Missions Catalyst

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World Missions News, Ideas, and Resources
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Praying Through Turkey, New Mission Articles & Upcoming Events

  1. Videos (and More): Praying for and Loving Muslims During Ramadan
  2. Booklet: 30 Days Through Turkey, Partnering in Prayer
  3. Book: Liturgies & Laments for the Sojourner
  4. Resource Roundup: New Mission Articles
  5. Stories From the Field: Celebrating African American Missionaries
  6. Events: Mission Conferences, Training, and More in April

Videos (and More): Pray for and Loving Muslims During Ramadan

Source: Prayercast and others

It’s Ramadan, and for many Christians, that means it’s time to pray for Muslims. Need a video for your church or small group? Prayercast has got you covered. Their “Love Muslims” collection has more than 130 videos. For the next month, they are sending out daily prayer emails featuring various videos and ways to pray.

Sign up now to join Prayercast’s Ramadan prayer challenge.

You can also browse the collection to find the video you want.

See also Encountering Jesus, a new Ramadan prayer guide from Frontiers (delivered by email), or consider using materials from pray30days.org or 30daysprayer.com. I’m also seeing prayer networks and mission teams set up their own prayer campaigns for this season. Pray4Movements lists more than 70 campaigns seeking 24-hour prayer coverage. Take a look.

Booklet: 30 Days Through Turkey, Partnering in Prayer

Source: International Turkey Network

Turkey—or Türkiye if you prefer—is no longer dominating news headlines. But the people of this country and neighboring Syria have suffered much and could use our prayers as they recover from the massive earthquakes in February.

In 2022, the International Turkey Network published an in-depth, 154-page, 30-day guide to praying for the nation’s seven regions. It’s available both digitally (US$1.99) and in paperback (US$4.99) with bulk discounts available.

Learn more or purchase. See also a related YouTube playlist of Turkish Christian worship songs with subtitles in many languages—a great chance to worship with the Church in Turkey.

Book: Liturgies & Laments for the Sojourner

Source: Liturgies for a Life Abroad

Liturgies and Laments for the Sojourner, Volume 1, by Alicia Boyce, Heather Fallis, and Tamika Rybinski. Vinehouse Publishing, 2023. 106 pages.

Just last month we told you about the social-media-based Liturgies for a Life Abroad, only to learn days later that the author was collaborating with two others on a book of prayers like these.

Liturgy seems to be on the upswing. You may be a fan of Douglas Kaine McKelvey’s Every Moment Holy or Tish Harrison Warren’s Liturgy of the Ordinary. Here, though, you will find prayers about situations common to cross-cultural life, like moving (again), language learning, closed borders, and culture fatigue.

Admittedly, the book may feel a bit whiny to the uninitiated. But if you know, you know. And the Lord meets us where we are. This could be a great resource for mission workers to use for team meetings and retreats.

Purchase the Kindle edition for US$9.99; also available in paperback.

Resource Roundup: New Mission Articles

Sources: Various

Downsizing to Move Overseas (Go.Serve.Love)

Could simplifying now help prepare you to go wherever, whenever God calls? A professional organizer and MK offers practical strategies.

Contextualization Meets Burnout (A Life Overseas)

As we adapt and change our ways, we expect our efforts will open doors for the gospel. Unfortunately, the results do not always meet those expectations, and this is where contextualization meets burnout.

The Importance of Families in Global Missions (Lausanne Movement)

How do you sustain a prayer movement for 100 years? The answer may surprise you: by including children. How would our churches be different if every family believed they were part of God blessing the nations?

Who Needs Missionaries? It’s Not Just the “Unreached” (The Gospel Coalition)

Consider three additional categories of peoples and places that may warrant missionary labors: the mis-reached, the once-reached, and the under-reached.

Want more? These are all pretty quick reads, but if you have some time on your hands, browse and/or subscribe to Mission Hits from Chris Howles, a British seminary professor in Uganda. It’s monthly and more extensive than Mission Catalyst. He even does a quarterly roundup of articles from mission journals. Good stuff.

Stories From the Field: Celebrating African American Missionaries

Source: Civil Righteousness

The booklet Stories From the Field, created for the recent George Liele Missions Summit, celebrates and honors historical and present-day African American missionaries.

