Missions Catalyst

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World News Briefs

Pioneers is giving hope to Syrian and Iraqi refugee families by providing food, blankets, and trauma counseling. Read more below.

In this issue: Building bridges, giving hope

  1. SYRIA: A Spiritual Shift
  2. NORTH KOREA: Black Market Dealers Turn Gospel Smugglers
  3. INDONESIA: Kingdom Minded Business
  4. USA: What Happens When 20 Christian Pastors Visit a Mosque for the First Time?

Dear readers,

“I didn’t know if I could survive the trauma and stress,” writes a Pioneers friend, Amanda, in Who Will Listen? It was 2010, and she was living in North Africa.

“One man in Tunisia burned himself alive to protest the unemployment rate. From there, unrest spread like wildfire in in the Arab world. Young and old took to the streets in protest of injustice, and violence often accompanied their efforts.”

As the stress of such an existence wore her down, Amanda was counseled to take a long rest away from the situation and found those who could help her recover and get counseling. But some do not have such an option. Consider, for example, Syrian refugees who have suffered the same kind of trauma and more.

“They leave home, country, family, financial stability, and even their ability to work and communicate. Who is there to welcome them when they arrive? Who can listen and give them counsel? Who is there to tell them the truth about the Jesus who loves them?”

“Just like I did, they need people to help them process what they have experienced,” says Amanda. “Though they do not have the financial or human resources to get counseling in their own language with people who understand their culture, we can help them get it.”

We’re glad to partner with colleagues at Pioneers as they work to provide physical and spiritual care to Syrian and Iraqi refugees and help families start to rebuild their lives and heal after enduring trauma caused by the war.

This issue of Missions Catalyst also includes another piece about God at work among Syrians and also several stories of Christians called to build cross-cultural bridges. Read on!

SYRIA: A Spiritual Shift

Source: Vision Beyond Borders, April 2016

Before civil war erupted in 2011, ninety percent of Syrians adhered to Islam and proselytizing was restricted. The government had cracked down on churches and Christian groups who tried to evangelize Muslims, arresting some and closing buildings that were used for Christian meetings. Now, many of Syria’s unreached have been uprooted and scattered. Nearly half the population is displaced. But the movement isn’t merely physical; a powerful shift is taking place spiritually, creating an unparalleled openness to the gospel.

The closed doors are now open in refugee camps, where many are hearing about their Savior for the first time. One worker explained, “You can’t share the gospel freely in Syria, so these people have never heard it before. In a short period of time, we’ve been able to share with the same number of Syrians that it would take us months and months to share with in Syria.”

Our contacts report an extraordinary trend in the number of Muslims they have seen coming to faith in Christ in recent years. “In 2013, we started seeing a marked increase, with at least one person coming to Christ just about every week…Then in 2014, it started going crazy… There were over 400 that came to Christ in 2014, and again over 400 in 2015!” A pastor who works with Syrian refugees noted: “God is at work in a special way.”

Among this influx of new believers are many refugees from areas that Islamic State controls… and where Christians would have never gone.

[One ministry reports] discipling several hundred new believers, and are impressed by the special way God is moving in their lives: “This group has been maturing quickly and many of them are even taking over discipleship groups. It’s been amazing growth, and we are harnessing this growth in order to mobilize Lebanese and Syrian missionaries to reach out for Christ around the Middle East and North Africa.”

» Read full story.

» See also an encouraging story about New Movements of Christ in Thailand (World Outreach International).

NORTH KOREA: Black Market Dealers Turn Gospel Smugglers

Source: Mission Network News, May 12, 2016

Before [Chinese couple “Bo and Annie”] became believers, Bo ran a cross-border business delivering and trading goods with a North Korean partner, “Ju.” The business relationship appeared successful until one day Bo discovered an anomaly in the financial records. Ju had been cheating him out of a great deal of money. In heated anger, Bo broke off the partnership.

A few years passed, and by God’s grace Bo and Annie came to be followers of Christ. They were fully committed to their new faith and began to attend a secret Chinese Bible school. During those intense times of studying God’s Word, they received their calling to disciple and train North Koreans to be undercover house church leaders.

