The New Hustle
Is God still at work? Absolutely. Is there anyone He cannot or will not reach out to with His redeeming love? Absolutely not. You will be blessed as you hear the experience of Pioneers workers ministering to those involved in the sex-trade on the streets of Toronto.
Known as Lucifer on the street, he came by the name for a reason. A hustler at the top of his game, everyone feared him. Raised by a single mother in some of Toronto's most notorious housing projects, Lucifer soon realized that in the world of gangs, drugs, prostitution, and pimping, only the most dangerous rise to the top. He rose to the top very quickly.
I first met him through a young woman involved in prostitution that my wife and I had befriended. Due to her bad habit of falling for dangerous men, I knew to be cautious when meeting the gang tattooed Lucifer.
So often I am reminded of my tendency to judge others and Lucifer taught me this lesson again. In Acts 18, God tells Paul not to fear because there were many people in Corinth that "belonged" to Him. Who are we to judge who belongs to God? It is often fear that drives us to such judgments. As it turned out Lucifer was hungry for change in his life. On a camping trip Lucifer and I spent many hours discussing God, life, and relationships. We left the trip with a friendship that endures to this day.
God spoke to Lucifer on that trip. It seemed as if he were harassed by the Holy Spirit, because of the intensity of His conviction despite his limited knowledge of Jesus. He soon submitted his life to Jesus and with great joy came to me anxious to learn about the God who had pursued him and changed his life.
Like many of us, his coming to faith brought about dramatic and gradual change at the same time. The first thing to go was his street name. The street community was shocked to see that Lucifer was dead when introduced for the first time to Rahim, a child of God. The change in his life inspired many people, as he shared with people about "the new hustle" as he called his faith at that time.
But his new life also brought about great suffering for Rahim. He had many enemies as a consequence of his past actions and to them Rahim seemed like an easier target than Lucifer. Soon his past enemies seemed to be coming from every direction, all of them committed to exploiting him in his "weakness".
Several years have passed since Rahim came to faith and the Holy Spirit is strongly manifested in his life. I no longer teach him, we teach each other now and I am blessed by his ministry in my own life. Not long ago he called me, asking what a missionary was. He felt that God was asking him to become a missionary but he didn't really understand what that meant. It seems as though God is still pursuing our brother and Rahim is still anxious to obey God's call. Please join with me in prayer for my good friend in anticipation of God's great plans for his life.
Rahim has begun taking steps toward missionary service. He and his family have attended our Orientation Program to join Pioneers and we are in the process of working out the details of training and spiritual mentoring with them. In the meantime, Rahim is ministering to his associates from his previous hustle.
For more information on how to be involved in this ministry, please contact Pioneers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ordinary People— Extraordinary God
By Tom Helgerson
Eighty million Bhojpuri people live in northern India. Thirty years ago, hostility to the gospel was so intense that the area was called the "graveyard of missions and missionaries" because of the killing of Christian evangelists. There were only one thousand believers and few churches.
At that point a new church planting strategy was implemented. There was no fruit for 2 years. In the next year, however, 8 churches were started, followed by 48 churches the next year, and then 148 the next year. In the fifth year after 1,000 churches were planted, the mission agency did a formal survey to verify the numbers. It turned out that they were under-reporting! Despite trials and hardships, after 12 years they could count over one million new believers and 40,000 new churches.i
What is this strategy that has produced such incredible fruit? It is called a Church Planting Movement — a CPM. The heart of CPM is lay people, ordinary national Christians used by an extraordinary God. To begin, a missionary works in a training capacity. He or she first looks for a "person of peace" (see Luke 10 and Matthew 10). A "person of peace" is someone who is open to spiritual truth and willing to bring that truth into his/her family or network of relationships. The missionary and "person of peace" start a very simple Bible study with family and friends. Gradually the missionary steps aside and the layperson carries on the study, looking at smaller amounts of Scripture, and often moving from Creation to Christ. The participants are challenged to ask, "How specifically do I obey this?" and "Whom can I share this truth with?" The important truths of obedience and reproduction set a dynamic spiritual DNA in place. Those in the group go out and share what they have learned and start their own groups.
