CHINA: A Vision to Send 20,000 Chinese Missionaries

Source: Lausanne Movement, October 26, 2015

The first Mission China 2030 Conference was convened in Hong Kong on September 28 to October 1 and attended by 900 participants from mainland China. The Mission China 2030 vision is for China to send out 20,000 missionaries by the year 2030. Two hundred missionary commitments were made as the first step toward fulfilling this vision.

The Mission China 2030 vision was catalyzed by two main gatherings, the Third Lausanne Congress (Cape Town, 2010) and the Asian Church Leaders Forum (Seoul, 2013). Two hundred Chinese Christian leaders were invited to the Third Lausanne Congress, but were unable to attend.

Plans were made to invite them to a separate gathering in 2013, the Asian Church Leaders Forum (ACLF). It was at the Asian Church Leaders Forum that Rev. Daniel Jin (Executive Director of Mission China Today magazine) urged the Chinese church to work and pray to see 20,000 missionaries sent out from China by 2030.

“Over the last 200 years, since the days of the earliest British pioneer Robert Morrison, some 20,000 missionaries have served in China.” There was, he said, “a gospel debt to pay off.”

» Read full story. Lausanne asks us to pray for  those who made these first 200 missionary commitments.

NORTH AFRICA: Monsieur Mouton and MicroSD Cards

Source: Scott A., Mobile Ministry Forum, October 30, 2015

I love farm animals. There are sheep, goats, horses, and cows in my area (North Africa), and quite a few of each in my neighborhood. I try to go jogging every day I can, and there are trees with big leaves along the way that the sheep and goats just love—these leaves are like candy to them. I’ll pull off a lot of big leaves and I know where all the sheep and goats live, and they anxiously await my arrival for their treats. I am known throughout our neighborhood to the locals as “Monsieur Mouton” (Mr. Sheep).

It is Tabaski season right now, when the locals celebrate Abraham’s supposed sacrifice of Ishmael. A ram without defect must be sacrificed during the holiday to purify and redeem the family. A partner organization here makes microSD audio cards with special messages for the local people that is appropriate for Tabaski but introduces them to Jesus. These little cards come with an adapter that allows them to be used in a radio and computer as well as a cell phone. I picked up a bunch of these from a missionary friend in three of the local languages here and handed them out to the guards, merchants, and others along my way.

There is a Malian carpenter with two rams tied up in the back that I visit regularly. I gave the Malian an SD card this past Thursday. When I stopped in Friday, he rushed up to me and said that he’d sat up until 1:00am listening to the messages. Later on that morning, he’d called all his friends in and they all listened to the gospel message over his radio! He then told me that he is anxious to take the radio to the village where he can share the message in the village.

» Read full story.

WORLD: Responding to Syrian Refugees

Source: various via Pat Noble

I was asked by leaders of my church to find a way for us to get involved helping the Syrian refugees. On my quest I found some resources you might find useful, too.

A Trickle of Syrian Refugees Settles Across the United States is an interactive article with maps and charts from the New York Times. A Christian Response to the Refugee Crisis in Europe  is a report from the International Association for Refugees. See also a dozen short videos compiled by a fellow member of the COMMA network:

  1. Little girl celebrating her birthday in Syria and then as a refugee (Save the Children, 1:33 minutes)
  2. Freezing and Fighting for Aid: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (VICE News, 17:50 minutes)
  3. Syrian refugees: women fleeing domestic violence (Channel 4 News, 7:04 minutes)
  4. Refugee Crisis: The End of Innocence in Hungary, short documentary describing the refugee journey (Channel 4 News, 3:56 minutes)
  5. The British family helping thousands of refugees on Lesbos (Channel 4 News, 8:07 minutes)
  6. Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, about Syrian women and children living on the streets in Lebanon (MiraH, 6:11 minutes)
  7. Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: A Harsh Reality, promotional video for effort providing humanitarian aid to Syrian women and children (Caritas Lebanon, 7:16 minutes)
  8. Syrian Refugee Appeal Video for Churches, promotional video with prayer for the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe (Viva Worldwide, 3:40 minutes)
  9. Hadath Baptist Church: Syrian Refugee Response, prayer video for Syrian refugees (Hadath Baptist Church in Lebanon, 3:55 minutes)
  10. Rescue For Refugees: A Christian Response, testimonies of Christians in the Middle East during the Syrian/Iraqi crisis (Samaritan’s Purse, 12:04 minutes)
  11. Escaping War: Refugees in Europe, highlighting humanitarian response (Samaritan’s Purse, 4:06 minutes)
  12. The Rising Tide: Europe Refugee Crisis, video showing the state of Syrian refugees taking boats to Greece (Samaritan’s Purse, 5:55 minutes)

» See also: Syrian Migrant Family in Limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (BBC).

PAKISTAN: NGO Tackles Anti-Christian Prejudice

Source: World Watch Monitor, November 2, 2015

A program organized by Bargad, Pakistan’s biggest NGO for youth development, is attempting to tackle the social stigma Christians face from the word used in the Constitution for them.

The Urdu “Isai” (derived from the Arabic word for Jesus used in the Qur’an) now carries strong overtones—from colonial times—with the “unclean” demeaning occupations done by the lowest castes. [The word is also used for laborer and sweeper.] This use of language feeds the narrative which makes Christians feel like second-class citizens in today’s society.

On October 8 in Lahore, more than 500 Muslim students took an oath that they would not call Christians “Isai,” but would use the word “Masihi” (Messiah), which Pakistani Christians prefer as a positive identity for themselves.