“We created it with the intention of offering the booklet as a tool to encourage those who are considering world missions as a vocation. Our prayer is that the words found in this booklet become a holy seed in the hearts of young readers of all ages for God’s end-time harvest.”

May it be so. Download the 20-page booklet. It’s free, with no registration required.

Events: Mission Conferences, Training, and More in April

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

April 5, When Helping Hurts: Myths and Realities (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

April 6 to May 4, Strategic Storytelling for Movements (online). Course from Media Mission U.

April 11-14, Unbound: Support Raising Leaders Conference (Colorado Springs, CO, USA). Provided by Via/Support Raising Solutions.

April 12-13, The Mobilized Church Workshop (Huntsville, AL, USA). From Sixteen:Fifteen.

April 13, Equipping Gen Z: A God-Designed Generation for a God-Given Task (online). A virtual event from Missio Nexus.

April 17, How to Engage With Muslims Where You Are (online). Hour-long webinar from Frontiers USA; join live or watch the replay a week later.

April 17-20, Mission Information Workers Conference (online). Accelerate the development of mission information and the mission information community. Sponsored by the Community of Mission Information Workers, Lausanne Research & Strategic Information Network, and Harvest Information Standards.

April 18, Call to Prayer (online). Virtual prayer gathering from Missio Nexus, this month coinciding with Islam’s Night of Power.

April 24-26, CEO Peer 2 Peer Retreat (Post Falls, ID, USA). An annual event for mission organization CEOs and their spouses, this time focused on internationalization.

April 24 to May 7, Orient Pre-field Training (Joplin, MO, USA). Provided by TRAIN International and offered regularly.

April 25-27, Support Raising Bootcamp (online for Southeast Asia). Provided by Via/Support Raising Solutions.

April 26-27, The Mobilized Church (St. Louis, MO, USA). A workshop for local churches provided by Sixteen:Fifteen.

April 27, BAM Global Summit (online). An annual connecting point for the global business-as-mission movement.

April 27, Honoring and Caring for Missionary Seniors (online). A webinar from Missio Nexus.

April 27-30, Christian Medical and Dental Association National Conference (Covington, KY, USA). An annual event.

April 29, Building Friendships With Hindus (Philadelphia, PA, USA). A one-day equipping seminar sponsored by the Philadelphia Regional Diaspora Network.

View the complete calendar, updated regularly. Submissions welcome.

Baptism on the beach | Hindus only

In this edition:

  1. Pakistan: Former Terrorism Hub Being Transformed by the Gospel
  2. Philippines: Gospel Interest Rises Following Global Pandemic
  3. Muslim World: Baptized on a Beach Vacation
  4. India: “Hindus Only,” Says Village in Andhra Pradesh
  5. Vietnam: Thousands Come to Christ in Two-Day Evangelistic Event

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more.

Pakistan: Former Terrorism Hub Being Transformed by the Gospel

Source: Mission Network News, March 7, 2023

The city of Abbottabad, Pakistan has gone from a breeding ground for terrorism to fertile ground for the gospel.

Notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden hid in his Abbottabad compound until U.S. Navy Seals killed him in 2011. A year ago, Mission Cry started handing out Bibles in the area near bin Laden’s old compound.

Since then, people have accepted Christ and now they’re being discipled with Mission Cry’s G300 program. Through military language [memorizing general orders and a code of conduct], G300 disciples learn to pursue Christ and live by God’s Word. The program has been translated into several languages including Farsi and Urdu, major languages in Pakistan. Whole families are being reached with the gospel, including one unlikely family tree.

“Osama bin Laden had four main wives,” says Woolford. “We have had intel that… one of those wives’ grandsons received the Word of God.”

Read the full story. Surprised to hear about a mission effort modeled on a military one? Looks like the ministry was founded by a former U.S. Marine.

Philippines: Gospel Interest Rises Following Global Pandemic

Source: Christian Aid Mission, March 9, 2023

The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated a shift in ministry in the Philippines, quickening kingdom growth. Native Christian workers in the island country are taking a more holistic approach than they did five years ago, making gospel outreach even more effective, a ministry leader said. The coronavirus outbreak in 2020 accelerated the new emphasis as workers were compelled to meet more physical needs.

Those coming to Christ saw that the church was interested not only in sharing the gospel but also cared for them and their needs, he said. The COVID-19 crisis brought holistic ministry to the forefront and intensified response.

