Missions Catalyst

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World Missions News, Ideas, and Resources
Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Mission Shifts, Vision Trips | 20 Ways to Learn About Refugees

  1. Podcast: Mission Shift, Exploring the Changing Face of Global Missions
  2. Course: Pathways (in the Bible Translation Movement)
  3. Video: Why Should a Pastor Take a Vision Trip?
  4. Resource Roundup: 20 Ways to Learn More About Refugees
  5. Articles: Found Around the Web
  6. Events: Mission Training, Debriefing, Classes & Conferences

Read or share the email edition, or scroll down for individual articles.

Podcast: Mission Shift, Exploring the Changing Face of Global Missions

Source: Cru City Global

Conversations with 20 Christian leaders, ministry practitioners, and missiologists from around the world led to eight narrative episodes exploring where global missions is today, how we got there, and what’s next.

This is a great podcast. I love the way it combines clips from diverse voices telling first-hand stories with conversations between the hosts as they grapple with what we’re hearing and what it means for us and our mission efforts in a changing world.

Start at the beginning, or if you have limited time, jump in at episode 2 and see if it grabs you. Want to go deeper? Several of the guests have written books about these topics.

Learn more or listen. Scroll down for bios of hosts and guests.

I found this podcast through a podcast directory from Missio Nexus along with some others I was not aware of.

Course: Pathways (in the Bible Translation Movement)

Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators

Ever wondered what it would be like to be part of the Bible translation movement? Or maybe you have someone in your church who would be interested in this journey through the global Bible translation movement.

Pathways is a two-week, interactive online course, June 11-14 and 18-21. Live Zoom sessions will take place at both 7 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on July 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, and 21; choose which time is most convenient for you.

Cost $25 or $15 for students.
Register by July 1.

Learn more or sign up.

See also PathWays to Global Understanding. Similar name, different course, but also one we’d recommend.

Video: Why Should a Pastor Take a Vision Trip?

Source: Mission to the World

For Dennis Hermerding, lead pastor of King’s Cross Church in Cypress, Texas, a vision trip to Central Asia presented an opportunity to experience what he couldn’t get from simply listening to missionaries share their stories. Actually stepping foot in this Central Asian city allowed him to immerse himself in a culture.

Vision trips allow pastors and other mission leaders to see firsthand what God is doing on the mission field and to further investigate how he might be calling them to be a part of his work. It can be transformative, not just for the pastor, but also for the missions culture of the entire church.

Read full story and watch the short video (also below).

On a similar note, read Vision Trips: What Your Church Is Missing by Not Taking One (International Mission Board).

Resource Roundup: 20 Ways to Learn More About Refugees

Source: World Relief

Over the past year, crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine have reminded us of the devastating impacts of war—especially on those forced to flee their homes.

Around the world, a record breaking 100 million people have been forcibly displaced. Of those, 26.6 million are considered refugees, having fled across an international border due to war, violence, conflict, or persecution. That’s millions of mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, teachers, doctors, and friends—each created in the image of God—with full lives and identities long before they became refugees.

We’ve compiled a list of books, podcasts, videos, and more to help answer your questions about refugees.

Read full article. It’s quite a list. Lots of resources to share with others.

Articles: Found Around the Web

Sources: Various

Last-Minute Tips for VBS

Vacation Bible School season is upon us. Here are six VBS tips for turning the last-minute madness into mad fun! Read 6 Last-Minute Tips for VBS (Lifeway Research).

Belief in God Reaches New Low

Eighty-one percent of US adults say they believe in God, down six percentage points from 2017 and the lowest in Gallup’s trend. Read Belief in God in U.S. Dips to 81%, a New Low (Gallup News).

Is It Wrong to Share Your Faith?

Only 52% of born-again Christians report witnessing to someone in the past year. And 47% of Millennials feel it’s wrong to share your faith with someone from another religion. How would you respond? Read Is It Wrong to Share Your Faith? (Meet the Need).

Why Global Missions?

“Every pastor should be concerned about missions and take steps to support and encourage church participation in missionary work.” Read 10 Reasons for a Pastor to Do Global Missions (MorningStar Missions).

Staying Sent

People work hard to become missionaries and to get to the mission field. But what can they do to help make sure they stay on the field? Here are three practices that can help. Read Staying Well Sent (SEND International).

Events: Mission Training, Debriefing, Classes & Conferences

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

July 4 to November 6, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly.

