Missions Catalyst

Subscribe to Missions Catalyst feedMissions Catalyst
World Missions News, Ideas, and Resources
Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

No New Newsbriefs

We’re taking the month of March to clean up our list of news sources and reprint permissions. Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews will still be published this month, but look for our next batch of News Briefs on Wednesday, April 7.

Let Us Praise Valiant Women

By Shane Bennett

At one of the lowest points in my life, a colleague in the cause conspired with her tribe to invite me out to spend Christmas with them. It may have been the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me and I suspect I’ll never forget it. This act, added to Sarah’s track record of coordinating Perspectives classes and leading her church’s missions efforts, sealed my respect and admiration for her. 

Since one of the stated goals of Monday’s International Women’s Day was to “celebrate women’s achievements,” I thought I’d use this month’s edition of Practical Mobilization to raise a toast to women who’ve sparked and shaped my global journey. Some I’ve known, some are from history, and one is fictional. 

As I reminisce, I pray that God will bring to mind similar women in your life. Perhaps you could send them this brief article, buy them a coffee, or symbolically place some flowers on their grave. 

A Youth Grouper Who Told Me to Go

The first woman who encouraged (nagged?) me to become a missionary was a fellow youth grouper, Beth Brosher Hasz. I don’t know where Beth got her fiery passion, but her frequent words to me made me determined to flee the call! I suspect her words to her Father, though, were instrumental in my eventual inability to avoid it. I saw her work similar magic on a pastor we had in common. Beth went to be with Jesus early, but her influence ripples on.

A Praying Grandmother

My decidedly non-charismatic grandma used to pray and worry for me when I traveled. At least that’s how it was until Jesus showed up at the foot of her bed one night and told her to keep praying but let the worry go. To her credit, she obeyed on both counts.

A Global-Minded Teacher

My hands-down best professor through four years at Ball State University was Dr. Alba Jean Rosenman. She wagged her cosmopolitan finger and challenged me and twenty other sophomores, “Before you marry, buy a house, and settle down in Muncie, Indiana, you need to get out of America for a while!”

Her nominally Jewish, Argentine hackles were raised when I took her up on that and spent a summer learning to sympathize with Palestinian refugees in Jordan. 

Two Hospitable Hostesses

I was first introduced to Islamic hospitality by one of those Palestinian refugees; an unnamed and unseen (she hid behind a curtain) wife who served cubed, seeded watermelon to me and my friends in the pre-dawn hours when her husband invited us over after early morning prayers.

Later I enjoyed more examples of Muslim hospitality in the tiny apartment of a Memon family in Bombay. I enjoyed the food offered whenever we visited, but looking back, I appreciate the resilience and innovation that Memon mom exhibited as she kept her household afloat with three kiddos. When we asked the daughters about their father, they simply replied, “he is deceased.” 

A Capable Co-laborer

I once led a team of bright North Americans for a summer of cultural research in Turkey. My assistant team leader was a Canadian woman named Ann Marie. Her responsibility was to coordinate the actual research and she did it brilliantly. In truth, she could have done my job as well as hers, while there’s no way under the sun I could have handled her role. 

A Mentor Who Opened Doors

When the small mobilization agency I worked for decided to move from the Netherlands to the UK, Linda Harding, a national-level mobilizer in her own right, kindly and boldly agreed to vouch for us, open doors, and help us find a place for our ministry.

During an early visit to Liverpool we stopped by a sandwich shop and I had no idea what the proprietor was saying, even though he was speaking English. Linda graciously confessed, “I can’t understand Liverpudlians either.”

By generously lending her credibility to our youthful, outsider efforts, Linda gave us life!

A Model of Ministry Faithfulness

With Linda’s wisdom, we settled in lovely Bradford where my family began attending the parish church five minutes down the hill from our house. Our neighborhood was probably 90% Pakistani-British. St. Margaret’s Church was a lovely example of living out and giving out the gospel in a largely Muslim community.

There was no greater example than the woman who ran the weekly homework club. For a good portion of each evening, the classroom looked like it could have been the set for the tornado scene in a live production of The Wizard of Oz. But she stuck it out, giving her all to help neighborhood kids of all creeds and colors succeed. 

Two Weary Women Who Didn’t Give Up

Likewise, two winsome, but weary saints, nameless to me, but not to God, ran a Catholic help center for refugees in Catania, Sicily when I first visited. They graciously gave of their valuable time, helping us understand the migrant dynamics in the city. As they turned out the lights and locked the door at the end of one visit, I sensed both their fatigue and the realization if they could just stay awake a couple more hours, they could help more refugees.