Ministering to the whole person has also meant helping them escape the snare of poverty [and] transform entire communities, the leader said.

The full story includes lots of examples. Have you seen or heard of the same thing happening in other places?

Muslim World: Baptized on a Beach Vacation

Source: Frontiers, March 13, 2023

Murat’s overbearing parents never let him out of their sight. But he wouldn’t let that stop him from being baptized.

Murat glanced behind him as he hurried down the street of the unfamiliar seaside village.

It felt strange to walk alone, especially in a place he’d never been. Although he was an adult according to both Islam and his country, his parents still treated him like a child, refusing to let him leave the house unaccompanied. They were finally discussing the idea of letting him get a driver’s license so he could run errands, but Murat wasn’t very hopeful.

He wondered if they suspected that he had decided to follow Jesus. If they tracked his internet use, they might have been able to tell that he’d done research about Jesus since his early teens and had struck up a friendship over video chat with Stanley, a Frontiers field worker who lived in his city.

He’d been talking with Stanley for two years, studying the Injil and getting answers to his questions, but the two friends had never been able to meet. Every time he tried to leave his house, one of his parents insisted on going with him.

He’d never even managed to make it to a meeting of believers that Stanley had invited him to.

But today that would change. Distracted by the details of their vacation and outings with his younger siblings, Murat’s parents had left him alone at their hotel. It was Sunday morning, and he had at least a few hours to visit a church he’d noticed as they drove through the city.

When he reached the small building, dwarfed by the mosques in the area, Murat stopped and hesitated. A few families walked past him through the door. A young man around his age smiled over his shoulder before disappearing inside.

Taking a deep breath, Murat climbed the steps and entered too.

Read the full story.

India: “Hindus Only,” Says Village in Andhra Pradesh

Source: Religion News Service, February 15, 2023

A decade ago the residents of Kesalingayapalli, a village in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, succeeded in building a temple to the Hindu god Ram, modeling their home as a place “rooted in Indian culture and tradition.”

Three years later, during the festival commemorating Ram’s birth, Bandi Venkatramana, a local farmer, erected an urgent red-and-white sign, known here as a saffron board, at the entrance to the quiet village.

It read: “In this village, everyone is a Hindu, hence people of other religions can’t propagate their faith here. If someone violates this warning, stern action will be taken against them. If you convert to a different religion, it’s akin to changing your mother.”

“If we see anyone carrying or distributing the Bible or Qur’an we first give them a couple of warnings,” said Sai Charan, a student living there. “If they don’t heed our warnings, we just beat them up.”

Read Hindus Only: How Religious Nationalism Has Spread Through India’s Villages for insights into the fears and concerns of these villagers.

Stories about inter-religious conflict seem everywhere these days. Read about ongoing pressure on Israel’s migrant churches (Middle East Concern). On the other hand, see Abrahamic Family House Serves as a Symbol of Opportunity in the UAE (INcontext Ministries).

Vietnam: Thousands Come to Christ Through Two-Day Evangelistic Event

Source: A3 (formerly Asian Access), March 9, 2023

“Hello Brother Joe, thank you for your prayer for our evangelistic event. For the two nights (March 4th and 5th), about 42,000 people came. More than 4,500 people opened their hearts to accept Jesus Christ. Praise God!” [Vietnamese pastor Loc Lam wrote to A3’s Joseph Handley]

Pastor Loc, our [A3] national director who also is the Vice General Secretary of The Vietnam Evangelical Alliance helped the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association coordinate this festival and translate the messages of Rev. Franklin Graham.

For years A3 has partnered with BGEA through Samaritans Purse in Japan and Nepal and through festivals like this one. It’s a privilege to be part of seeing so many come to Christ.

See the full story with pictures and pray for the new believers and those following up with them (a critical piece).

You may also be encouraged by watching a short video about this campaign (BGEA).

Women in Missions | 6 New Events on Calendar

  1. Articles: Mission Frontiers on Women in Mission
  2. Question: What (Else) Should Missionaries and Other Globetrotters Know Before They Go?
  3. Training: Coordinators Workshops and a Taste of Perspectives
  4. Events: Six New Things on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more.

Articles: Mission Frontiers on Women in Mission

Source: Frontier Ventures

The March/April edition of Mission Frontiers is out, and it looks great. The focus is on women in missions, bringing to the forefront voices that represent roughly two-thirds of God’s mission force.