They knew the dangers they faced if their ministry was discovered. But with Bo’s North Korean business connections, they also knew they had access to people many others couldn’t reach. The couple knew God was leading them to disciple Ju, the very man who had caused so much bitterness in Bo.

Shocked that the couple would reach out in peace to him after so many years, Ju agreed to meet with Bo and Annie. The consequences they faced if Ju decided to turn them in to the authorities were severe, but Bo and Annie began to reveal the reasons for their heart change through the Gospel message. They ended by telling Ju that they had forgiven him. The couple’s unprecedented kindness led Ju to repentance and he accepted Christ as his Savior.

Soon Ju began taking his own risks by sharing the Gospel with his family and extended relatives. In just three years, Ju led over 20 families to Jesus and the group met together regularly to worship in secret.

Bo and Annie began covertly bringing members of Ju’s underground church into China for intensive three-week Bible training and discipleship sessions. During the sessions, the new believers would memorize dozens of Bible verses. Many wrote the most critical elements of their lessons on small pieces of paper. On returning to North Korea, the papers were hidden in deep recesses of clothing so they would not be discovered should anyone be captured. These pieces of paper became precious spiritual food for the other church members awaiting their return.

» Read full story, which came from the ministry of Global Advance.

INDONESIA: Kingdom-minded Business

Source: Business as Mission, May 10, 2016

Kingdom Business Community (KBC) is a network for Christian business people in Indonesia. Describing itself as a marketplace ministry movement with “business as mission” concerns, it is one of the largest networks of mission-focused business people in the world.

KBC began in 2005 with six business friends from the same church who dreamed of catalyzing transformation on a national level through the practice of business. Ten years later, KBC has trained thousands of business people and hosts 30 training camps each year in five different regions around the country.

» Read full story. See also another story from Indonesia on this site, Muslim Village Transformed through Prayer, Business People, and Owls.

USA: What Happens When 20 Christian Pastors Visit a Mosque for the First Time?

Source: Preemptive Love Coalition, April 27, 2016

We had never met our Muslim hosts prior to visiting their suburban mosque. We had never met the pastors who chose to accompany us, either. We had no idea how the discussion would go.

One thing we’ve learned in our years of waging peace: talking with someone is always better than talking about them. So with the help of our friends at Peace Catalyst, we reached out to a Denver-area mosque. Without hesitation, the imam invited us to come—and to bring as many Christian leaders as we could.

We would later learn that our host, Imam ShemsAdeen, has a history of leaning into conversations like these, offering generous hospitality and welcome to anyone who is willing to engage.

On our ride to the Islamic center, we took a quick survey. Most of us (including myself) had never set foot inside a mosque before. Most of us did not have a single Muslim friend. In other words, we are a lot like our fellow Americans—nearly two thirds of whom do not know a Muslim personally.

» Read about what happened.

» See also The Muslim in My Attic (TallSkinnyKiwi). Next week’s Missions Catalyst will review a new book about this kind of peacemaking.

Practical Mobilization

Image: Flikr / Penn State News

Warm Weather Welcome: Seven Ways You Can Make this Summer Soar for New Americans

By Shane Bennett

Editor’s note: Several of the ideas in this month’s Practical Mobilization column are US-specific, though with a little creativity, most can be adapted to other settings.

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner: Long days, warm nights, and no school. Schedules often get a change up this time of year. The seasonal shift closes some doors, but opens some interesting other ones.

What if you decided to do something different this year? What if you wove into your summer plans creative efforts to extend care to some of the most overlooked people in your city? If you wedge into your summer schedule some time with refugees and others from outside America (or your country), a few things may happen: Some precious people will experience God’s blessing, your life will be richer for the experience and effort, and your kids will learn a few swear words in a new language!

To get started, you’ll want to find two things: info about where refugees live near you and some friends to join you. Check out this helpful map to see what refugee agencies work where. Contact them to find out who’s coming to your town, who’s already at work to serve refugees, and how you and your friends can help.