The vital role of prayer must be stated. People in these movements will attest to a great outpouring of prayer both before and after the CPM starts. People invest "sacrificially" significant periods of time both in personal and corporate prayer. Their prayers attest to their belief that only the Holy Spirit can bring a spiritual movement.
God is a missionary God. Jesus said, "the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few..."(Luke 10:2 NIV). Therefore, we can be sure to find our missionary God in the midst of plentiful harvests where we find "Church Planting Movements." Currently a powerful CPM is going on in East Africa among Muslims. As you read this, hundreds of thousands of Muslims are coming to know and love the Lord Jesus. So great is the power that "imams" (leaders of mosques) are coming to faith. Whole mosques are becoming Christians in unprecedented ways.
A CPM worker in North Carolina started a work virtually from scratch in 2010. Within twelve months almost 40 groups had been started. Most of the people in these groups were previously nonbelievers or unchurched. ii
Pioneers calls CPM a "core value" and has been training their workers on a worldwide basis in CPM since the summer of 2010. Encourage Christian workers you know to take this training. Not only that, since a CPM can be started by trained lay people, consider taking the training yourself and see what God might do in your city!
This is one of the strategies that Pioneers workers use in their ministries
i Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, 2009
ii Steve Smith and Ying Kai, T4T A Discipleship Re-Revolution, 2011
A few of the elements of CPM can be easily remembered by recalling the initials RIM.
"R" stands for RAPID.
A CPM moves so rapidly that it accomplishes in a few months far more than what could be accomplished in decades of work.
"I" stands for INDIGENOUS.
This refers to the fact that professionals and missionaries do not provide for the huge number of workers needed bring in the harvest. Instead, lay people within the culture are the backbone of the work.
"M" stands for MULTIPLICATION.
CPM's do not simply add a couple, a few or a dozen churches. Instead there is a great multiplication of hundreds and thousands of new churches started.
(For a fuller discussion of CPM's see: Church Planting Movements by David Garrison, 2004)
Why "THANK YOU?" Because I would not be here without the courageous Canadian missionaries who took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my birth country, Korea, little over a hundred years ago. In the late 19th century, Korea was known as "the Hermit Country." Out of fear, Koreans kept all foreigners out; the penalty for a foreigner entering the country was beheading. Threat of death did not deter courageous Canadian missionaries like James Scarth Gale of Alma, Ontario. In 1888, at the tender age of 25, Gale was sent out from the YMCA of the University of Toronto to this "closed" country. All told, nearly 200 missionaries have served in Korea to bring this once idolatrous nation from the thralls of Shamanism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Some have given their lives for the cause of the Gospel. Today, Korea is considered one of the premiere Christian countries. There are over 20,000 Korean missionaries serving in over 150 countries in the world. This is the legacy of Canadian missionaries. "THANK YOU!"
Since coming to Canada in January of this year, I have learned that there are only about 6% to 12% Evangelical Christians in this country. Many church and missions leaders have told me that Christianity is declining in Canada. But I have met some incredible Canadian Christians who are willing to lay down their lives to take the Gospel to another "Hermit Country." In this issue of One Ambition, you will meet some of these Pioneers. Whether the "Hermit Country" is a dangerous neighborhood in Canada or across the ocean, God is still raising up courageous Canadians to live a life of total abandon to Him. Their one ambition is to know the God of all creation Who gave His only Son to save those who are His enemies, and to make Him known to those who live unaware of this God of Love.
Please enjoy this issue of One Ambition. Then pray to see how God will have you participate in transforming another "Hermit Country."
May He guide you into His presence.
In His mercy,
James M. Kim
Have you heard about the TC12 campaign currently being run by Arab World Media, a Pioneers Ministry? It's a twelve-month prayer initiative focused on asking God for increased spiritual enquiries in 10 key countries in the Arab World. You can visit www.arabworldmedia.org and sign up for the TC12 e-newsletter that comes out monthly. Here you will hear more about how God is opening the hearts of people in these countries and giving them a hunger for the truth of God's redeeming love.