The program is part of Bargad’s Green for White campaign. The green of the Pakistan flag represents the Muslim majority and the white, the non-Muslim minority. The campaign is thus to motivate Muslims to support religious minorities, who in recent years have become the target of religiously motivated discrimination, prejudice, stereotyping, and violence.

The students, from various parts of the country, also promised to carry this message to at least 100 other people.

» Full story with further background on this issue and pictures.

Resource Reviews

Missions-Catalyst-no-tagline_largeIn This Issue

  1. ACTIVITY: What William Carey Recommends
  2. BOOK: Letters from Global Mission Leaders
  3. PODCAST: EMQ Audio
  4. ARTICLE: Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background
  5. TRAINING: Crisis Preparedness
  6. EVENTS: Upcoming Classes and Conferences

Dear Readers,

At first glance, this month’s Resource Reviews seem primarily for those who work in the missions “industry.” But if that’s not you, please take a second look. Is there someone you know who needs this resource? Or can it help you better understand the world in which your friend or colleague works? We hope you’ll find something here that you can use!

Marti Wade

FAMILY ACTIVITY: What William Carey Recommends

Source: Weave

Have little ones? Desire to know the will of God for your family? Take 15 minutes with your kids and the tools William Carey recommends to have a discussion about God’s will for the world.

» See The Father of Modern Missions: From Fixing Soles to Saving Souls.» See also Is My Name in There? on teaching your children they are part of God’s story.

BOOK: Letters from Global Mission Leaders

Source: Peregrini Press

Forged on the Field: Letters from Global Mission Leaders, edited by T.J. MacLeslie. Peregrini Press, 2015. 253 pages.

Imagine yourself at a mission leadership conference. You are surrounded by hundreds of mission leaders from diverse contexts all over the world. There is no way you would have the time to spend even a few minutes with each person at the conference. In this book, in a sense, you can.

Forged on the Field presents more than 70 letters from global mission team leaders writing to inspire, encourage, and train new team leaders. Contributors share lessons learned (mostly the hard way), answer the “what do you wish you’d known?” question, and more. A majority (but not all) of the letters were submitted by leaders of church planting teams with MacLeslie’s organization (mine, too), which is Pioneers. Most, though, seem aware they are writing to a broader audience.

Books on leadership abound, but few speak directly to the concerns of those who lead mission teams in cross-cultural contexts or give such leaders a voice. So this is a unique book, and I found it to be a treasure. It’s also intended to be the first in a series of similarly structured “field notes,” one volume a year, with advice for prospective missionaries, perspectives on preparation, and suggestions for workers re-entering their own cultures. I’m looking forward to volume 2.

» Learn more or buy the book from Amazon or elsewhere. The paperback is US$16.99 and the Kindle edition US$9.99.


Source: Evangelical Missions Quarterly

“For years, I have been dreaming that we would be able to make portions of EMQ available for free, especially for those who are unable to pay for the subscription cost,” explains Laurie Nichols, managing editor of that helpful magazine. “I am so excited to announce that we are now offering EMQ Audio, 35-minute podcasts which include interviews with EMQ authors expanding on the articles they wrote in EMQ.”

Episode 2 includes both an interview with John Jay Travis (originator of the much debated “C-Spectrum”) on “C1-C6 Spectrum after 15 Years” and one with Warrick Farah and Kyle Meeker on “W-Spectrum: Worker Paradigms in Muslim Contexts.” These two related articles were published in the October 2015 issue of EMQ. You will find this conversation helpful if you work with Muslims or support those who do.

» Listen to the free podcast or access it through iTunes by searching for “EMQonline.”

» I’d also encourage you to consider a subscription to Evangelical Missions Quarterly. A print subscription is US$36.95/year, but for US$24.95/year you can read it online and have access to 50 years of fully searchable archives.

ARTICLE: Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background

Source: Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, Institute for Study of Religion, Baylor University

Since the 1960s, there has been a substantial increase in the number of known conversions from Islam to Christianity. Most of these conversions have been to forms of evangelical or Pentecostal Christianity, but there have also been conversions to Catholic and Orthodox Christianity. Still other converts claim to remain in some way both Muslims and followers of Jesus.

“Global Consensus of Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background,” a 19-page article by Patrick Johnstone and Duane A. Miller, explains how they obtained estimates of the number of converts, the complexities involved in this task, and an annotated list of countries by continent with the estimated number of believers in Christ from a Muslim background. The article includes charts with maximal, minimal, and medium estimates of this population from 1960 to the present.

» Read the article. You’ll have to create an account, but the journal is free.

» We rejoice at what God has done and is doing among Muslims. But as the Lausanne Movement asks, Why has Christianity not been successful among Buddhist peoples? Thoughts?

TRAINING: Crisis Preparedness

Sources: Fort Sherman Academy, Crisis Consulting International

In today’s unpredictable world, many ministries, mission agencies, and other organizations are considering how well prepared they are to respond to crises. Several groups with experience in this area now offer web-based training that may interest local churches, short-term missionaries, and others who have not had easy access to training in the past.

Fort Sherman Academy has put together Safe Travel Solutions, a 15-session, video-based security training course previously available on DVD. Now it’s a subscription-based online course. Pricing starts at US$99/year for groups up to ten people.

Crisis Consulting International is just starting to move in this direction. Their first course, Security Orientation Level 1, covers travel security and personal safety and might be just what you need for training a short-term team. It costs US$35/person and will take each participant 60-90 minutes to complete.

You can still send your people to one of the security training events both organizations offer regularly. CCI will be providing a Crisis Management Seminar in Pennsylvania November 12-14.