The Financial Struggle of National Pastors
A committed believer, Pramot had served as an intern at New City Fellowship Church (NCFC) in Thailand while studying at Bangkok Bible Seminary. He knew he was called to be a pastor, and the growing MTW church plant was a place for him to minister to those who did not know Christ. What Pramot did not know was that the NCFC community would provide him and his family with a firm foundation as they faced tragic circumstances.
Pramot and his wife, Tang, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Peace, in the fall of 2012. But with the joyful arrival of Peace came a cancer diagnosis for 29-year-old Tang. The church rallied around the young family. They received help with doctor visits, were prayed for, counseled, and consistently cared for by this new church family.
But less than a year after her diagnosis, Tang went "to be with her Daddy," as she put it. Even while grieving, Pramot and the church family were able to witness to the truth of Jesus Christ to the Buddhist community.
Pramot is now a pastor for NCFC and serving his community. But the challenge now is that the church struggles financially. The members cannot support the church from their own giving. So Pramot is investing much of his own time and money to learn the air conditioner service business. After praying and seeking advice from the session of NCFC, Pramot started Jing Jai Air ("Sincere Air").
Jing Jai Air is not just tent-making ministry: it is part of Pramot's vision to establish a solid financial foundation for NCFC by employing NCFC staff and expanding into the A/C parts business. Through this "business as mission" he and the staff will create an outreach to young, unskilled men in slum communities, providing them a steady income and gospel witness.
Pramot experienced firsthand the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the compassion and care of a church community. He now wants to share that love and compassion with others in Thailand. Our God is indeed a God of redemption.
Will you share your resources with Pramot and other national pastors? Your year-end gift will support national pastors, including those like Pramot, who are working in areas where Business as Mission and church planting intersect; and where churches can make a difference through the love they share with their community, as NCFC did for Pramot, Tang, and Peace.
These funds will support national pastors who are on the front lines of planting churches that transform their communities. Your gift will leverage your financial resources to expand the impact of the churches' human resources.
Thank you for your commitment to sending the gospel of grace to a world in need of His redeeming love.
Click here to make an online donation to help support pastors like Pramot.
Success in Support Raising
Workshop helps energize missionary support-raising efforts
Mission to the World (MTW) is conducting its annual two-day workshop, Raising Support Successfully, January 29-30, 2015. This event is for MTW missionaries as well as the larger ministry community.
The workshop is a great place to learn current trends and best practices in support raising and to practice the skills needed to be successful in raising support. It is designed to help those who are fundraising get beyond the obstacles they are facing or get started for the first time.
One participant who had no previous experience or training said, "We cannot thank you enough for this excellent two-day workshop. We just started on our team-raising in the last month, and we are already at 16 percent. We praise God for the great start you gave us."
Just over two months later they gave an update, "In nine weeks of working 10 presentations a week (yes, it can be done all by God's grace), we are at 43 percent of our total need. We would be no where near where we are without this seminar. Thanks so much for all you did to get us hugely jumpstarted."
Save your seat today. Space is limited. The cost of this two-day event is $149 per person, which includes materials and lunch both days. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to those who qualify. Be sure to register before January 19 to reserve your spot.
Contact Tara.Bell@mtw.org with your questions or to apply for a scholarship.
Evangelism Produced in HD
by Amy Robinson
Buried deep in a closed part of the world, strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, an evolutionary ministry is bringing the gospel to countries otherwise closed to missions efforts. In an MTW Business As Mission (BAM) endeavor, a unique team introduces professionalism and Reformed theology to a field ripe for the gospel. Their business? Media production.
Ebola and Unexpected Blessings
On a mission to encourage Christians in an Ebola-stricken country, one of our national pastors received an unusual invitation-one that made him hesitate. In his own words:
The following day the Muslim population invited me to lead them in prayer and this surprised me. I told them, "I am not a Muslim religious leader but a Christian." This was their response:
"Our imam is dead and we have not opened our mosque since that time. We have being praying in our homes since then, but seeing you Christians gathering and singing, we are challenged. We want to gather along with our Christian neighbours-in our mosque-and let you lead us in any form of prayer you know."
I felt strange-since the time that I had been saved by the grace of God, I had never wanted to enter a mosque again! I consulted the Christian friends who invited me to the community. They thought it was funny and ironic because the same Muslims had being disturbing them and persecuting them socially over the years. After some time of reflection I agreed with my Christian friends, and the following Sunday we had our service in the village mosque. The Christian brethren led the praise and worship, and prayer, and the Muslims just listened and kept on saying "amen" all the way through.
I preached on the miracles of Jesus in the book of Luke (all of them). I just kept on reading and explaining briefly to them as they listened. The Christians were a bit bored during my sermon but you should have seen the faces of these Muslims!
