In this post I want to share the salvation testimony of a Central Asian Muslim in order to illustrate my last post concerning Unreached People Groups. Due to the sensitive political and religious nature of the country this brother lives in I have changed his name and left his location unspecified for his safety.
Soon after Esther and I were married I had a chance to take a trip to Central Asia. We were living in China at the time and had met some leaders of a short-term mission organization. They were interested in expanding their ministry into a particular country in that region. Since I had been living in Asia for several years and was familiar with the customs of that region, our new friends asked me to come along and help them get around.
Continue reading “A Turkish Testimony (Illustrating Pioneer Missions)” →
(In this post I want to share a testimony of one of the disciples that was raised up in our church in Jakarta in order to illustrate the conclusion of my last post “Defining Missions – What is a Missionary?” The brother’s name has been changed in order to protect his family and his labors in China)
A Chinese Testimony
XiaLanfeng grew up in a small village in southern China. Like most children in rural China he was told that if he studied hard he could improve his lot in life. So from childhood this is what he sought to do. After graduating high school he was fortunate to be accepted to a university in the modern city of Guangzhou. While in college he continued to focus on his studies and in this way avoided many of the trappings Guangzhou had to offer.
Continue reading “A Chinese Testimony (Illustrating What Missionaries Are)” →
When I visit churches in America I am always interested to hear how the pastor will introduce me from the pulpit. I usually hear something like “Today we have with us Brother, uh… Missionary, uh… Pastor Chris.” I can’t count the number of times that I have been approached by good hearted and humble disciples in the stateside churches with the question, “What should I call you?” I might be mistaken, but I can’t imagine that any of our American pastors are used to hearing this question. I’m not keen on titles, so it really makes no difference to me what people call me. In fact when faced with this question I usually grin and say, “My mom named me Chris.” But this confusion on what to call a missionary sheds light on the vague understanding we have about what a missionary actually does. For many, what a missionary does is as mysterious and strange as the lands in which he ministers. I am convinced that the vagueness of the term “missionary” is partially to blame for this mystery. And I believe that this mystery causes some real and practical harm to both the missionaries that are sent and the churches and pastors that send them.
Continue reading “Defining Missions – What is a Missionary?” →
I want to share the testimony of how I came to Christ for 2 reasons. The first is that I wish to magnify the kindness of God in my life. The second is as a way of illustrating the importance of understanding that missions is defined by the mission we are fulfilling, not where we are fulfilling it. Click here for the previous post “Defining Missions – Where is the Mission Field?”
An American Testimony
I grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. My family weren’t church-goers, but my parents raised me with the assumption that Christianity was true. So as a child I believed that Jesus was God’s Son and that He had “the whole world in His hands” and that he loved “all the children of the world; red, yellow, black and white,” including me. Come to think of it, that is not a bad starting point for understanding of the Christian faith. But that beginning was as far as it went for me. And the ideas I had about God and His Son, didn’t come up very much in my thoughts or life, as I went about the business of growing up.
Continue reading “My Salvation Testimony (An Illustration of Domestic Missions)” →
What is mission work? It seems almost too elementary to ask such a question. But when we really look at it, the answer is not what we would expect to find. I think we would all agree that we want our definition of “mission work” to be a biblical one. So let’s consider the common understanding of this subject in light of its biblical origin and see if it stands the test.
We usually define missions as doing Christian work in a foreign country. This is the common understanding of the word in most Christian circles. According to this definition anyone who buys an international plane ticket and travels to a foreign land to do some sort of Christian outreach is involved in mission work. If we take an outreach team from Dallas to Indonesia, or a team to Mexico from San Diego, that also fits under the category of “missions.” We could also say that if someone from Canada moves to Africa, India or the United States of America to do Gospel work, they are involved in missionary outreach. This common definition is basically correct and all the examples we just mentioned deserve to be called mission work. But according to biblical standards it is too limited.
Continue reading “Defining Missions – Where is the Mission Field?” →