Podcast: Five Joshua Project Tools to Help You Mobilize

Source: Gospel Mobilization Podcast

How many people groups are there in the world, and what do people need to know about them to take action? Hear about what’s happening at Joshua Project (including a big change in the works) and how you can best use the tools they provide. Chris Clayman, now the Executive Director, has some fun and inspiring stories to tell.

Listen to the episode. Also from Gospel Mobilization: Check out the mobilization continuum—a tool you could use to help someone express their posture toward world mission.

By the way, about 1,000 people have taken the Joshua Project Survey. Got five minutes? They especially want to hear from missiologists and mission educators, researchers, prayer coordinators, strategists, and tech workers.

If mission data is what you do, it’s not to late to sign up for the Mission Information Workers Conference (see calendar item below).

Data: Disasters, Displacement, and Synchronized Baptisms

Sources: Various

  1. Wonder how often a major earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption happens? See the Days Since Incident dashboard (via Justin Long). Fun, in a dark sort of way, if you live in a region bracing for the next “Big One.”
  2. Did you know the number of internally displaced people has grown 50% in the last five years? So says the International Displacement Centre in a recent report. That’s a new record and reflects a lot of people in need; more than 75 million. How can we respond?
  3. More than 12,000 people were baptized over two days in what Baptize California organizers say is America’s largest baptism ever. They also announced plans for another event, Baptize America, scheduled for Pentecost Sunday, 2025. Look for a variety of reports online.

Events: Missions Conferences and More in June

June 2-28, Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life and Ministry (Union Mills, NC, USA). Followed by a Field Security Seminar and a Language Learning Accelerator course, all from the Center for Intercultural Training.

June 3-5, Mission Information Workers Conference (online). Accelerate the development of mission information and the mission information community.

June 3 to August 6, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly.

June 5-6, The Mobilized Church (Denver, CO, USA). Discover keys to unlocking your church’s mission potential; offered several times a year by Sixteen:Fifteen.

June 6-8, ACMI Virtual Conference (online). An annual event for people ministering among international students. From the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals.

June 22-23, Mission Agency Consultation (Littleton, CO, USA). Workshop for organizational leaders provided by Sixteen:Fifteen.

June 14-16, Rethinking Forum (Philadelphia, PA, USA and online). Hosted by the MARG Network for people who share both a love for Jesus and a love for Hindu people. This one’s been going for 20+ years now. Come early for meetings focused on Indian international student ministry, June 13.

June 17-21, Abide Debriefing (Joplin, MO, USA). Help for moving forward with hope and momentum; from TRAIN International (held multiple times a year; also June 24-28, July 22-26 and July 20 to August 2).

June 18, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer For Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held on the third Tuesday of each month.

June 19-29, Breathe (Wilderswil, Switzerland). A retreat for mission workers offered annually by Catalyst International.

June 20, World Refugee Day (international). Many churches observe this with prayer on the Sunday before or after.

June 20, Launching Collaboration in the People Care & Development Community (online). From Missio Nexus.

June 25-27, Safe Travel in Risky Environments (Laurens, SC, USA). Security training for missionaries from Morton Executive Decisions.

June 27, The Ethical Edge—Leveraging AI for Authentic Content Strategy and Creation (online). Peer2Peer webinar for marketing and communications professionals from Missio Nexus.

June 28 to July 1, Field Security Seminar (Union Mills, NC, USA). Provided by Crisis Consulting International.

June 29, Day of the Christian Martyr (international). An annual event from Voice of the Martyrs.

June 30 to July 6, Wilderness Reboot (Blue Bronna, Alberta, Canada). Re-entry retreat for MKs/TCKs (aged 21-35) navigating the ongoing re-entry into Canadian society; an event for teens (17-20) will be held in August.

View the complete calendar. Submissions welcome.

Pentecost Miracle in Madagascar & Revival in the Caribbean

In this edition:

  1. Editor’s Note: Resurrected Welsh Hymns and Multi-Cultural Worship
  2. India and Nigeria: Representing the Ends of the Earth
  3. Madagascar: A Pentecost Miracle
  4. Dominican Republic: Seeking Revival in the Cradle of the Americas
  5. Bhutan: A Pastor Is Imprisoned and His Family Needs Help

Read or share the email edition.