Later on, after I had returned home, one of the leaders of this community called me on my cell phone to tell me that every Sunday since I preached, all the village would come to their open-air gathering under the tree to hear the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is at work through His people in West Africa. Learn more about how you can be involved in ministry to Muslims. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about how you can #PrayforWestAfrica visit mtw.org/ebola.
"There must be a God" -A Business As Mission update from South Asia
We run a business center in our city, helping equip South Asian entrepreneurs and develop businesses as a strategic way to reach the community with the gospel and aid community development. Last week, we finished our seventh cohort of entrepreneurs. We had a great week.
First, we had the final business presentations. From there, the top four presentations went on to the business presentation competition. Our finalists had put together business plans for holistic funeral services, gourmet tea/snacks, education consulting, and an online counseling platform. The winner of the competition receives a no-interest loan for starting his/her business.
We had our best competition so far. During the competition, an entrepreneur who was a non-believer spontaneously praised the business center saying, "There are almost no resources for those suffering mentally in South Asia. I've had a burning desire for helping those with mental problems. At just the right time, I found the business center. It's the only thing that has helped me make this desire into a business for others. I'm not a Christian, but there must be a God."
What exciting opportunities to introduce others to this wonderful God as well as start businesses that can transform this city. Please pray for this entrepreneur. Consider donating toward the competition winning loan. Even better, come over and help our entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses.
Consider donating toward the competition winning loan.
Learn more about how God can use your skills to help with Business As Mission endeavors overseas. Visit www.mtw.org/bam
The Nations Have Come to Us
by Chelsey Bennett
We’ve made it to Clarkston! My two teammates and I are settling into our apartment and approaching this refugee community just east of Atlanta with wide eyes and a huge lack of insight. I feel like an outsider. A rookie. An inexperienced child. Even though there are over 40 nationalities here, I feel like the foreigner.
MTW West Coast Missions Conference Comes to San Diego
By Susan Fikse
“Because of the rise of urbanization and the reality of globalization, the dynamics of our world are changing, shifting, even at this very moment," says Stephen Um, Pastor of CityLife Presbyterian Church in Boston. These are exactly the changing dynamics that he will address as the keynote speaker of MTW's first West Coast Missions Conference in January.
Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Encinitas, CA will host the conference, which will also feature newly nominated coordinator of MTW, Dr. Lloyd Kim. Kim hopes to use his experiences as leader of MTW's Asia Pacific ministries, where church planting networks are thriving, to inspire a rising generation of missionaries as well as those currently on the field.
Organizers invited 300 churches from California, Arizona, and New Mexico to attend the first MTW regional missions conference on the West Coast, but anyone is welcome to attend. Hunter Benson, Mercy and Missions Pastor of host church, Redeemer, said, "We hope anyone who wants to get more involved in missions personally will attend, as well as church leaders who want to build their churchfs capacity for missions ministry."
"Many PCA churches in this area don't have a designated missions pastor who can help cultivate a missions ministry," explained Benson. "So the South Coast Presbytery thought this conference with MTW would be a helpful opportunity to equip churches to be engaged in missions locally and globally." Stephen Um trains pastors planting churches in Asia through Redeemer New York's City to City ministry. Benson says this role uniquely equips him to speak to pastors and lay people about the changing context of missions. "What he will bring to the conference is a strong theological vision for missions, and how to engage in missions in our current context of globalization." The conference will feature worship led by Indelible Gracefs Matthew Smith as well as multiple breakout sessions led by indigenous church planters, MTW missionaries, and MTW staff.
Breakout sessions offer opportunities to explore various aspects of missions and mercy ministry, such as church planting in urban centers, connecting global and local missions, cultivating a missions ministry in your church and caring for missionaries, and combatting human trafficking in Southeast Asia. The conference will offer myriad opportunities to connect with missionaries from around the world, explore opportunities for service overseas . longterm or short]term . and learn about ways to engage in international ministry locally. For instance, Dave Diaso will be available to discuss opportunities to work with MTWfs U.S./Mexico border and Tijuana ministry.
Register now! Early bird registration ends December 15. Questions? Email email@example.com.
They’re Special to Me
By Emily Hendrix
It could just be another picture. Three kids. Two boys, one girl. But this picture is special. At least to me it is. These are three orphans in the Philippines. Their mother passed away just a year ago and their father died when they were very small children.
It’s special because I get to sponsor them. I am able to help them go to school, live in a loving home, and eat full meals every day. I can’t ever replace what they have lost, but I am so glad to help love them the way that Jesus loves them.
They thank me in every letter for what I am doing for them, but really I am the one who is thankful. I’m so glad to even be a small part of their story. A small part of their smiles. Oh, and my favorite part of the picture? The Atlanta Braves t-shirt that I gave Arthur.
You can make a difference in a child's life. To sponsor a child, visit MTW's ONEChild Sponsorships.