To gather allies? Encourage your church to recognize National Refugee Sunday on June 26th. Then show the amazing film, The Good Lie to further sensitize your church to the challenges refugees face settling into a new country. Pass around a sign-up sheet or pay attention to who attends so you can follow up with specific invitations and ways to respond.

1. Host a Sports Clinic

Draft some high school students from the youth group to host a four-day intro to American sports. Spend a day each on football, baseball, and basketball. On day four, allow participants to double down on their favorite sport, then award certificates. Know a famous, or even marginally famous, sports figure? Ask them to show up early in the week to build interest or to attend a special wrap-up event.

2. Arrange a Muslim Awareness Day

Here’s an idea that would work great with families. Set aside a day to open your minds and hearts to Muslims in your city. Begin with an hour or so of introduction to Islam. If you can’t find someone better, you can do this! Check out Fouad Masri’s book, Ambassadors to Muslims for accessible fodder for training. In pairs, hit the streets of the densest Muslim neighborhood you can find for two to three hours of fun with a cultural scavenger hunt. The basic idea is to nudge your friends into conversations with Muslims. Here’s a sample from Amsterdam. Tally up the points and pick a winner over lunch at a pre-arranged ethnic restaurant. Round out the day with a guided tour of a local mosque and a solid hour to debrief the day’s experiences.

3. Organize a Foreign-friendly VBS

If your city has lot of kids from somewhere else (and a correspondingly high number of tired moms who raise them!), you may want to consider hosting a Vacation Bible School program. Some standard VBS activities translate easily from culture to culture, like that relay where you pop balloons with your bum! That’s global fun! Others, however, might be best left in the closet if your participants are Muslim, not Methodist. I’m thinking of the Salvation Story Bead Bracelet and the Macaroni Cross Craft, which might not go over so well when kids take them home. A brilliant friend and practitioner in the Southwestern US has developed a VBS curriculum that’s biblical, fun, and still honoring to Muslim kids and their parents. She’s had kids come back year after year and parents happily participate in closing celebration events. Email me for a copy of the curriculum.

4. Start a Summer Reading Group

Maybe your own kids are all you want to wrangle this summer. How about pulling together a reading group for adults? Raise some funds to hire baby sitters, advertise around refugee centers and neighborhoods, then get together for an hour to practice reading. Depending on the composition of the group, you may want to keep it pretty simple. If English language capacity is sufficient, I’d recommend Leif Enger’s Peace like a River for a group read. It’s funny, poignant, and has a description of heaven that never fails to make me cry. Plenty of great stuff to talk about.

5. Visit the Farm

Gather twenty to thirty refugee kids and parents, secure the necessary permissions, insurance, and vehicles, then get out of the city! Find a farm with some animals to pet, some work to do, and a kindly old farming couple who tell great stories! If you can’t find a kindly old farmer, a ride on a tractor is a close second. If you return home with bushels of free zucchini, there’s a good chance you found a farm in Indiana.

6. Head to the Hills with International Students

America in the summer is magical. But if your home is China or Saudi Arabia, it can be a challenging time. Check with a local university to see if they’ll help you link up with international students who are staying over the summer. Invite a carload of them on a hike to a nearby mountain, wetland, or forest. Hit up a local eatery on the way home.

7. Fasting and Fireworks

When we were newly arrived in England a dear Afghan family from down the road invited us to shoot fireworks with them to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. The commemoration, as fascinating as it is, meant little to either them or us. But I’ll never forget the warmth and kindness I felt at being invited to share it with them.

This year’s Ramadan fast ends on July 5th. Can I encourage you to invite a Muslim family over on July 4th to eat (after the sun has set) and watch some fireworks with you? If they’re newcomers, it’s a great time to humbly share about America. It’s also a good time to learn about Ramadan and celebrate its near completion.

Conclusion

I’m grateful to God that he’s bringing the nations to our neighborhoods. Success to you as you seek to be a good neighbor this summer. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about doing to make this summer soar for newcomers. Please share your ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter, or through comments on our website.

