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From a Website to Worship

What in the world does Pioneers' Arabic website have to do with church planting? In December 2010 this evangelistic website, geared to helping Muslims understand that Christ is more than a prophet, attracted a record 84,000 unique visitors. About 700 people each month express their seeking hearts by writing the email address posted on the website. The 35-member strong follow-up team then relates to these seekers by phone, email, texting or face-to-face. One recent visitor wanted personal contact with a follower of Jesus. So the follow-up team arranged for one of our tentmakers to meet the enquirer. After a decade of ministry in the Middle East, this tentmaker, along with his ministry team, is only now seeing their first house church of about 15 believers from a Muslim background emerge. After meeting what turned out to be a Druze man, they had this astounding story to share.

We connected this Druze man with another team mate who lived closer to the capital where this man was. He has now believed, led dozens in his family and spheres of influence to the Lord and started three home churches . . . all in the last two months! This Thursday he was baptized. Wow ... we are blessed by the power of media - which made this connection possible.

Maarifa is part of a multi-media ministry that AWM began 52 years ago in North Africa with Bible correspondence courses. While over 500,000 people have studied these courses since, only a handful has come to faith in Christ. However, since developing the Arabic website in 2003, it is evident through escalating response that today's Muslims are warming to the gospel. Here's one other sampling of communication from Maarifa visitors expressing yearning hearts: "I want to be saved and do not know the way. Please write back to me." (Egyptian).

The God of the Impossible is doing amazing things in our generation, perhaps this Druze response suggesting that Pioneers' dream of seeing church planting movements materializing around the world will also happen among Muslims of the Arab world. Who would have thought that a website could lead to worship?

Are you ready to begin the journey?

A Summer Changed

What will you be doing this summer? Finding work? Hanging at the beach? Camping? What if you decided not to settle for the norm but to give God the summer of 2011?

The Edge is a 6-10 week program that will give you the chance to experience a new country, use your gifts and discover what it is really like to be a missionary, working among unreached people of the world.

Whether you join a team and work on a farm in Africa, help set up a web-site for eco-tourism in Asia or reach out to the lost of New York City, you won't be the same. "When Edgers come back they are changed, they have a Global world view, they become advocates for new causes and one out of three wants to go back fulltime," said Mary Russell, Edge Coordinator.

The Edge program includes a pre-field preparation time, an orientation at the US Pioneers office with your new team, 4-8 weeks ministering with experienced field missionaries and finally, debriefing. The Edge's goal is "to both mobilize and mentor you to follow Jesus and discover your role in God's mission."

Time is short. The summer will come and go, either way. Join The Edge 2011 and be changed forever.

For more information on how you can be part of this opportunity please contact:

 

Sacred Appointment

God is still leading people to full time missionary service around the world but who are the people He is calling? What are their stories? One family of seven recently arrived in their new country of service in Asia, and they have this to share.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you"
John 14:27a.

God planted in both of us parents the desire to serve Him early in our walk with Him. It took about twenty years for Him to prepare us for where we are today. This step of obedience has been an exciting one even though we did not understand exactly what comforts and conveniences we were leaving behind. We understand some of them now and they are missed.

Ten years elapsed from when God first burdened this couple with reaching the herdsmen for Christ to their leaving for the field. But, as they raised their prayer and financial support, God used that time to prepare them physically and spiritually to surrender to Him daily.

Although our children knew that we were going to leave Canada to share Jesus with the herdsmen in Asia, outside of our apartment here there are not many things that are familiar. Imagine the changes for five small children from Ontario. Everything they see, taste, touch, smell and hear is different:

  • Home in Canada was a big house in the quiet countryside so a move to any city would have been a culture shock. Add a different culture and language and the challenges become that much greater.
  • Breathing the smoke from coal fires here in the city has taken some getting used to for all of us.
  • Being from the country, our children are not familiar with walking through traffic or in mobs of people so we are teaching them to be street-wise.
  • Seeing the look on their faces when we stop at a roadside outhouse at -36°C with wind is priceless.
  • Someone here recently told us that we need to be more than flexible, we need to be fluid. We gained a whole new meaning for becoming fluid when nine of us plus luggage poured into a little car for an hour ride to our new home.

The biggest challenge, however, is the language. We understand that if we learn the language well, people will open their hearts. Our desire is to bring Christ's personal peace to the herdsmen. Though we face challenges day by day we take them one day at a time, trusting God will give us what we need when we need it. He is the author of peace and we are His vessels.

After 10 years of emails, phone calls and visits, Pioneers-Canada and Springfield Baptist Church sent this precious family on their way to Mongolia in December. The financial costs of nurturing this important relationship were borne out of Pioneer's Strategic Priorities Fund. We are so thankful for those who purposely support this fund.

Back view of new building showing prayer room on the left

Let Us Go Campaign Update

From the early envisioning stage of the Let Us Go campaign to build a new office complex, it seemed to me that one of the most critical rooms in the building should be a room dedicated to prayer. Why a room like this in a office building?

It is simple. This Prayer Room is a practical way to acknowledge that Jesus is worthy and that we understand our dependence on God's daily guidance and provision. After all:

  • the missionaries we are serving work in some of the most difficult areas of the world. Recently, CBC reported the news of the uprisings in North Africa and more are expected in the Arab world.
  • the world is changing at an incredible pace, including the landscape of global mission. The flood of refugees, war, terrorism, natural disasters, continued urbanization and much more do not change the mission of God but they do change the environment in which the mission is carried out.
  • the power of God is needed to overcome barriers of some of the items mentioned above and just as importantly to break down spiritual and ideological barriers in the hearts of individual people, that can only be broken by prayer (Eph. 6:11, 18-20 ).

As the prime "corner office," this room will be used by the Pioneers Canada team to regularly pray for one another and the needs of our coworkers now serving in 23 countries. It will also provide a quiet, reflective place for candidates and missionaries who often come through our office to be debriefed and to receive prayer and encouragement. We hope even our office can be a "place of prayer" for all who pass through our doors, and that the answers to those prayers will bring hope to those who today have little opportunity to know of and experience the love of God in Christ.

If you would like to join us in a simple way, pause to praise the Lord for the $73,000 committed or given so far and ask the Lord for the remaining $77,000 needed.

To donate or learn more about this campaign, visit www.letusgo.ca.

Good News

From Mongolia to the Middle East, God is at work and we get to be a part of it! Yesterday, I was visiting with a friend who had the privilege of growing up among the Yali tribal people in Papua New Guinea. His parents were missionaries and he was passing on some of the adventures they had had. This year, his family is going back to celebrate with the Yali the arrival of the gospel to them 50 years ago. Our friend told of how the gospel transformed the Yali culture from being a war-torn, cannibalistic tribe to a peaceable and joyful people.

I am reminded of my days at Bible School, enthusiastic about Jesus and the hope the gospel brings. We were regularly hearing of the work of God around the world. We learned of places where the gospel had yet to be given. We prayed for those places with the top five being (with no known national believers): Mongolia, Libya, Albania, the Maldives, and North Korea. What about today?

Well, the gospel is advancing! Since the mid-80's people in each of these places have heard and have given their lives to Christ. I've personally visited with some of them. And it is still a thrill to know that many who are presently beyond the reach of the "good news" will soon hear as a result of some of the most strategic work taking place on planet earth. You will not hear of it in the news. But you can read of it in this small magazine! Praise God that the "good news" is being carried by His emissaries all around the world, and lives are being transformed.

    Donnie Scearce, Executive Director
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