Header image from Nigeria from Unknown Nations, via Mission Network News.

Resurrected Welsh Hymns & Multi-Cultural Worship

Greetings!

This story might make Heaven’s headlines: “Cancelled” Welsh hymns on mental illness and addiction resurrected by singer (The Guardian). Lleuwen Steffan is performing these lost Welsh hymns—which also speak to concerns of our day—in chapels throughout Wales. I am fascinated and can’t wait for the English translations! Learn more.

Also, thanks to Global Christian Worship for highlighting the multi-cultural, Jesus-centered worshiping community Proskuneo Ministries, which gets its name from the Greek word for worship. The timing of the discovery was God’s gift to me as I plan for Pentecost Sunday (also International Day for the Unreached) this Sunday, May 19. Watch some of them perform The Blessing in English, Spanish, and Korean below and scroll through the playlist for more great worship.

Pat Noble

India and Nigeria: Representing the Ends of the Earth

Source: Mission Network News, May 9, 2024

Only [days] remain until the International Day for the Unreached! A third of the world’s population is still waiting to hear the good news about Jesus, but you can help change that.

Unknown Nations’ Greg Kelley, a member of the Alliance for the Unreached, says awareness is the first step.

For example, “We need to become more aware of India and Nigeria because of how strategic they are from the Kingdom standpoint,” Kelley says. “You can make a case that India and Nigeria are representative—more so than any other country in Asia and Africa—for the ends of the earth. Yet most Christians don’t think that way.”

Why start with these two countries? First of all, “There’s no country in the continent of Asia that has more people groups than India, and more unreached people groups, just like Nigeria is to Africa,” Kelley says.

Read the full story and learn about Alliance for the Unreached. You can access more IDU materials from their website.

See also Why Are the Unreached Unreached? (The Mission Podcast).

Madagascar: A Pentecost Miracle

Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators, May 3, 2024

[Translation consultant] Olivia Razafinjatoniary was asked to lead door-to-door evangelism efforts in a Tsimihety community in Madagascar, sharing the gospel with people there [at the time the newly translated Tsimihety Bible was dedicated]. But there was one issue: Olivia was from another region and didn’t speak any Tsimihety.

As Olivia knocked on the door to a house, she encountered a woman who was initially resistant to the gospel message. But neither the woman nor Olivia had any idea that God was about to do something incredible.

Read the story and watch a three-minute video (also below).

You might also be encouraged to hear about a church born in a camp for the displaced in Myanmar after audio Bibles were distributed there (Unknown Nations).

Dominican Republic: Seeking Revival in the Cradle of the Americas

Source: Haggai International, May 9, 2024

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the south, the Dominican Republic is known for its beaches, historic sites, and merengue music. Also called the Cradle of the Americas, this region hosted one of the earliest known Mesoamerican civilizations, the Olmecs. But a lesser-known fact is that the Dominican Republic is the only country with a Bible on its flag.

With this heritage of faith evident in his country, Haggai leader Roberto Peña is committed to continue sharing the gospel through preaching, teaching, and equipping new leaders. As the senior pastor of a church in Santo Domingo, he says, “We have reached hundreds of people in the last year through different evangelical campaigns. …This is a great time when the church of Jesus needs to be prepared for the great revival that is coming.”

The full story briefly mentions ways this ministry is reaching people beyond the Dominican Republic (in the Middle East!)

You might also be interested in a story from neighboring Haiti, where a young man has become MAF’s first Haitian pilot/mechanic (Mission Network News).

Bhutan: A Pastor Is Imprisoned and His Family Needs Help

Source: Back to Jerusalem, April 3, 2024

“One of our brothers has been thrown in prison,” Pastor Anil (not his real name) reported on Monday. “Please pray for him. His family has no other way to get support.”

Bhutan’s ruling Drukpa people are 100% unreached and strictly enforce the Buddhist religion. “The government does not want to say that they put him in jail for being a Christian, so they made up charges against him,” Pastor Anil said. Pastor Anil is one of the few Drukpa Christians in Bhutan and is in charge of a nationwide fellowship.

The pastor has a daughter who is currently in school. With her father in prison, she has no way to pay for tuition.

