MISSIONS IN PROGRESS

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The purpose of this chapter is to give examples of missionary projects that are working throughout the world, using the approach discussed in this book, so that you will see that just one person, family or church can make a difference if they are sold out to God, and willing to follow His plan.

Many people feel that the commandment to "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15), was only given to missionaries. Basically that is true, because a missionary should be defined as, "a heart with Christ, or Christís Ones (Christians)". A mission field would then be defined as, "a heart without Christ". Through the "effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man" (James 5:16), entire areas or countries can be reached by even just one faithful person following a plan that works.

1. EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST

A while back a church in the Middle East decided that they wanted to get involved in missions in countries in their area and in Europe. They trained several of the men in their church that were called to be ďsent onesĒ. After much prayer and fasting a team of two was picked, with one of them being the leader, and they were sent to Turkey to start churches. This head missionary would then spend the next 22 years establishing numerous churches. They spent about three years in Turkey. They mainly used open-air type meetings to get people saved, and then discipled them in the Word of God. After about three years, and several churches having been established, they went back for a couple years at their home church to plan for the next area to be reached. They brought with them a young man who was being trained and descipled to do what they were doing. They did keep in continual communication with the churches that were established. Their next three year mission trip was to Greece, where the pattern was continued, and numerous churches were established. After about a year back at the home church they went back through the areas that they first established churches and helped build them up and establish more. The head missionaries last trip was to Italy, where again churches were established. The home church and these missionaries were in continual prayer for the missionary works, which lead to the great success. After this head missionary died, the work continued successfully as these churches reproduced themselves throughout the world. Many people feel that this man was the most successful missionary of all time. His name was Paul of Tarsus.

If you look over Paulís missionary life, you will see that he started everything with prayer. You will also see that it was after his example of missions that we have patterned after. ("Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ." 1 Cor. 11:1) He was the one who penned Godís command to "pray without ceasing". Even his church at Antioch, where they were first called "Christians", sent them out with "prayer and fasting" (Acts 13:3). Paul himself said that he continually prayed for the churches that he helped establish. Throughout Paulís 22 years of mission work, he continually was following a pattern of prayer, planning, scripture preparation and planting. Those that were saved were then discipled, and those that were called to be pastors, were trained. Using the trained pastors, numerous churches were planted, so that the process could begin again. Paul would regularly follow-up with these pastors and churches to insure that they were steadfast in the Lord and His work of fishing for souls of men, and training men to be fishers of men.

2. SOUTHERN MEXICO

In 1960, a young man, named Milton, and his family were convicted of the reality of Godís command in Mark 16:15 to "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature". He realized that as with fishing, their was a key to "every creature" getting the gospel. Milton prayed for that key as he and his family traveled to southern Mexico as missionaries in 1961. God showed him that the printed page, in the form of tracts, was the bait that needed to be cast upon the waters (Eccl. 11:1) In order to fulfil that verse in that region they found an illustrated tract in the language of the people, that when edited slightly, worked very well. They also found that by using a hook of a coupon offering a free Bible course by mail, they had tremendous success. They were amazed and aghast at the responses that began arriving in the post office box they set up. They eventually established a distribution center that mad the Gospel literature available at no cost nationwide.

Many means of distribution were used. Tracts were thrown out of vehicles to people on streets and roads. Entire towns and cities, up to a million population, were covered door to door and a printed message was placed in every home. Anywhere great crowds gathered, such as parades, fairs, market-days, and special events, tracts were passed out to the masses. For example, when the Pope came to Mexico in 1980, 550 thousand tracts were distributed. As airplane was used to drop tracts to ranches, isolated towns and villages, and any place that had a population of under 20 thousand.

For many years, one written response was received in the mail for every 120 tracts distributed. The responses grew to 14,000 returned coupons or cards a year. When the post card or coupon was received, the interested person was sent a Gospel of John and a set of correspondence lessons covering that Gospel, which they could study in the privacy of their own home. When they would complete and pass the exams for the entire book, they were given another set.

Many would trust Christ as their personal Saviour while studying the courses. In fact,at one time in Mexico, there was an average of 10 a day writing, saying that they had trusted Christ as a result of the tracts and the courses. The next thing that would follow was a burden for souls and a desire for a place that would teach them the Word of God in their city or town.

