Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are Missionaries Still Needed?

If the church worldwide sent one missionary to each group of 5000 of the two billion, there would be the need for 400,000 (four-hundred thousand) additional missionaries today! It is estimated that there are 285 million evangelicals worldwide. If we just take the 285 million evangelicals, 400,000 is about 1.4 missionaries per every 1000 evangelicals worldwide. []

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Would You Suffer for Our Lord?

In the excellent book, “We Felt Like Grasshoppers (the story of Africa Inland Mission)” by Dick Anderson.  He shares the story of a young Christian in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) in the 1930s who was willing to suffer for Christ.

  “A young man, blind in one eye, asked if he could go to teach the Babendi.  Paul Stough warned Tomasi that they might beat him, starve him, perhaps kill him.  ‘But Bwana’, he replied, ‘The Lord Jesus suffered for me; certainly I can suffer a little for him.’

“The Bendi Chief arrested Tomasi, put a rope around his neck and commanded the soldiers to force him to run to the government centre.  Wherever they rested, villagers enquired why he was detained.  He replied, ‘For preaching the gospel of Jesus who died for your sins’ and went on to tell them the way of salvation.  Imprisoned at the government post, he passed on the same message to the guard.  Next morning the judge ordered him to be laid on the ground and lashed with a hippo-hide whip.  He thanked God for the soldier assigned to flay him, ‘My preaching the previous night made him friendly and he did not hit me as hard as he should.’ Released, he continued to preach and God established churches among the Babendi.” [p. 318-319].

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Statistics from World Without Orphans: A Focus on Caring for Orphans with a View to a World Without Orphans

Revised and Adapted
Kyiv, February 2013

1. These children, totaling 153 million, according to current estimates from UNICEF, live throughout the world…

2.  If we brought all these children together they would comprise the 7th largest nation in the world…a veritable “Orphan Nation.” If all the orphans stood together, shoulder to shoulder, they would reach more than twice around the planet.

3.  Although 153 million children may seem like a staggering number, there are 2.1 billon Christians in the world today. If all would come together in their churches, with their families, and as individuals, we could address the orphan challenge and bring closure to this escalating crisis.

4.  Top ten countries by absolute number of orphans:
INDIA – 31,000,000
CHINA – 20,600,000
NIGERIA – 12,000,000
BANGLADESH – 4,800,000
ETHIOPIA – 4,800,000
INDONESIA – 4,700,000
CONGO – 4,200,000
PAKISTAN – 4,200,000
BRAZIL – 3,700,000
SOUTH AFRICA – 3,400,000

5.  Top ten countries by the percentage of orphans to the total population of children:
ZIMBABWE – 1,400,000 – 22.67%
LESOTHO – 200,000 – 20.99%
ZAMBIA – 1,300,000 – 20.73%
MOZAMBIQUE – 2,100,000 – 19.25%
SWAZILAND – 100,000 – 18.73%
SOUTH AFRICA – 3,400,000 – 18.49%
EQUATORIAL GUINEA – 45,000 – 18.22%
LIBERIA – 340,000 – 16.86%
ANGOLA – 1,500,000 – 16.63%

6.  With 30,000 adoptable children in orphanages in Ukraine and over 30,000 Christian churches…if just one family in each church in Ukraine adopted an orphan, orphanages would be empty.

7.  The number of babies who were abandoned in birth hospitals [in Ukraine] decreased 50% in the last 4 years. That is unprecedented in Eastern Europe!

8.  50% of Christian churches around the world are aware of the orphan crisis in their community, nation, region, and around the world. 75% of churches in countries with national movements are motivated to action and equipped with the most effective strategies and resources to respond to the need.

How is your time in the Word?

Recently I finished reading the excellent book, “We Felt Like Grasshoppers (The Story of Africa Inland Mission)” by Dick Anderson.  He shares about John Stauffacher, missionary in the early 19th century and his commitment to spend daily time in God’s Word.

“John had cut short his college education in order to fulfill his call as soon as possible.  But he read avidly, worked hard at the language and used his knowledge of Greek in translating the Maasai New Testament.  Wherever he lived he sought a quiet place where he met God daily – a log in the Kijabe forest, a tree house at Rumuruti – and from such communion he could preach confidently and plan with assurance.” [p. 44]

Monday, June 17, 2013

Everyday is Flag Day in Texas and Canada.

Margaret and I have been in the great state of Texas in ministry for a week (June 10-17) and recently we were speaking in Canada. Wonderful time with God's people in both places.

Texans are pound to be Texans, as Canadians are to be Canadians. The people of Texas and Canada fly their flags and wear their state and country name on everything; t-shirts, bags, cups, and more flags!

As followers of Christ let us fly the flag of salvation by faith through grace alone. May His Name be on our lips for praise and proclamation often!

Facebook or Newsletters? (Why not both and don't forget to say "thanks")

by Doug Nichols

Recently my wife and I attended a communications seminar for those in ministry. It was emphasized again that if a missionary only uses Facebook, that his/her ministry will greatly suffer. Facebook has its place but should NEVER replace a "printed" ministry letter (news letter) and the regular use of weekly "email" reports for prayer, praise and news of the ministry and family.