Read the full story. BTJ has a scholarship fund to help the children of persecuted pastors.

Did you know? Many Buddhists observe Buddha’s birthday today (May 15). Learn how Buddhists in different countries celebrate and why they do so on different days (AP/RNS) and, to join Christians who want to see the Buddhist world transformed, watch or listen to the Change the Map podcast.

Been There. Done That. Now What?

Mission Opportunities for People Who Used to Go Places

By Marti Wade

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Schools are out or soon will be. And many in the mission world are pulling out their suitcases for a journey overseas, perhaps with others from their church, a short-term team in tow, or an important mission to complete.

That’s not me. My passport expired a while back. When I was young and single, I went abroad about once a year. And I was single a lot longer than many of you. Now, though, I have less energy and fewer opportunities come my way. I’ve been there, done that, and even if I’d like to go again, I don’t see how I can justify taking the place of someone who may have more to give and not had such privileges in the past. So, I stay home and just read about other cultures.

Yet, this choice brings on some troubling trends. My skills and confidence for navigating actual, in-person, cross-cultural situations have atrophied like unused muscles. Living through a pandemic and working from home for years have also taken a toll. What to do?

Maybe some of you are in the same boat. Or perhaps you know others whose hands-on cross-cultural ministry experience is becoming ancient history, something they used to do, maybe before mortgages, gardens, and grandkids. I think our churches have more than a few like this.

How can we find and offer the middle-aged a way back into more active roles? I’ve got a few thoughts. Some might also work for those who are new to missions. What would you add? If enough of you send me more ideas, I’ll shape them into a part two.

Thanks for reading.

Three Ways to Reengage in Missions

1. Visit a friend

If you used to do missions, you probably know someone in another country, someone you’d love to see in person again, encourage and learn from. What about a visit? Maybe they’ve said, never expecting a response, “You should come see us sometime!” Reach out. Bring it up. Explore how that could work. Maybe they have a job for you to do, but perhaps they just need a friend. If you have numerous missionary contacts or friends in other places, contact several and see who responds. Then, make a plan. Renew that passport and save up money or frequent-flier miles.

If you’re a church mission leader, think about who in your church could get on a plane and be a blessing to a worker or ministry you support. Talk to them about going, maybe with some help and direction from the church.

Read The Special Role of a Missionary Friend or In-Person Care (Catalyst Services).

2. Be a more active advocate.

Maybe you can’t make that international trip, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit on your hands at home. Buy a go-er a coffee and ask how you can be a bigger help and part of what they’re doing. Pray with and encourage them. Brainstorm about a problem they need to solve. Offer to host or organize a gathering or represent their needs when they are gone.

You may also have relevant experience or connections to share. Perhaps you can help missionaries-in-the-making grow in practical skills. See, from our archives, What World Travelers Should Know Before They Go. Church mission leaders, as you get to know candidates, look for ways to encourage such connections.

To make a stronger contribution, link arms with others. Read Revisiting Advocate Teams (Catalyst Services).

3. Invite the world in.

Many middle-aged missionaries will tell you they first got interested because they heard a missionary speak at church or met missionary families Mom and Dad invited to their house for dinner. Both may be less common in today’s culture. So, be counter-cultural. Find out when a missionary will be in town and send them a note about getting together. Do they need a place to stay? Offer them hospitality.

And what about hosting a neighbor from another culture, like having an international student or an immigrant family join you for a holiday? Contact local cross-cultural ministries or student exchange programs or talk to your church about needs and opportunities.

You might start small. But ask the Lord to show you if you could play a long-term role as a “welcomer” through sponsoring refugees, teaching English, or hosting an exchange student. Church leaders, share opportunities like that with people in your congregation. You might be surprised who responds.

See befriending the bewildered (Pioneers) or learn how to become a friendship partner to an international student (ISI).

Conclusion

You may have many more ideas or stories from your own experience. I hope you do. I’d love to hear them.

To get the creative juices flowing, you might check out an article I found deep in the Missions Catalyst archives: 21 Easy Ways to Introduce Your Friends to the Nations or read Adopt an International Restaurant (Pioneers-USA).

Header image: Paul Nelham/Flikr