Ebola Prevention: Training and Encouragement for West African Pastors
MTW missionary and nurse practitioner John Sexton just returned from West Africa where he trained national pastors to be Ebola prevention teachers. As part of the training, they discussed how to prevent the spread of Ebola and how pastors can safely minister to the sick without becoming sick themselves and spreading the disease to others. Balancing safe medicine with cultural practices is difficult; common death rituals for both Christians and Muslims have been a source of spreading Ebola.
Participants did problem-solving on how to show respect for the deceased and still remain safe from disease. For instance, an important ritual is the washing of the body at home, often a source of spreading the infection to all those in the house. This turned into a discussion: Can washing only the face still show the same respect? Can simply covering the body in a new blanket rather than changing the clothes show the same respect? In Ebola epidemics, recommended protocol is to cremate the bodies. Though this may be the best method, it is not culturally acceptable in much of West Africa. Participants discussed how to reach a compromise and still keep the community safe.
John trained nearly 150 pastors and seminary students in three separate countries that border Ebola infected areas. He had three goals for this project:
1. To build a "firewall" of prevention to slow the spread of Ebola to these countries.
2. To encourage the national churches that they are not alone during this terrible time. He carried a personal message from the new MTW coordinator, Lloyd Kim, encouraging and assuring them that the American Church is with them.
3. For the national churches to be a light in their communities during this dark time.
Already, the national churches in West Africa are planning health and evangelism conferences in 10 border communities.
We need more people to assist in further training. Are you a health educator? To learn more about volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading Youth with Humility
by Katie Weaver
Before participating in MTW short-term missions trips, Trent Thomas, youth director at Church of the Redeemer in Monroe, N.C., admits, “I had a superiority complex.” He thought he had a good grasp on the best ways to do short-term ministry in various cultures, and was ready to make an impact.
God Saw No Need to Wait
Each Tuesday night in Arequipa, Peru, a group of musicians comprised of MTW missionaries and Peruvian believers gathers to practice Andino-style music and play songs they've written. They're preparing for outreach events where they plan to share the gospel and build relationships. They hadn't yet gone public because they thought they needed more practice-but God saw no need to wait.
On a recent Tuesday night, the group heard a knock on the door. A passing pedestrian had heard them playing and asked to join in-he loved Andino music. The group welcomed him, and after playing together for a while, they shared with him their gospel purpose. The young man was interested in the music, but not the gospel.
In just a few weeks, however, the Holy Spirit began to work in this man's heart. Today he has a newfound faith in Christ, and last Sunday he played with the group in the worship service.
Learn more about God's work on our Arequipa, Peru overview page or visit the team blog at www.crosscollaboration.org.
Open Gates to Open HeartsShort-Term Missions in Mexico, Empowered by the Holy Spirit
by Katherine Spearing
MTW missionary Jamie Burkemper, along with Mexican national church planter Fernando and his wife Miralda, met Claudia during a short-term outreach in Claudia’s Ciudad Juarez neighborhood this summer. During a prayer walk through the city, they noticed a neighborhood they’d never been able to access before. Today, the gate was open.
Praying for His Mother
You might assume that all of the children at Ang Bahay Parola "Grace Home" in the Philippines have the same story. Neglected, abused, and left behind. Unfortunately that is the case for many of them, but not all.
Recently Grace Home welcomed three new children, Raindale, Raxed, and Gerod. Their father died of heart attack three years ago. And their mother, Nanay, cannot work because she cannot walk-her legs are swollen and she is in great pain. The children were starving and were not able to enroll in school due to lack of finances. The children starting working, selling vegetables and picking up bottles and scraps to sell.
Then their mother learned about Grace Home at church. After the children were admitted to the home, the mother immediately went to the clinic and was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Nanay loves her children very much. She is neither neglectful nor abusive; she simply has no capacity to care for them at the moment. Giving them up breaks her heart. The ABP Grace Home has been the children's refuge while their mother is going through treatment. They are able to attend school, eat regular meals, and play with new friends. Most of all they experience the love and care of Jesus through our workers. Every day Raindale prays for his mother that God would heal her and they could be reunited. Would you pray along with him? Pray also for all of the other children who long to be reunited with their families. You can make a difference in a child's life. To sponsor a child, visit MTW's ONEChild Sponsorships.
Relief in Full
On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, the earth started moving in Ishinomaki, a coastal city of 162,000 in the Tohoku region of Japan. M-San*, a piano teacher on the north side of town, grew increasingly terrified as the Tohoku Earthquake persisted for more than six minutes. Read more...
Success in Support Raising
Mission to the World is conducting its annual two-day workshop, Raising Support Successfully, January 29-30, 2015. This event is for MTW missionaries as well as the larger ministry community.
MTW West Coast Missions Conference
January 30-31, 2015.
Register by Dec. 15th and SAVE!
Register Now! »
March 8-14, 2015
Berlin Prayer Details »
April 13-20, 2015