An Intrepid Influencer

My respect and love for Melanie Mitchell, Louisville legend and Perspectives leader extraordinaire, is also immense. She and an intrepid corp of women across the US have argued winsomely and effectively with predominately male missions pastors and gatekeepers to bring the life-changing Perspectives course to new places all over. 

Several Smart Strategists

Melanie also blessed me with an introduction to Dr. Florence Muindi, one of the smartest people I know. Florence knows Jesus, she knows lots of stuff and she knows how to get things done. If she wasn’t living in Kenya and changing the face of cities throughout Africa, I’d be asking her questions every day! 

Closer to home, but just as smart, Carol Davis has been over the past several decades an unassuming but brilliant, low-key but relentless strategist for the advance of the kingdom of God among unreached peoples. I am one of many who have falteringly put her ideas into action to good result.

Finally, my regard is so high for Marti Wade, my friend, colleague, teammate, editor, and encourager. When I grow up, I’d like to be able to think and execute like Marti.

And Many More

I lack the time, space, and expertise for an adequate look back at women’s remarkable impact on the advance of God’s kingdom over the 200 years. Think Lottie Moon, Amy Carmichael, Susanna Wesley, and so many others. Even Rachel Lane, the missionary heroine of John Grisham’s book The Testament. (If you haven’t read it, can I suggest giving it a go?)

I am so grateful for these moms and missionaries. I celebrate the God-empowered achievements of these pastors and pioneers.

Grateful for You!

And you, women readers of Missions Catalyst, I celebrate you—both who you are and the wonderful things God is giving you grace to accomplish. You are not overlooked today. You are a co-heir with Jesus, a force to be reckoned with, an agent of the Most High’s kingdom from the end of the block to the very ends of the earth.

101 Ways to Impact the World, More Podcasts, & March Events

In This Issue:

  1. 101 Ways to Impact the World
  2. Book Brings Media and Missions Together
  3. 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World
  4. More Missions Podcasts
  5. Conferences, Courses, and Webinars

View the email edition or scroll down to read articles below.

101 Ways to Impact the World

Source: The Traveling Team

“What would you do to mobilize your church or students if there were no trips to take, no flights, no cross-cultural experiences, no crickets to eat, and no souvenirs to bring home?

“For many, their entire mobilization strategy falls on taking a series of trips somewhere. Is that the only arrow in our quiver to strike the heart of God’s people with His urgent global task? Surely not! Given that Jesus never traveled more than 120 miles from His hometown, I would argue we need to dig a little deeper into what mobilizes people to God’s mission in the first place.”

Mission trip canceled by COVID and closed borders? Or maybe health issues, money, or family concerns have you grounded for the foreseeable future. Yet you can be significantly involved in missions and pursue God’s global purposes right now. In this booklet, the Traveling Team compiles 101 ways to pray for the nations, send others, welcome internationals, and more. Many of the ideas include stories, usually about college students, and links to resources from a variety of sources.

Whether the focus on American college students is a feature or a drawback may depend on where you sit. But most of the ideas are just as applicable to people in other places and stages of life.

If you are a mobilizer who teaches, writes, speaks, disciples/mentors, or leads small groups, this booklet will offer you plenty of next steps and inspiration to share with others. Probably some you haven’t thought of. And you can download the PDF for free.

Usually, this sort of thing is used as a lead generator; you can have the resource if you let them put you on their mailing list. This time, no strings attached.

Learn more or download the PDF with clickable links. A paperback version is available from Amazon for US$10. Contact The Traveling Team for bulk purchases. And follow them on social media, especially Instagram.

Book Brings Media and Missions Together

Source: Create International

The Impossible Dream, by Calvin and Carol Conkey, with Allyson Baldwin. Create International, 2020. 193 pages.

Several decades have passed since the newlywed Conkeys had a vision to create culturally relevant gospel presentations for every group on a list of more than 200 of the world’s largest least-reached people groups.

Led by God at every step and partnering with local believers and others in each context, they have recently seen that “impossible” dream accomplished—as well as much more along the way. This book provides a look behind the scenes.

What a joy to read story after story not only about the Conkeys’ journey but also about actors coming to faith, churches empowered to worship in local styles, and movements launched through these evangelistic films and related projects. If you have a vision to bring the gospel to the unreached, especially using media, this book is for you. Even if that’s not your beat, you’ll find it a winsome and inspiring read.

Learn more or purchase the Kindle edition for US$4.95 or the paperback for US$10.95.