World News Briefs

Missions Catalyst News Briefs 5.4.16

  1. BURKINA FASO: Celebrating the San Bible
  2. CHILE: Christian Churches Set Ablaze
  3. PACIFIC RIM: Mobilizing Pacific Islanders
  4. INDIA: Blacksmith Paid to Make Iron Crosses Learns Their Meaning
  5. WORLD: The Portable Gospel and a Portable Dental Chair

Greetings,

In our last edition of News Briefs, we lauded Jordan for being the most hospitable nation (most refugees as a percentage of their population). This week I read that this region is also a place where sex trafficking is big business. CryOut reports from Lebanon that a large ring has been dismantled by security forces. (Praise God)!

So often the news reminds me of Fortunately, a favorite children’s story that starts like this:

“Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.
“Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.
“Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.
“Unfortunately, the motor exploded.
“Fortunately, there was a parachute in the airplane.
“Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute.”

Although much of this week’s news goes back and forth, we have this: Fortunately, God’s story ends gloriously for those who know and love him!

Say with me, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Pat

 

Come, Lord Jesus (Lyric Video). Redemption City Church, Franklin, TN.

BURKINA FASO: Celebrating the San Bible

Source: United Bible Societies, April 18, 2016

“To have the whole Bible in San is for us a victory over the Enemy and over obscurantism. More and more Samo people (who speak San) are learning to read, and now they will be able to read God’s Word in their own language.”

These are the words of Thomas Traoré, President of the Eglise de l’Alliance Chrétienne (Church of the Christian Alliance) of Burkina Faso, at the publication of the first Bible in San—a language spoken by more than 230,000 people. The new Bible was dedicated in February, in Toma, Nayala Province, and was welcomed with great joy by the Christian community with prayers, singing, and dancing.

Work on translating the New Testament was started in 1982 by American missionary Richard Phillips and was later continued by the Bible Society and SIL. The New Testament was published in 1996, and work on the Old Testament began two years later.

“God speaks San and wants to talk to you in your language, so put your new Bible to good use,” [General Secretary of the Bible Society of Burkina Faso] Mr. Dramane Yankiné told the gathering of Samo Christians, urging them to use it as a tool to build their faith and to improve their literacy skills.

“The translation of the Word of God is in accord with the Spirit of Pentecost, when the apostles spoke in the mother tongues of the people around them,” he noted. “There is no sacred language in which God communicates; God speaks to each person in his or her language in order to be understood.”

» See full story with pictures.

» You might also enjoy reading about encouraging developments with access to the Bible in the West Africa’s Wolof language (SIM). On the other hand, please pray for Christians in Uzbekistan recently imprisoned and tortured, apparently for illegal possession of Christian literature (Forum 18 News Service).

CHILE: Christian Churches Set Ablaze

Source: Worthy News, April 11, 2016

Last month two churches in Chile were set ablaze by supporters of the Mapuche—a Chilean movement that seeks to rid the region of religions contrary to their own indigenous beliefs.

According to International Christian Concern, the church attacks were two of five other arsons that occurred within 24 hours.

In the first attack, the Catholic Church of Santa Joaquina in the commune of Padre Las Casas was torched. Hours later an evangelical church—the Christian Union in Antinao—was also set afire. A pamphlet found at the site read: “We are going to burn all churches” and demanded that all Mapuche political prisoners be released.

» Read full story. See also related stories in Christian Times and Reuters.

» Readers might also be interested in an ASSIST News Service story about the Gathering of Nations, a native-American event that brings together 700 North American tribes (and some committed to native American ministry).

PACIFIC RIM: Mobilizing Pacific Islanders

Source: SIM, April 22, 2016

The Pacific Island communities in New Zealand and the Pacific are beginning to rise up and go into the nations, proclaiming the gospel, demonstrating God’s love and power. We are seeking to journey with this nascent movement, Pacific2Nations, to mobilize the church to longer-term involvement in cross-cultural mission.

Please pray for:

  • The teams and individuals receiving Kairos training and beginning to explore overseas mission opportunities.
  • Pastors to continue to open their eyes to the need and the call and encourage their people to be involved in overseas mission.
  • Many more Pacific Islanders to accept the challenge to be involved in God’s mission to the nations.

