Prayer Meetings.
>> Interested in learning more about the lives of at-risk children? Check out Red Card. Our friend Karen Hardin, one of the creators of that curriculum, recently updated her lists of recommended books and films.
BOOK: Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool
Source: BottomLine Media
Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool, by T.J. MacLeslie. Orlando, FL: BottomLine Media, 2011. 163 pages.
In this memoir cross-cultural worker T.J. MacLeslie takes us on his journey through rebellion, moral failure, ministry fruitfulness, and struggles with God along the way.
No missionary hagiography, Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool paints a picture of a young man who vacillates between immorality and obedience and between pride and surrender. MacLeslie openly shares struggles with his family, churches, other missionaries, and ministry organizations with more honesty and transparency than we usually see in a missionary biography. He writes about abuse, addiction, spiritual warfare, personal healing, hearing God’s voice, and more.
This book reveals the author’s heart and his experience with the heart of God. It holds some gems.
EVENTS: Conferences and Conversations
We recently added half a dozen items to our calendar:
September 23 to 25 – Desiring God National Conference (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Theme: “Finish the mission: for the joy of all peoples bringing the gospel to the unreached and unengaged.”
October 10 to 14 – Training: Experience Bible Storying (Orlando, FL, USA). From StoryRunners. Designed to help you unleash the power of Bible storying in your ministry.
October 12 to 15 – Forum: The Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders (Green Lake, WI, USA). An annual conversation on the role of short-term mission leadership in global missions.
October 20 to 22 – “Ignite”: North American Central Asia Forum (Muskegon, MI, USA). A gathering of networks, partnerships, organizations, and individuals from throughout North America to focus on ministry in Central Asia.
October 28 to 29 – Conference: Engage 2011 (Brentwood, CA, USA). A two-day conference for churches throughout Northern and Central California. Featuring Jason Mandryk, Ken Silva, and Todd Ahrend.
November 30 to December 2 – Personnel Conference (Rockville, VA). An annual event for mission agency leaders, jointly sponsored by CrossGlobal Link and The Mission Exchange. Theme: “Strengthening the soul of missions.”
>> Take a look at the Missions Catalyst Events Calendar and help us populate it!
Marti Smith is a writer, speaker, and project manager for Pioneers. Since the mid-90′s she has helped prepare cultural research teams and sent them out to explore unreached communities and mobilize efforts to serve these groups. Marti manages and publishes Missions Catalyst and is the author of Through Her Eyes, a book about the lives of missionary women in the Muslim world.