What does missions work really look like?
Much of what we provide is the "how to" of missions. And as important as it is to have a clear roadmap and agreed-upon set of expectations to do this work, it doesn't reveal the "why" behind any decision to engage in missions.
This is why we capture stories.
You're invited to meet some ordinary people with extraordinary and powerful stories to tell. These are stories of individuals exalted and communities transformed. They are stories that speak to our hearts and invite us to take action.
“If you’re a teacher, a factory worker, a mom, a youth in high school, or whatever – you’ve got a role. You can be people that bring hope to people that have no hope.”
ROSS NAYLOR-TATTERSON | Pastor, Without Walls Vineyard, Holland, MI | Indonesia Partnership
Two recent missions trip experiences have left me thinking about attitude and heart posture. This story starts in the Mozambican city of Tete in 2017.
In Mozambique, most places we visit lack running water, restrooms, etc. But Mozambicans understand the need for hygiene, so the custom is to offer a pitcher of water and a basin …
When I travel to Africa, one of my favorite worship songs I frequently hear has this line in it: “We praise the African way.” It involves dancing and singing and raised hands and more. I’ve sung it in Kenya, Angola, South Africa, and elsewhere. It’s typically played following the offering at a big conference or celebration service. It’s a joyous celebration of the greatness of God and gratitude for His abundant provision.
South Sudan found its name and independence in 2011. Freedom of any kind is a sense of hope and promise, but the world’s newest country is also one of its least developed - anywhere you look. There are no precise population figures, but in 2014, the World Bank estimated there were 11.91 million South Sudanese, four in ten of them aged 14 or younger. Whether you are a child or a nation, age 7 to 8 is usually a time of rapid growth and development. But South Sudan, as beautiful as her people are, is faced with stunting restrictions.
A beautiful island nation just south of the U.S. experiencing a new-found freedom and change, is growing and stretching out of old ways of thinking--well some of them. I was informed that there are many informants in there. They go around listening to what preachers are saying.
It began before we even got on the airplane. However, everything we planned to do was accomplished, in spite of four (!) mechanical breakdowns with our vehicles, but thankfully, no problems with the airplane. Well, at least not while we were on it.
Have you ever wondered if a church should invest so much time and effort in training and sending short-term missions teams? Are the at-home benefits really worth the expense? Would it be more effective to just send the money? Let me tell you a story 19 years in the making.
On our annual trip to encourage and foster growth among the rural Cambodian churches we had a baptism scheduled in one of the villages. This village is specifically known for raising hogs! The village mayor/chief who is not a follower if Jesus (yet) welcomed us to hold a public service in the middle of the main road, under the traditional Khemer wedding tent. (This tent is so colorful you need to wear sunglasses!).
She had spent her entire life in and around the town of Bor, but she didn’t look like she was at home...Sometimes the need for healing doesn’t present itself as anything other than a desperate need for a Savior.
One Sunday in Senegal, during ministry time, an older man named Doucre' asked for prayer to heal the pain in his hips. Walking was getting very difficult. I prayed for him for a minute, then asked how he was doing. He said he felt better, but I thought he was just being nice to me. So I prayed a second time.
We were led upstairs to a room where his father and about 25 others greeted us. When the birthday party quieted down and the guests began to trickle back to their homes, we were invited to pray a blessing over his father.