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What will you find here? You will find thoughts on life and death, thoughts about God and humanity's relationship with the Divine, you will find links to other bloggers and websites that pique my interest, and hopefully yours too. And finally, you will from time to time find me waxing on about music, because there is probably nothing else in my life that I dig so consistently and fervently as good music. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Persecuted Christians and the Great Co-Mission

I grew up in a missionary church.  Indeed that was part of the denominations name.  I was raised in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and have many very early memories of reports and celebrations and prayers regarding the congregations many missionaries.  I fondly remember on particular missionary and his animated reports about his missions in the Cote D'ivoire (Ivory Coast), and how the Holy Spirit was using the Word of God to change lives.

When I attended a Baptist Bible College and Seminary, I don't remember missions being such a strong focus, except in Camaroon.  It seemed to me in those years that the North American Baptists had forgotten about the rest of the world.  I know and knew this not to be true, but is was rare to hear about another country.

Part way through my degree, I left the Alliance Church, disillusioned with denominationalism and denominationalist legalism and jingoism (please share you experience with me regarding denomationalism, I would love to hear from you; leave me a comment), and began attending a small Christian Brethren assembly.  This congregation despite its small size (60 or so people in the pews on a Sunday), is also a missionary church, and has sent missionaries to France, China, Chad, India, and other parts of the world.  It also has a vibrant mission in Edmonton, reaching out to new immigrants to Canada with friendship, practical language support, and the love of Jesus.

I now am attending an Assemblies of God congregation in Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico.  This is a vibrant church, with an average of 700 attendies across its three services.  It is also a Missionary church, sending missionaries into the remote indigenous communities throughout Mexico and Latin America.  Its senior pastor regular tours Latin America, offering training and support to pastors in Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba, etc.

Last Sunday, we heard from a Missionary to India.
This was a bit of surprise to me.  In my Euro-centric vision of missions, I never really gave much thought to the idea that developing countries would be sending missionaries over seas too.  I had always invisioned missionaries in India (and other non-white populations) as being of European descent, and carrying with them European/North American curltural norms along with the Gospel.

[When I was attending the aforementioned Baptist College, a Ghanaian friend told me that Africans would be soon sending Missionaries to North America.  This is happening now.  Before moving to Mexico, I had the opportunity to worship with an African congregation that sought to win souls in Edmonton, AB, Canada.]

This young missionary told us of her experiences in India.  It was a fascinating testimony and report.

And then she told us why she was not in the missions field.  Apparently there are not enough funds to support the missionary work that she and her husband do.  And not just them.  Apparently, of the 60 or so missionaries that the Mexican Assemblies of God congregations have sent overseas, only 5 are in the field.  The rest are at home due to lack of funds.

Then she talked about persecution, of Christians in India, and throughout Asia.  And then she began to pray.  She opened the altar up, and asked people to come forward if they were willing to commit to supporting their missionaries . . . in prayer!  PRAYER!

And that is the point of this blog today.  PRAY!  

PRAY FOR YOUR MISSIONARIES!  The harvest is white, and these brave souls have heeded God's call to help in the reaping. Pray for them.

PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH!  Around the world Christians are dying for their faith.  Indeed, right now a young Irainian pastor is sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christianity.

GIVE!  Missionaries have financial needs too.  They need to eat, they need clothes, they need training.  If you gave a dollar a day to missions (1/4 the price of your daily Starbucks), fewer missionaries would be reporting that they are not in the field because they cannot afford it.  Your congregation probably does not need to replace its pews, or buy that rack of stage lights, or redecorate the church office.  Stand up for your missionaries, and advocate for them and the lost souls they are reaching out to.  redirect that money where it needs to go.  When we are in eternity, it won't matter how new are buildings looked.  WHat will matter is what we did to help in the harvest of souls.

Here are a couple tunes about missions; take the time to listen to them.

Here is a link to a blog about thet role of the Holy Spirit in Missions.  Thanks, DrDave!

God Bless you, reader.  Take time to pray for your missionaries and the persecuted church before you navigate away from this page.  Thank you.

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