July 10-15, Debrief Retreat (Union Mills, NC, USA). Provided regularly by the Center for Intercultural Training. Also check out their missionary training programs.

July 11-15, ABIDE re-entry debriefing for global workers (Joplin, MO, USA). Provided regularly by TRAIN International. They do pre-field training and debriefing events throughout the year.

July 14, IN SYNC Storytelling (online). Practice asking questions and sharing stories like Jesus did. Provided by All Nations.

July 15-17, The Journey Deepens (online). A retreat for discerning your next step in mission, provided by Mission Next. Now online for the first time. A similar event will be held August 12-14.

July 16-22, New Wilmington Mission Conference (Western Pennsylvania, USA). Annual, week-long multi-generational mission conference; a tradition for more than 100 years.

July 18 to August 13, COMPASS (Palmer Lake, CO, USA). Language and culture acquisition provided regularly by Missionary Training International.

July 19, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer For Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held the third Tuesday of each month.

July 20-21, Support Raising Bootcamp (Fayetteville, AR, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions; offered regularly in various locations.

July 21, Hostile Interrogation Management Workshop (Auburn, AL, USA). Provided by Crisis Consulting International. Check out their security trainings offered throughout the year.

July 23, How in the World Can a Woman Lead for the Kingdom of God(online). Three-hour workshop from All Nations.

July 28-30, Empower Portland Conference (Portland, OR, USA). Empowering Christians to engage the people of North Korea. Provided by Reah International.

View complete calendar. Submissions welcome.

Nigeria Sacred Assembly | First Embera Believer Baptized

  1. Nigeria: Thousands of Christians Gather to Pray for Peace
  2. Ethiopia: Tigrayan Christians Plant More Churches in Exile
  3. Colombia: People Group’s First Known Believer Baptized
  4. USA: How a Truck Driver, His Family, a Homeless Man, and a Cab Driver Came to Christ One Night
  5. World: Podcast Launched During COVID Lockdown Gives Insight into the Plight of Refugees

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for individual stories.

Nigeria: Thousands of Christians Gather to Pray for Peace

Source: International Christian Concern, June 3, 2022

Thousands of Christians representing many denominations gathered for a prayer rally in Jos, Nigeria [on Wednesday, June 1] in response to incessant attacks by armed Fulani militants.

The “Solemn Assembly” prayer gathering in the Rwang Pam Township Stadium was convened by heads of churches and the Plateau State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria. For the past 20 years, tens of thousands of Christians have been killed and many more displaced and driven from their lands and villages by Fulani militants.

Read the full article and be sure to watch the short video of the crowd worshiping in Jos. See also an article about this event from ViewPointNigeria. It includes a bit more nuance.

Editor’s Note: Looks like 2022 is on pace to be a record year for violence against Christians in Nigeria. BBC News reports there were 31 attacks on churches and people linked to them in 2021. Halfway through 2022, there have been more than 23 such attacks.

Here’s another interesting and constructive response to violence. Nigeria’s northern neighbor, Niger, has completed its third deradicalization course with 40 former Boko Haram jihadists graduating. See Deradicalization Courses for Ex-Jihadists in Niger.

Ethiopia: Tigrayan Christians Plant More Churches in Exile

Source: Mission Network News, June 13, 2022

Despite a ceasefire in the civil war earlier this year, the humanitarian crisis continues in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia.

The agricultural system, which employed three-quarters of all Tigray people, has been effectively destroyed by the war. Hospitals have run out of drugs for cancer patients and often simply send them home.

Eric Foley with The Voice of the Martyrs Korea says, “Our friend, Pastor T, wrote saying, ‘Still, Romans 8:28. The suffering of people is high, but God is working.’ What Pastor T noted for us was that so many Tigrayans are still forced to live in Addis because of the travel limitations and the inability to return and make a living in Tigray at this point. Yet, God is at work. We need to sometimes step into the shoes of ordinary Christian believers and really not think as geopolitical analysts.”

We reported previously that this group of Christians had planted 11 new churches near Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Now, that number has jumped to 19.

Foley says in the absence of governments being able to work together, God’s people continue to show Jesus’ love. “Through the care that the Tigrayan Christians are showing to their neighbors, they’re changing the opinions of Muslim and Orthodox Ethiopians about evangelical Christians.”

Praise God for the faith of Tigrayan Christians.

Read the full article with prayer points.

From Ethiopia’s neighbor, Eritrea, read Christianity Still Growing in Eritrea Despite 20 Years of Church Closures (Christian Today).