By the way, it was also noted that if a missionary receives a support gift, then a thank you should be written to the donor as soon as possible. If a donor takes the time to write and send a check (or sends on-line) than the missionary should take the time to say "thank you." This is a valuable and necessary part of ministry!

Missions and Leadership

 by Charles Spurgeon

  1. If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions to the heathens. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is in the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.

  1. There is a prayer I mean to continue to offer until it is answered, that God would pour out on this church a missionary spirit. I want to see our young men devoting themselves to the work, some that will not be afraid to venture and preach Jesus Christ in the regions beyond.

  1. All your wants his love has supplied: there are shoes for your pilgrimage, armor for your warfare, strength for your labour, rest for your weariness, comfort for your sorrow.

  1. He that will not serve the Lord in the Sunday-school at home, will not win children to Christ in China. Distance lends no real enchantment to Christian service.

  1. Some people seem to be afraid lest we should be the means of saving some of the nonelect—but that is a fear which never troubles either my head or my heart, for I know that with all the effort and preaching in the world, we shall never bring more to Christ than Christ has had given to Him by His Father!

  1. If any of you are in positions where you can enjoy Christian fellowship, and you have an opportunity of earning ten times as much money in another position where you must give up that fellowship, do not do it.

  1. No man ever succeeds in anything who does not give himself wholly to it: it matters not what it is, concentration is essential to perfection in any pursuit. He who would be eminent in any one direction must forego a great many other things which are perfectly allowable; these he must renounce for the sake of his one object. He will not succeed unless he sacrifices all other things to the one chief thing.

  1. There is no person without a talent of some sort or other, no one without some form of power either given by nature or acquired by education. We are all endowed in some degree or other, and we must each one give an account for that talent.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Counseling One Another Blog

Margaret and I recommend the blog "Counseling One Another" by Paul Tautges for all and recommend that you sign up to receive it regularly via email.

The purpose of Counseling One Another is to stimulate and nurture healthy, Word-driven growth among believers in Christ. By coming alongside to encourage your own spiritual growth in the Lord, and pointing you toward Christ-centered resources to strengthen your personal ministry, we hope to assist you in making obedient disciples of Jesus Christ.

Counseling one another is built upon the biblically-based philosophy that counseling is the normal work of believers in the context of the local church. We all live in a fallen world, complete with its sin-related battles as well as suffering-related problems, and are in need of personal one-another ministry. We are not opposed to all forms of “professional counseling,” but believe God intended for most one-another counseling ministry to take place as fellow believers commit themselves to love one another enough to help each other grow in their walk of faith as we learn to apply His all-sufficient truth and grace to our hearts and lives.

You can sign up for this blog here.

The following is one of its articles:

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you may have noticed one of many threads that have frequently run through my posts this past year; that is, spiritual rest comes from focusing on our identity in Christ. As one who fights an ongoing battle against anxiety, negative thinking, and depressive tendencies; the Lord has been teaching me the importance of deliberately setting my mind on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellent, and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8). “Importance” is perhaps even too weak. For me, deliberately thinking on what God says about who I am in Christ is spiritual oxygen. My soul simply cannot survive without it.
However, there is another element to Christ that I must deliberately meditate upon, which helps me in the daily war against performance-driven Christian living. This focal point for meditation is the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the full accomplishment of my redemption. Every aspect of my salvation is dependent upon what the Lord Jesus did on my behalf as He endured the Father’s wrath against my sin. It is all of grace. When I deliberately think upon this truth then I am will be confidently living in the acceptance that is already mine in Jesus, rather than anxiously striving after an imaginary acceptance that seems to elude my heart of unbelief.

This morning, I got to thinking about this priority again while reading another chapter in Encouragement for Today’s Pastors: Help from the Puritans, by Joel Beeke and Terry Slachter. Here, while affirming the practical nature of Puritan preaching, the authors provide illustration from one of John Flavel’s sermons on the cross, specifically Jesus’ declaration that “It is finished” (John 19:30). After Flavel preached the doctrine derived from the text, the authors point out that the other half of the sermon then “offers these practical inferences drawn from the doctrine.” There are six mentioned.
  1. Comfort: believers need not fear condemnation for all the imperfections of our works for God;
  2. Warning: trusting anything besides Christ for our justification is dangerous to us and dishonoring to Christ;
  3. Hope: if Christ finished His work for us, then He will finish His work in us;
  4. Exultation: rejoice in this finished work and the way of justification by faith in Christ alone;
  5. Imitation: if Christ worked, then all Christians must labor to glorify God by hard work; and
  6. Exhortation: strive to finish the work God gives you before death closes your life.
When we intentionally focus on the finished work of Jesus on our behalf then we enter the realm of spiritual rest that God intended for us. Truly, Jesus is our Sabbath. Let us choose to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:1-11).