Through further courses and discipleship, men were found to be called to the ministry. They would be then trained so that they could fill the requests for pastors and churches throughout their region. During their training they would work at answering correspondence courses in their areas, so that they would have a congregation waiting for them when they were ready to lead. Each congregation would follow the same pattern of reproduction, so that within a relatively small amount of time an entire region or country would be reached and have strong New Testament churches established throughout. To-date there are over 300 churches started because of this ministry and approach to missions started by one missionary to Mexico, and the number grows weekly.

3. THAILAND & INDOCHINA

In 1972 a young American man named Jim, whose family was living in Thailand, was saved through the efforts of some missionary families. After leaving Thailand the following year, he continued to have a burden for the Thai people. Jim would continually pray for the people of Thailand and for Godís guidance in what he could do for the people that burdened his heart. In 1985 he took his wife and two children to Thailand for the purpose of finding a missionary to work with, and to see if the family might feel led to move there as a missionaries. They came back empty handed, except for a greater burden for the Thai people, but with no call to move there. Jim and his family continued to pray virtually every day for the people of Thailand. One day he met a man who ran a training institute for missionaries, and he gave Jim a name of a good missionary in Thailand. Jim contacted this missionary, named Philip, by letter. They talked about how there wasnít a good Thai text of the Bible in Thailand.

Several months later, Jim met Milton, the missionary to southern Mexico, who explained all about how they reached the people of Mexico, as noted in the above story. Jim passed all of this information on to Philip in Thailand. About a year later, Jim stopped getting correspondence from Philip. Though discouraged, Jim and the family continued to pray for Philip and the people of Thailand on a daily basis. About six years later, Jim ran into Milton again, and told him of his burden for Thailand. Milton told Jim of a missionary there that he knew that was doing missions like they had done in Mexico, and his name was Philip. It turned out that it was the same Philip that Jim had been corresponding with in the past. Milton helped him track down Philip.

Philipís tract work began in 1978 (500,000 Godís Simple Plan of Salvation printed initially) and over 700,000 were given out during their first term with 1470 responses. After seeing where most of the responses came from, they felt led to begin holding services in 1983 on the northeast side of Bangkok. The correspondence course was also begun in 1983. Their first pastor (Jesda) was a product of that church. After several years of Bible Institute training, Jesda was ordained and began pastoring that church in 1990. They put ads in the local newspaper for the correspondence course and received a good response. This pattern was repeated in each successive church, ie. tracts, correspondence course, training pastor, etc., and has proved to be an effective means of doing mission work.

It turns out that by the time Jim had caught up with Philip in 1995, they had five new churches going. After Philip had moved to the first new church, Jimís mail to him wasnít being forwarded, and his to Jim wasnít getting out of the area, which is how they lost track of each other.

When Jim finally got Philip on the phone, Jim asked him what he needed. Philip told Jim that they had the entire New Testament translated, but were in need of John & Romans, so that they could give them to their correspondence school members. They had someone print some in the United States, since it is very expensive in Thailand. The cost that they were charged for the few that they had printed up, wiped out their printing budget. Jim told him that he would pray and find a way for them to get some more John & Romans in the Thai language. Shortly thereafter, Jim ran into Carlos Demerest at Bearing Precious Seed when Jim was taking a group of New York City boys on one of BPSís mission trips into Mexico. Carlos showed Jim the large print shop that they now had. Jim told Carlos the story of Philipís need for Thailand. Without a second to think about it, Carlos said that they would print up 10,000 John & Romans for them. Jim told Carlos that they didnít have any money for them, and Carlos said that the Lord would provide. A couple of weeks later, Carlos was going to be preaching in a small church in Delaware, that was about 4 hours away from where Jim and his family lived. Jim and one of his daughters went down to meet with Carlos and hear him preach. Carlos introduced Jim and they both mentioned the burden in Thailand. That night that church raised over $8,000 for the printing of those John & Romans.

Today there are over 20 new churches that have been started. They have placed an ad in the national paper, which have brought in lots of new correspondence school members, and therefore future opportunities for new churches. They are also planning on expanding into the countries of Laos, Cambodia and Burma.

Jim now saw why God didnít have him move to Thailand to be a missionary. He saw that the best thing that Jim could do was to adopt a missionary already there, and be a servant to him, and help him with the information and supplies to reach the country of Thailand, and the rest of Indochina. Brother Carlos talked Jim into writing this booklet so that others could see that one person, one family, or even one church, could make a difference, and reach a people, country or region for the Lord Jesus Christ, especially if they fervently pray for that area, and then offer to be a servant for that area.

4. NORTHERN MEXICO

5. GUATEMALA

6. GHANA

 


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