From isolated villages in the heart of the Amazon to the packed high rises of Tokyo, they are mothers and fathers, they have hopes and aspirations, they have struggles and sorrows. In truth, they are not so different from any one of us. In fact, it is impossible to build a singular profile of the unreached, apart from one thing...
What if your passion for preserving the natural world could translate into front line mission to the unreached? All over the globe, people who are passionate for God and his creation – both people and planet – are engaged in ministry that seeks to bring the lost to faith in Christ while also benefitting the natural world around them.
At the age of 24 I became a missionary. And boy was I rubbish at it! I never really got the hang of missionary-ing. I made a complete hash of it, so much so that there was serious talk of sending me home before my two-year assignment was over. I had to beg them to let me stay!
Cait* teaches missionaries' kids in North Africa. She came to help with a homeschool cooperative program for several Pioneers families serving there. Now it has become a private school that is growing. “My being here means that families can stay…” she says. “I see what I’m doing as frontline ministry.”
Trained medical workers are almost always welcome, just about anywhere in the world. The service they offer can open doors to places and people that might not be accessible otherwise. The question is not, “Can the doors be opened?” but rather, “Will you walk through them?”
The call hasn’t changed in the two thousand years that separate us from the first mission sending church and their missionaries, Saul and Barnabas. We are still called to Give, Pray, Send and Go. The question we must each ask ourselves if we’re really serious about following in Jesus’ footsteps is, "Which part of ‘Go ye therefore and make disciples’ am I meant to fulfil?"
The people in my country welcome you in such an honest raw way. They are so happy to see you and they are delighted to spend time with you. It is cringe-worthy to think of how I unwittingly broke their cultural norms and ideas of politeness yet despite this they chose to embrace me anyway!
Pioneers use anything and everything that allows them to share the Good News. After all, Paul was a tentmaker, which is a little surprising if you think about it. And if you think that was outside the box, you should see what today’s missionaries do to introduce people to Jesus.
Grace is a widow with numerous dependents. The money she has earned through the card project has enabled her to pay their rent, pay for medicine for her epileptic daughter, pay for school fees, and for basic food. Through the encouragement of the project, Grace testifies to knowing God’s timely and personal provision.
He said very little, just presented me with a Ziploc bag. The contents looked like shredded paper at first. That is, until I noticed the remnants of a photograph and the distinctive red of a British passport cover. “The dog ate my passport,” he said.
Our landlord’s daughter-in-law has been busy, as she is every morning, ensuring she fulfils her duty of offering puja to the gods on behalf of the household. She carries the burden of the spiritual wellbeing of the family; if something bad befalls them, she simply must not have worshipped enough.
We’ve seen business and work opportunities provide disciple-makers like you with a clear identity and access to meet and serve people, especially in places where unemployment is high. And that leads to relationships that are natural and break down the barriers to the gospel in people’s hearts.
What though if your inner life is in turmoil? Is prayer possible when we experience crisis, whether personal tragedy or some larger catastrophe which shatters our hope and shakes the very foundations of our faith? This, of course, is the point at which the biblical tradition of the prayer of lament is so crucial.
The number of cross cultural gospel bearers from the Global South is on the rise… and the rise is significant. South Korea, Brazil and Nigeria are now major missionary-sending countries, and are poised to send large numbers of Christ-followers to countries near and far, including to the post-Christian West.
“In every culture the arts are important,” explains a Pioneers leader, “whether the emphasis is music, dance, poetry, or visual art… The arts connect you with the people who are the culture keepers. Study the arts and you will connect to the core of the culture, not just the people on the edge looking out.”
I'm an average person who’s just had sufficient so I can support someone else doing a job that I can’t do, like supporting my church minister. It just seems natural! Why should I only give 10% to God? It’s all His anyway. Far better that I keep a little and He gets the rest.
God has a way of speaking to me about himself through his creation, and my aloe plant is no exception. I was minding my own business, thinking I only had one aloe plant. I looked after it as best as I knew how, but all the while, under the surface, things were happening that I couldn’t have imagined.
There were great physical challenges in that long voyage to our new home, but what we learned from being in the company of a Nigerian crew throughout that journey was of enormous help in preparing us to understand the new cultural world within which we were to live. These days, a six hour flight with movies and games provided is a very different type of entry into Africa.
We were tracking her progress on the NYC Marathon app so we knew where she was. When she finally rounded a corner into view, we started shouting her name and waving our arms. She ran toward us, but there were tears in her eyes and she dared not stop. “I just need it to be over,” she shouted as she passed us with heavy feet...
Oliver’s Bridge spans a tributary of the Porterbrook on a particularly steep part of the trail. It's small. It’s very small. Truth be told, it’s little more than a stone arch over a rivulet of water. Most of us could cross it in one stride. For people who don’t take that part of the path, Oliver’s Bridge might even seem a bit pointless...
A lady I know hadn’t slept for two weeks owing to the constant pain she was experiencing. She sought help through a spirit doctor, but after various painful rituals she found no relief. To this woman, Jesus is the risky, unknown, foreign God that she is afraid to ask for help. What repercussions will the family face if Jesus was to intervene?
We have already realised the challenge that familiarity and connectivity can bring. It can be easy and tempting to seek out our regular comfort zones and enjoy the familiarity of home – the danger being that we don’t get alongside the people that God has brought us here to serve.
Third Culture Kids are neither fully-fledged members of their parents’ culture, nor are they fully-fledged members of the host culture. They hover somewhere in between – in a third culture of shared experiences that is unique to children worldwide who have spent a significant portion of their formative years in a culture other than their parents’ home culture.
The challenges of local resource mobilisation in Kenya make it difficult to send those who clearly are ready to go but don’t have the financial muscle to sustain themselves. Trade imbalances continue to keep the Western nations rich at the cost of Southern economies so we may never really be able to compete at the same level...