» Read full story and pray for the next Pacific2Nations event, near Sydney, Australia, May 27-28. Live near there? Check it out. It’s free.

INDIA: Blacksmith Paid to Make Iron Crosses Learns Their Meaning

Source: God Reports, May 2, 2016

He was the only blacksmith in his village in India, making plows and other farming instruments. He usually was paid with food and rarely received cash from other villagers.

One day something surprising happened. “Two people from the Baptist Church came to my village and asked me to make two dozen iron crosses for their church,” Ballipati Barburao told Final Frontiers Foundation.

They also gave him some Christian tracts about the greatness of Jesus Christ and asked him to read the material and pass it out to his family and neighbors.

When Ballipati read the tract, he was confused. “I went to the Baptist Church to give the iron designs and I asked the pastor to explain about Jesus,” he recounts.

As the two men talked further the pastor explained the gospel to him. Suddenly he understood the true meaning of the crosses he fashioned in the fire. The Holy Spirit convicted Ballipati of his sins and his need for repentance. Then God planted a seed of believing faith in his heart.

“I was absolutely impressed by the preaching and then I confessed my sins and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior,” he says.

The Holy Spirit filled him with a boldness to witness. “From that moment I became a preacher,” Ballipati says, but it was not without a cost.

» Read more about Ballipati’s challenges and how he was delivered through them.

» For a story with a different ending, read a stirring tribute to  Pastor Han, martyred a few days ago after a many years of ministry to North Koreans (Voice of the Martyrs Korea). You may have also heard about two US missionaries just killed in Jamaica.

WORLD: The Portable Gospel and a Portable Dental Chair

Source: Missions Dilemma, April 22, 2016

One of the best known creations from the engineers at I-TEC is their portable dental chair. Through the Indigenous Dental Training (I-DENT program), chairs have been all around the world, from the mountains of Bolivia to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The I-DENT training supplies indigenous Christians with the skills and equipment needed to provide basic dental care in remote areas in the name of Jesus. And because the portable dental chair is light enough to carry as a backpack or to strap to the back of your bicycle as you ride from village to village, the gospel is reaching communities that have never before heard of Jesus Christ.

After receiving the I-DENT training, eight Bolivian men and women are now able to care for their community. Because they have four portable dental chairs, they can travel deep into the mountains and share the gospel through meeting the dental needs of people who have never heard the word “dentist” and have never heard the gospel. It is truly a life-changing ministry.

» Learn more. See another Missions Dilemma article, Why Medical Missions?

Resource Reviews

In This Issue:

  1. BOOK: Help Your Missionaries Thrive
  2. ARTICLE: The Role of Persecution in Movements
  3. ONLINE COURSE: Travel Safety
  4. EVENT: Support Raising Leaders Conference
  5. BOOK: Well Sent
  6. EVENTS: Upcoming Conferences, Training, and More

BOOK: Help Your Missionaries Thrive

Source: GMI Books

Help Your Missionaries Thrive: Leadership Practices that Make a Difference, by Ken Harder and Carla Foote (GMI Books, 2016). 96 pages.

Here’s a book for mission agency leaders, though others might be interested as well. Help Your Missionaries Thrive: Leadership Practices that Make a Difference, by Dr. Ken Harder and Carla Foote, shows leaders how they can improve retention and engagement of field workers by focusing on a handful of simple but powerful leadership practices. The resource tackles challenges such as trust, feedback, listening, decision making, dealing with a crisis, life stages, and more.

This book is based on research conducted by GMI and Best Christian Workplaces, which surveyed 1,771 North American, cross-cultural field workers from seven agencies. It reveals top concerns field workers have about their agencies in the areas of personnel practices, worker involvement in decision making, and servant leadership at all levels. I found it engaging, enlightening, and practical.

» Learn more or purchase from the publisher for US$9.99 (ebook) or US$14.99 (paperback). A Kindle edition is also available on Amazon. See also a GMI infographic about helping missionaries thrive which reflects some of this research.

