Monday, June 15

From everywhere to anywhere


Hanging in front of my desk and covering most of our office wall is the above map entitled in Spanish "MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE."

Covered in tiny colored dots one is able to see at a glance where the largest concentrations of lostness are located in the world. The numbers are staggering: 6500 Unreached People Groups (UPG) totaling some 4-billion people who have yet to hear a clear presentation of the life-transforming Good News of Jesus Christ. Of these, 3000 are not only unreached, but unengaged by anyone. There is no one even trying to reach them! As Kirby Woods so aptly expressed, "The only thing worse than being lost, is being lost when no one is looking for you." 

This is why Linda and I are in Ecuador. To join Christ's team in doing everything possible to make His Name known in every single one of those "dots"--from everywhere in the world to anywhere God leads his people. That is our task. Our calling. Mobilization is the term used today to describe all that is involved in making disciples of the nations, who in turn, engage other nations. To mobilize is to Pray. Teach. Train. Equip. Encourage. Mentor. Assist. Counsel. When woven together we see a beautiful tapestry of disciples making disciples of the nations.

But this task is not ours alone. It belongs to us all. As C.H. Spurgeon said, "It is the whole business of the whole church to preach the whole gospel to the whole world." After more than 100 years of the Gospel seed being sown, watered and harvested in Ecuador, our adopted country has transitioned from being solely a mission field, and is now a front-line player in sending missionaries TO THE MISSION FIELD!

This past week a fellow missionary shared the following story that illustrates the kinds of things God is doing these days...
A Brazilian musician working in Vienna, Austria has started Bible studies with more than 30 Iranians and several Vietnamese families. Last month 12 of these were baptized and a new church started. This Brazilian evangelist/musician/church planter is being trained and mentored by two American families. One living in Germany and the other in Switzerland! 
God is indeed moving his people from everywhere to anywhere!

PLEASE PRAY. My wife and I work closely with Ecuador's interdenominational missions agency in sending Ecuadorians to the nations. IM is currently working with 28 Ecuadorian missionaries who are either on the field, on home assignment, or candidates in various stages of preparation to be sent out. It is a huge honor and blessing to be part of what God is doing to complete the cycle of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and now to the nations of the earth.

We began our own missionary journey 28 years ago serving in Guayaquil (our Jerusalem). After several years we became part of the Guayas Mestizo Team (Judea) reaching out into the province. A few years later, we were charged with responsibility to reach the neighboring coastal provinces (Samaria). And now we are faced with reaching out to the nations (ends of the earth)!!!

A great deal of our time is spent working globally in the logistical side of sending Latino missionaries from all over the Americas into all the world. The #1 barrier for sending qualified Latino workers to their fields of service is in the area of finances. Recently a new project was approved by the IMB which seeks to supplement Latino cross-cultural workers enabling them to fulfill God's call on their life to go to the nations. The special Lottie Moon project is called "Partnerships For Global Sending" (NOTE: After clicking the preceding link you will have to click VIEW PROJECTS BY PEOPLE GROUP and then select AMERICAN from the drop box. The first project should be the one.) 

Jorge, from Venezuela, is an example of the kind of person we are seeking to help. His inspiring story is entitled "Called to Go" and can be viewed by clicking https://vimeo.com/100271203

7 comments:

Debbie said...

Great post Guy! So encouraging to see these folks going out from Ecuador... Love what you and Linda are doing in this area! :)

J. Guy Muse said...

Debbie,

Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. It is indeed a blessing to see the work in Ecuador come full circle.

Tim A said...

Praise God! So tell us how Ecuadorian believers who are very poor, compared to Americans, can send missionaries. I know how they do it, but let the rest of believers know.

My parents went to the Philippines as missionaries in 1953. I was born there in 1956. In the 1960's the Filipino church sent their first missionary family to Thailand. They almost starved to death on their support but persevered. 50 years later over 2000 churches in one association are sending about 35 missionaries. That means it takes 57 churches to send one missionary. Why so few sent from so many churches? They have the American form of church where every group of believers must have a weekly Bible lecture from a hired man in s special building. Requiring one hired man and a special building forces these believers to consume 99% of their giving to pay for those two things. Americans, the wealthiest in the world consume 84% of their giving on average for these two things. That releases only 16% for sending. This system of church is a severe shutdown for sending the gospel to those who are lost and have no one looking for them except God. There is a way for Americans, Filipinos and Ecuadorian believers to practice church life so they can send with 100% of their giving.

J. Guy Muse said...

Tim,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have tried to address this issue in a chapter of the book Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity"

In summary we do try and practice freeing up 100% for mission endeavors. While few churches actually practice giving away all they receive, once individual believers are freed to give to Kingdom causes instead of storehouse tithing, a great shift will be seen in the sending of workers to the harvest.

Tim A said...

I'm not sure how you get storehouse tithing out of giving to a church practice where someone gets paid to deliver a weekly Bible lecture and rent or buy a special building. Nothing gets stored up. It gets spent as quick as it comes in. In my practice of storehouse giving, I am the store house as the temple and dwelling place of God. I set aside some of my giving into a savings account each month so it adds up and gains a little interest so that if a large need comes up, I am ready to help meet that need. Another part of my giving goes out each month to mission commitments. A 3rd part of my giving is I have two sides in my wallet. One for spending and one that I keep a couple $20 bills in for immediate giving. Is there another kind of storehouse I don't know about?

J. Guy Muse said...

Tim, if you get a chance to read (or can send me an email address) the above article will explain better. I personally believe "storehouse tithing" is trumped by Kingdom giving. What you describe above in your own giving is closer to what I believe Scripture teaches for followers of Christ and is similar to our own practices of giving.

Tim A said...

I re-read your chapter in Sinple Church. I understand what you said. The first 2 pages are excellent. So simple and clear. Your diagnostic questions are excellent. I would add one more: Will this gift go beyond my needs? It is so easy for believers to "give" to something claimed to be spiritual and it is really buying something to bless the "giver."

For those who think they should devote all their giving to the local church, I seek to admonish them with the Word to remove the ignorance of that form of giving primarily to one's self. Since I was one on this path of ignorance for many years, I understand the addiction to funding ministry to bless myself and calling it giving.