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...
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?"
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.
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.
It was just a matter of fuel. I didn’t have enough. I didn’t get it when I should have. I didn’t respect the bush and the dangers it possessed, and I didn’t take with me what I needed to get myself and my friends safely to our destination...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
As you might expect, it helps if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. “We’re looking for adventurous spirits excited to travel in the rain and wind, sleep on the floor and eat whatever we’re given,” says a team partnering with believers in Southeast Asia.
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...
Taking your profession overseas doesn’t necessarily make things faster and easier, as some may expect, but if you prepare well and love your work, it may offer you opportunities and advantages you couldn’t have by pursuing a different path.
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?
Expertise, work experience and education open doors for people with specialised abilities to work amongst other highly trained individuals. And we want to send people through those doors in pursuit of sharing the gospel with those who have never heard it.
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.
Their vision was to reach their neighbours, their country and the surrounding area by sending people with the app to run Bible studies in houses and to pass it on to those who believed, encouraging them to do the same.
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.”