» Readers might also be interested in watching Knowing Who to Send: Predicting Missionary Fruitfulness and Failure, a recent webinar for church leaders from Sixteen:Fifteen.

ONLINE COURSE: Travel Safety

Source: Sarus Global

Looking for security training for yourself of a short-term team you may be sending out? Check out Sarus Global, which offers reasonably priced online courses designed to prepare students, mission teams, and professionals for traveling overseas. There’s even a course just for solo female travelers. We read about this in Brigada Today, and they added this endorsement:

“They are a faith-based company focusing mainly on mission groups traveling abroad. They are partnered with Good Neighbor Insurance and Standards of Excellence. The CEO spent ten years working for the U.S. Department of State working at embassies training and evaluating threats in foreign countries. The owner’s husband is still involved in law enforcement at a very high level. They’re the real deal.”

» Learn more or sign up for courses.

» See also Crisis Consulting International and Morton Security Solutions (and their seminars on this month’s events calendar). Looking for resources to help you think biblically about risk? See the blog of  Anna Hampton, author of the upcoming book, Facing Danger: A Guide through Risk.

EVENT: Support Raising Leaders Conference

Source: Support Raising Solutions

Involved in equipping new ministry workers, particularly in the area of raising support? Check out Climb, a training event for those who train or coach others in support raising. It will be held October 11-14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The conference will feature an exciting lineup of keynote speakers, informative break-out sessions, interactive panels, and time for for networking.

» Learn more or register for the event. Sign up this week (by April 30) for an early-bird discount and check out other resources from SRS (like Steve Shadrach’s book, The God Ask).

» Also see this free course on relationship-based fundraising from YWAM.

BOOK: Well Sent

Source: CLC Publications

Well Sent: Reimagining the Church’s Missionary-Sending Process, by Steve Beirn with George Murray. CLC Publications, 2015.

I’ll let this book speak for itself:

“Sending out missionaries has fallen on hard times. Traditionally strong sending countries are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the need for cross-cultural workers. Some postcolonial theology has valued indigenous culture and leaders to the point of becoming anti-missionary. With the emergence of partnerships, the international justice movement, compassion ministries and supporting nationals, sending is more frequently perceived as an outdated ministry paradigm. The perception of sending and the urgency to send has changed over the last twenty to thirty years. This has impacted the ability of churches to accelerate the completion of the Great Commission.

“This book seeks to elevate the role of the local church in the sending effort. The trend in missions today is to place the individual at the center of the sending process. Sometimes the agency is placed at the center. This book places the local church at the center of the sending process. Positioning the church at the center is not only biblically sound, it accomplishes what the individual or agency cannot easily do. It increases the flow of the workers and resources needed to accomplish the task.”

My Pioneers teammates and I appreciated this brief, practical book and hope to share it with many of our church partners. Read it; you might want to do the same.

» Learn more or get a copy. It’s US$12.99 in paperback or $US9.99 for the Kindle edition.

» See also Reimagine Your Missions Team (article from Catalyst Postings).

EVENTS: Conference, Training, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

May 2 to September 4, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

May 4-7, International Wholistic Missions Conference (Phoenix, AZ, USA). From the Global CHE Network.

May 5, Planning for Safety on Short-Term Mission Trips (online). Webinar from Mission Nexus.

May 10, Are Compassion Ministries Truly Compassionate? (online). Free, web-based, interactive conversation from The Mission Table.

May 11-12, Interchange (Philadelphia, PA, USA). Bringing church and agency personnel together. Topic: Missions and money. Provided by Catalyst Services.

May 12, CFO: Comprehensive Financial Orchestrator (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 12-14, Christian Community Health Conference (Oklahoma City, OK, USA). Provided by the Christian Community Health Fellowship.

May 13-14, People Raising Conference (Oak Brook, IL, USA). Be equipped for raising personal support.

May 13-14, Prayer and Spiritual Warfare ConneXion (Portland, OR, USA). Training event provided by Mission ConneXion.

May 15, International Day for the Unreached (international).

May 15, Global Day of Prayer (global). An annual event.