Download the PDF. And to all my sisters, happy International Women’s Day!

Question: What (Else) Should Missionaries and Other Globetrotters Know Before They Go?

A huge thanks to all who read and responded to our article about pre-field practical training. Want to see your tips or stories make the sequel? Skim the first article, then respond to this email or shoot me a line. Thanks!

Training: Coordinators Workshops and a Taste of Perspectives

Source: Perspectives Study Program

Coordinator Training

You know about Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, right? Most subscribers to this list have probably taken it. If you paid attention in class, you may also have a sense of how much was going on behind the scenes to make sure it all went smoothly.

If you are ready to bring the class to your church or community, sign up now for a Perspectives Coordinators Workshop. Bring a friend (especially one with a knack for event planning, education, or project management). Looks like 15 workshops are on the calendar for the coming months in cities across the US. There may be one near you.

Taste of Perspectives

Perspectives fans should also be aware of another bite-sized Perspectives-related event that happens in various locations throughout the year. “Taste of Perspectives” provides a free sample of what you’d find in the 15-week course, complete with short presentations looking at God’s perspective on the world through biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic lenses. Bring your pastor, a fellow leader, or family and friends.

Unfortunately, there’s no place to find a list of these online. Live in the Pacific Northwest? A Taste of Perspectives will happen in Beaverton, Oregon on Saturday, April 22. I’ll be there and would be happy to send you the info.

Contact a Perspectives leader in your region about events near you.

Looking for a simpler training tool? You have options. Consider The Missions Course, for example.

Events: Six New Things on the Missions Catalyst Calendar

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

After we sent out the March events, we found more. Interested, but can’t make it on such short notice? Follow links to find future events from the same groups.

March 10, Interrogation Management Workshop (Albuquerque, NM, USA). Followed by a Security Orientation Workshop March 11 in the same location. Both are provided by Crisis Consulting International.

March 14-16, Support Raising Bootcamp (Curitiba, Parana, Brazil). Provided by Support Raising Solutions. Bootcamps are held in many locations throughout the year. A conference for support-raising leaders is planned for April in Colorado. SRS will also have a new name in April; stay tuned.

March 16 to April 6, How to Prepare Your STM Teams (online). Training for trainers from Touch the World; part of their Mission Academy. This looks like a great course, and TTW has other resources you may want to use.

March 22, Coast to Coast: Covering Ramadan in Prayer (online). Kick off your focus on the Muslim world in this key time by joining Frontiers mobilizers in prayer.

March 23-26, Gather (online). Gather is a four-day, web-based live event specifically for women ministering overseas. Provided by Thrive.

March 28, Women in World Christianity: Facts, Figures, Challenges, and Opportunities (Hamilton, MA, USA and streaming online). From the Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell and featuring Gina Zurlo. Looks like it’s free, too.

View the whole calendar, updated regularly. Submissions welcome.

News from Indonesia, Uganda, Israel, Turkey & More

Missions Catalyst News Briefs 03.01.23

  1. Ukraine: Invasion Passes Grim One-Year Milestone
  2. Uganda: Police Rescue 40 Christian Children from Kidnapping Scam
  3. Israel: Opposition to Messianic Ministry
  4. Turkey: Antakya (Antioch) Church Prepares to Rebuild after Earthquake
  5. Indonesia: Reli Finds Christ at the Flourish Café
  6. USA: Nigerians Find New Home in Indiana

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more.

Ukraine: Invasion Passes Grim One-Year Milestone

Source: Mission Network News, February 24, 2023

It has been one year now since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, marking a grim milestone for the people of Ukraine.

The war has had a devastating impact on the country’s economy and infrastructure, with more than 13,000 people killed and thousands more injured. Many families have been displaced and their homes and businesses destroyed.

Ukraine is a predominantly Christian country. The Church has played a vital role in providing support to those affected by the conflict, including refugees and those who have lost loved ones.

The full story includes perspective from Slavic Gospel Mission.

See also an informative infographic about the Russia-Ukraine war (INcontext International). In addition to data, it includes quotes from several Ukrainian pastors.

For more on how Ukrainians are responding, read Suffering, Grace and Glory (Jeff Fountain’s Weekly Word).

Download new resources to help you (or your group) pray for Ukraine (Ukraine Christian Ministries).