Want to make gospel films? You could join one of multiple teams that are part of Create International, a ministry of YWAM, for a season or a lifetime, or just tap into the training they offer. Maybe you would like to go or send someone to the Frontier Filmmaking Seminar. A six-week online version starts April 5.

Looking for films to use in cross-cultural evangelism? Find a huge collection at Indigitube.tv or download their app to your mobile device.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World

Source: WorldChristian.com

Will you join millions of Christians who have regularly participated in this remarkable global prayer effort? The dates this year are April 13 to May 12. Now is a good time to order materials if you want to distribute them to people in your church or group.

This year’s Muslim World Prayer Guide distributed in North America is focused on learning about and praying for Muslims in the US and Canada. Lots of interesting content, all in full color. There are full-page ads from sponsors throughout the 56-page booklet. Of course, if you are looking for ministry opportunities or resources, they may be very useful.

Learn more or order copies of the printed booklet at US$3 per copy, with bulk discounts available, or download a PDF for US$2.50. A children’s version which covers the same topics each day also includes fun activities; the price is the same.

Not in North America? See 30 Days of Prayer International for different materials available in many countries and quite a few languages (including an alternate booklet being distributed in North America).

More Missions Podcasts

Sources: Various

A month ago we published a roundup of missions-related podcasts. But wait, there’s more. Readers recommend:

A World of Good (Church of God Ministries of Anderson, Indiana). Nate and Andrew are two friends who love Jesus, care about the church, and travel the world to share stories of people who do the same. COVID put a crimp in the travel plans but they learned how to get interviews without leaving home; I listened to several.

Gateway to the Unreached (Alliance for the Unreached). Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission, hosts this podcast featuring ministries that are part of the Alliance for the Unreached.

MEDINA Focus Podcast (MEDINA Focus). Features interviews with ministries serving Muslims in North America in the name of Jesus. I haven’t listened to these yet but am intrigued.

Voice of the Martyrs Radio (Voice of the Martyrs). Not exactly a podcast, but VOMRadio.net produces short radio spots featuring inspiring conversations with persecuted Christians, and several of our readers wrote to recommend it. Along the same lines, Joshua Project does short, daily spots about their unreached people of the day, and Mission Network News produces audio clips for Christian radio; look them up.

Several more bubbled up in my search:

Amazon to the Himalayas (Southern Seminary). Dr. Paul Akin interviews many Christians around the world for God’s kingdom to bring us news about what is happening where they are and how we can pray for them.

Between Iraq and a Hard Plac‪e‬ (Servant Group International). Hannah and Colleen take you on a tour of what life looks like for Americans teaching in Northern Iraq.

The Mission Suitcase. Encourager and mission mobilizer Lisa Batchelor unpacks “all things missions” through devotionals, conversations with friends all over the world, stories, and tips.

EVENTS: Conferences, Courses, and Webinars

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

Unless otherwise noted, these are online events, often free.

March 2-4, Support Raising Bootcamp. Provided by Support Raising Solutions. A virtual bootcamp in Spanish will be held March 25-27.

March 4, God’s Heart for Oneness and Diversity. Missio Nexus webinar. They have more events this month than we have space for, but take a look at their site.

March 5, Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event. From Voice of the Martyrs and LifeWay, featuring Petr Jasek (imprisoned in Sudan), Andrew Brunson (imprisoned in Turkey), and Dan Baumann (imprisoned in Iran).

March 6, The DNA of Disciple Making Movements. One-day training event from All Nations.

March 8-9, People Raising Conference. Be equipped for raising personal support. Note they are doing the same event again April 12-13.

March 10, OnMission—Innovation in Missions: A Global Perspective. Short, virtual conference from Missio Nexus. This annual event is always worth the time and can be viewed later if that works best for you.

March 11, Watering: Engaged, Committed Leadership. Part of The Greenhouse, a series for church mission leaders from Pioneers USA.

March 11, Characteristics of Church-Honoring Missions Organizations. Webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen.

March 11, Groups: They Are Everywhere. Learn how and why to reach whole families and communities. Nugget training from Beyond.

March 11, Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, Walking Humbly. Ignite Training from All Nations.

March 14 to April 9, Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life and Ministry (Union Mills, NC, USA). Provided by the Center for Intercultural Training. Followed by a Second-Language Acquisition course April 11-23. It looks like Mission Train International and TRAIN International also have pre-field training programs starting in April; you might want to compare all three.

March 20, Telling Jesus Stories. One-day training event from All Nations.

March 25, Spiritual Community at Home. Ignite training from All Nations.

March 25, Vision Casting in Movements. Nugget training from Beyond.

View complete calendar. Corrections and submissions are welcome.