Voice of the Martyrs reports that Christians in Afghanistan are also finding ways to share their faith in a challenging setting and could use our prayers.

Colombia: People Group’s First Known Believer Baptized

Source: International Mission Board, May 31, 2022

In 2021, IMB published a story about missionaries Travis and Beth Burkhalter and their work among the Embera people of Colombia. Travis was learning a difficult and unwritten language to share the gospel with an unreached people group.

In early April 2022, Travis waded into the rushing waters of a jungle river to baptize Sarah, the first known follower of Christ among her tribe. With tribe members watching from the bank of the river and on nearby rocks, Sarah took this bold step of faith.

Sarah explained her decision to accept Christ with her community. The Burkhalters and others on the team shared with her for three years. As Travis learned more of her spoken vocabulary, he taught Bible stories in her heart language. The more she learned, the more she understood the truth of what Jesus had done for her. Finally, she expressed her belief in Christ and desire to follow him.

Ask God to use Sarah’s testimony and witness to bring many more of her people to salvation.

Read the full article and the previous one for a good description of challenges and strategies for working in this region.

See also Colombians Face Violence Just for Going Outside (Open Doors). It has to do with an anti-government strike called by a major cartel.

Let’s also pray for Colombia in the days leading up to a surprise presidential election run-off on June 19.

USA: How a Truck Driver, His Family, a Homeless Man, and a Cab Driver Came to Christ One Night

Source: ASSIST News Service, June 11, 2022

One night my friend Charles said to me over dinner, “I’m tired of plain vanilla Christianity.” We were both in Washington, D.C., on business and had a good dinner together sharing about our jobs, our ministries, and our walks with the Lord. I prayed with Charles about his desire to see the power of God at work in a new way and assured him that the Lord would answer the desire of his heart.

We left the restaurant, and we decided to walk the few blocks back toward our hotel.  As we waited to cross an intersection, Charles struck up a conversation with a man who was trying to restart his truck. It had broken down as he was making a turn and was blocking part of our crosswalk. He had diagnosed the problem and called his wife, who was on her way with a carburetor part he needed. We waited with him and began to share with him about the Lord Jesus…

Read the full article to see how the man and several others found new life before Jerry and Charles even made it back to their hotel!

See also Praying at the Airport, an encouraging story about how a field worker and his teenage son, prompted to ask God for an opportunity to give a Bible away, witnessed an answer to their prayers (Frontiers USA).

World: Podcast Gives Insight into the Plight of Refugees

Source: Mission to the World, June 14, 2022

Rebecca Deng pounded maize in a mortar to make her basic meal of posho, an African dish similar to grits as the African sun beat down on the vast array of tents and makeshift shelters in the Kakuma refugee camp. Eight years prior, Rebecca and thousands of other boys and girl fled their homes during Sudan’s long and terrible second civil war, walking hundreds or even a thousand miles to the safety of neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, or Uganda. This life was especially difficult for Rebecca and the other “Lost Girls” of Sudan. The discrimination they experienced at home continued in refugee camps. They were seen as inferior to boys, and only fit to bear children and take care of the house. 

As Rebecca ground her posho, she heard a commotion. A large crowd gathered at her school building as a man stood above the crowd with a piece of paper in his hand. “I have just received word,” he shouted, “that the UNHCR has selected 4,000 Lost Boys to be resettled in the United States. You are going home!” 

Loud cheers erupted. As the pandemonium intensified, Rebecca pushed her way to the front of the building where a weathered bulletin board bore the list of those selected for resettlement. “Deng, Rebecca” was among them. Her heart leapt in her throat. Tears streamed down her face as she cried for joy, anticipation, and fear of the uncertainty of what lay ahead. She was finally going to find a home.

[The podcast] Refugees: What You Don’t Hear on the News highlights the stories of people whose lives God’s Church touched in a refugee crisis. Kay and Carolyn interview pastors, missionaries, doctors, lawyers, authors, and many others who have seen the Lord work powerfully to save marginalized and insecure refugees. They use their amazing gifts of interviewing and storytelling to find the stories of God’s glory and sovereignty that news outlets don’t talk about—stories like Rebecca’s.

Read full story and consider listening to and sharing the podcast with others. The episode about Rebecca was featured on World Refugee Day (June 20) in 2021. Rebecca also tells her story in a 2020 book, What They Meant for Evil: How a Lost Girl of Sudan Found Healing, Peace, and Purpose in the Midst of Suffering.