n a dirty bridge spanning Bangkok’s smog-drenched Sukhumvit Road, a mother cradles a rag-clad infant in her tired arms. Her empty begging cup mirrors my spirits as I look into the woman’s eyes—from which all hope seems crushed. Beside her, a beautiful toddler with the face of an angel pats the ears of a homeless puppy. Commuters rush past. I drop some Thai baht into the cup, enough perhaps to scrape together some food, but a mere token, a temporary Band-Aid. If I were Jesus, perhaps I would stay and cradle the family in my arms, but I just walk on, not knowing what to do. Snapshots such as these play over and over again in various ways all over God’s earth—where sometimes His presence seems to have disappeared. Fools may say in their heart that there is no God, but even the believer is sometimes tried in the face of poverty
and pain, monsters in government, and His children dying in wars and disasters like so many cattle. And yet, only Jesus can, and will, rescue and restore this planet. Only Jesus, Name above all names, brings eternal hope. Only Jesus will one day wipe away all tears from our eyes. This year Global Mission celebrates its 25th birthday. And there’s much to celebrate. Since Global Mission was born, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has more than tripled in size. Millions of new believers have found life in Jesus and have joined the Adventist family. They’ve come from new countries, new people groups, different cultures. They’ve brought joy to heaven and strength to God’s church. We praise God for the thousands of new groups of believers planted in the past 25 years. We praise God that last year was a record year for church planting—with a new church
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established every 3.5 hours, plus many more groups and companies. And yet we look at formidable mission challenges that remain. Mothers still beg beside busy streets in Bangkok, Kolkata, Lagos, Manila, Paris, London, Toronto—around the globe. Millions still wake each morning in fear of the spirit world, trudging their way through days and nights that measure out hope in unsatisfying drips. Others navigate their lives with no reference to God. Megacities grow exponentially every year. Millions have never even heard the name of Jesus. Alternate philosophies and belief systems bury people in hopelessness. We’re still here. Our mission lies before us. How will we respond?
Gary Krause Director, Office of Adventist Mission
Photo: Mathew Karmel