May 17-18, Support Raising Bootcamp (Pasadena, CA, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

May 18, Short Term Missions Trips | The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (online). Free webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen.

May 18-20, Crisis Management Seminar (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Crisis Consulting International.

May 19-21, Target Hardening and Resiliency Seminar (Tucson, AZ, USA). Provided by Morton Security Solutions.

May 19-21, Global Children’s Ministry Equip Conference (Chiang Mai, Thailand). An annual event.

May 23 to June 4, Darshan (Chicago, IL, USA). Hindu evangelism training from Christar.

May 26, Women in Leadership: The Lay of the Land and Best Practices (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 26-29, Serving Internationals (Estes Park, CO, USA). Annual conference by the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI).

May 27 to June 4, Single Vision Retreat (Lisbon, Portugal). A member care program for singles in the mission community.

June 1-3, Crisis Management Seminar (Columbus, OH, USA). Provided by Crisis Consulting International.

June 3-4, The Justice Conference (Chicago, IL, USA). Annual event to promote dialogue around justice related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and human rights.

June 3-13, Refresh! (Thailand). Retreat for cross-cultural workers. Provided by Heartstream Resources.

June 6-17, ACQUIRE (Joplin, MO, USA). Language and culture acquisition training for cross-cultural workers provided by TRAIN International.

June 6 to July 5, 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus (global).

June 6 to August 14, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

June 7-11, Sahara Challenge (St. Paul, MN, USA). Intensive training for ministry to Muslims, from Crescent Project.

June 7-28, Mobile Ministry Course (online). Provided by the Mobile Ministry Forum several times a year.

June 14, How Should Followers of Christ Respond to Radical Islam? (online). Free, web-based, interactive conversation from The Mission Table.

June 15, Business As Mission (online). Free webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen.

June 19, World Refugee Sunday (international). Churches praying for refugees and displaced people. Some also observing this event June 26.

June 20 to September 11, Encountering the World of Islam (online). Course on embracing Muslims with the love of Christ.

June 22 to July 2, Breathe Conference (Wilderswil, Switzerland). Ten-day retreat for renewal and encouragement for cross-cultural workers.

June 23-24, Legacy Conference (Grand Rapids, MI, USA). A conference about Muslims, missions, and the heart of God; provided by Horizons International.

June 23-25, National African-American Missions Conference (Vienna, VA, USA).

June 28-29, Support Raising Bootcamp (Plano, TX, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

June 28-30, Amplify Conference: Multiplying Evangelism in the Local Church (Wheaton, IL, USA). Sponsored by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.

» View the calendar or submit an addition or correction.

ARTICLE: The Role of Persecution in Movements

Source: The Long View

“Recently, in South Asia, I was interviewing leaders of a major movement. One of the questions I asked was: over your years of ministry, what habits, disciplines, or mindsets have helped you to endure in ministry and eventually become fruitful? The question was being translated and was eventually shortened to, ‘over the years, what has helped you grow in ministry?’ (which is similar but not quite the same thing and led to some interesting answers). One of the leaders, without pausing a second, answered: ‘Persecution.’ ”

» Read about six effects of persecution and four ways we can respond. See also other articles and resources from Justin Long.

World News Briefs

In This Issue: Extreme and Surprising News

  1. RUSSIA: Gospel Enters the Unknown
  2. BHUTAN: A “Happy” Place, But Not for All
  3. JORDAN: Most Hospitable Nation
  4. ERITREA: World’s Harshest Conditions
  5. BURMA: Rescuing Hunted Children
  6. MALAYSIA: Court Upholds Right to Convert from Islam

Yakutsk is the coldest region on earth, with temperatures frequently well below zero. Yet the believers are warm, friendly, and faithful, say sources at Slavic Gospel Association. See related story below.

Greetings,

This week’s news is full of “extremes.” Read about the coldest city on earth, the place with the most child soldiers, the “happiest” country, the most hospitable nation, and the place with the harshest conditions. Also read what I find most surprising of all, a story about a Malaysian court upholding the right to convert from Islam!

Extremely happy,
Pat

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