Want to know what Pioneers Canada is up to?
Read on to catch the vision for what we are focusing on
over the next 12 months.
The Church — The Heart of God's Plan
Taking the Gospel to the places where it is not yet present is a daunting task. Perhaps this is the reason why the Disciples who gathered at the mountain in Galilee "doubted." And maybe that is the reason why Jesus bookends the Great Commission with, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 18:16-20 NIV). The Lord promised His authority and His presence with us as we endeavour to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. He has also given us the Church to tackle this task together. We, at Pioneers, believe the local church is at the heart of God's plan to bring all nations to Him.
In the spring of 2013, Pioneers Canada will host a gathering of local church leaders to worship and hear from each other, and from the Lord, how best to work together to see the Gospel spread to all "nations, tribes, peoples and languages." We hope to bless the church leaders by making this event cost free to them. A gift to Pioneers Strategic Priorities Fund will allow us to bless the pastors of our churches with this event. Also, if you know of church leaders who would either benefit the Church with their knowledge of missions or those who may benefit from interacting with others, please send us your recommendations for invitation to this event.
For more information about this event please contact email@example.com or call the Pioneers office at 519-268-8778.
Caring for Missionary Kids (MKs)
One of the most significant seasons in a missionary family's life is when the MK returns to their passport country (which they may not consider their 'home') as they reach adulthood. The transition is significant enough that organizations in the US have been offering 'MK re-entry orientation' to help the MK adjust to the foreign environment of North America! The orientation addresses practical issues like getting a banking account and budgeting, as well as experiences common to most MKs: struggling to understand this culture, their own identity, and where they have been.
Presently, there are no programs like this available in Canada. Pioneers Canada has joined with a number of other agencies seeking to establish a re-entry program for our MKs in Ontario and in the west beginning the summer of 2013. Pioneers will be coordinating the Ontario program. We have 6 of our own MKs who can potentially attend, and are hoping to see 30 MKs assisted in this program.
Would you consider giving a gift to Pioneers Strategic Priorities Fund to make it possible for us to love and serve our MKs and their families in this way? We trust it will make a lasting impact on their lives, and the lives of those they will touch in the future. [For further information about the re-entry program, please contact Michael and Abby Lodge at firstname.lastname@example.org]
Bang for my Buck!!!
Talking about Mobilization and my role in it, a friend made the bold statement that he could get a better bang for his buck supporting a missionary overseas than investing in the mobilization effort in Canada. Mmmm… that made me think. What am I doing here in Canada if I could sit somewhere in North Africa, Asia, or the Middle East and make a "real" difference? Not that you could ever put a dollar amount to a soul of a person, but if we had to go down that road, as we sometimes are tempted to, it does make for an interesting business calculation.
I believe that God called me to Canada to work alongside Him preparing workers to get to the field. If I thought like my friend, did my human calculations and looked at where I would get the most for my efforts, I would be amazed. Had I followed my friend's advice and, dare I say, my own thoughts, I would have remained on the field as one worker. Instead, by working in Mobilization I have duplicated myself many times over through others who have gone.
Just in the past year God has raised up 28 workers through Pioneers and about 40 more workers are seeking His will in how they can serve. He has sent people to Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, The Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, South East Asia, and the Americas. Wow!!! God has done so much with the limited resources we have.
The need is still great however. I receive weekly requests from teams on the field for more workers. Potential workers are contacting us but we have too few people to process them and help them prepare for the field. The mobilizers that we do have are under funded and many have more than one job to make ends meet. We are in desperate need of both workers as well as funds. We are involved in the most amazing endeavour, bringing a message of hope, love and grace to a world in need. Join us and make a difference in eternity. What better bang for your buck could you ask for
A gift to our Strategic Priorities Fund will allow us to better serve and care for both our mobilizers and the workers they are preparing for field service.
Do you sense God calling you to get involved?
Do you want to GO, GIVE or PRAY?
Contact us and together we will seek
the Lord for His perfect plan.