A Sign in Ireland
Responding to a Crisis
Team Expansionâ€™s Log of Love
State of the Mission Doug Lucas
Team Expansion President
Welcome to our Fall 2010 edition of the tell magazine. For those who are curious, the word “tell” not only signifies an action verb of our commitment to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ, but it also serves as a handy acronym to remind us what this magazine is all about: Team Expansion’s Log of Love. In these pages, since 1992, we share the stories of Team Expansion workers around the world. They serve in a labor of love for people they love on behalf of a Savior they love. Is it just my imagination, or does our people-filled planet seem a bit more complex this year than it did just 10 short years ago? Think of what the past decade has brought: the bombing of the twin towers in NYC, the follow-up invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Darfur, increasing tensions between Israel and Palestine, a giant tsunami, escalating tensions with North Korea, Kosovo, the rise in oil prices, the collapse of Enron, the break-up of the space shuttle Columbia upon re-entry, Hurricane Katrina, a global recession, downsizing, unemployment, and more recently, the oil leak in the gulf. These and many other stories bring back memories of a decade that chipped away at complacency while increasing our sense of vulnerability. In the midst of all of this planetary chaos, I’m happy to tell you that Team Expansion, well - expanded! In the past decade, by God’s grace, we’ve literally doubled in the number of personnel deployed, doubled in the number of destination-ing teams, doubled the number of churches planted and doubled the number of new believers welcomed into the Kingdom (over 12,000 and counting, empowered by an all-powerful God). And at Emerald Hills, our sending base on the outskirts of Louisville, Ky. – Wow! God is good. I recently wrote our International Services team members, asking them to pray for one another. It happened that on that one single day, we had: • Two-week “Jonathan Training” happening in the dining area downstairs (See the article on page 19) • One-week Kairos taking place next door (See the article on page 18) • One-day short-term missions trip visit from a church in northern Kentucky • One-day visit by leaders from a church in Fresno, Cal., planning outreach partnerships among three distinct unreached people groups • A noon webinar (like an online phone conference with visuals) with church leaders who have already adopted unreached peoples, some with projects 14-years ongoing • A prayer group gathering at 9:10 • Several team members preparing for the visit of another short-term missions team from northeastern Ohio • Boatloads of other ministries and tasks being fulfilled by each worker and sub-team in International Services It was an exciting day, a challenging day, and a stretching day - and it was just one day in the life of Emerald Hills. As you read this tell, be sure to catch more about what’s happening beyond Emerald Hills – in the inner city, in South America, and in Japan!
What is the tell? Revelation 7:9-12 paints a beautiful picture of every nation coming before the throne of God to worship Him. The tell, Team Expansion’s Log of Love, has functioned as a bridge between ministries around the world and the local church since 1992. It has been our hope to radiate the goodness of God and the progress that we are making together through this publication. Until that moment before the throne, may we all continue to play our part in fulfilling the Great Commission! tell is produced by Team Expansion, all rights reserved and implied.
Design Editor SHAUNA PETERSON firstname.lastname@example.org Writing Editor CARLA CASSEL email@example.com Contributors JOHN PALMER GREGG firstname.lastname@example.org NATHAN HOLT email@example.com MATT CROSSER firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Expansion -
Transforming communities by planting churches among the unreached.
Team Expansion 4112 Old Routt Road Louisville, KY 40299 www.teamexpansion.org
1.800.447.0800 (toll-free) 502.719.0007 502.719.0008 (fax)
fall 2010 • tell
on the cover
Contents In Osaka, Japan, shoes are piled up respectfully at the Huddleston’s door for an outreach to kindergartners and their moms.
State of the Mission
A Sign in Ireland
The Birth of a Revolution
Imagine the Possibilites
Responding to a Crisis
Catalysts for Change
A Lifetime of Obedience
News & Notes
Emerald Hills - A sense of place
Letter from the president
Street ministry in Dublin
An introduction to Restoration Revolution
PACE: Pray, Activate, Commit, Enlist
Ministry in inner-city Cincinnati
Security on the mission field
When discipleship meets the outdoors
Using new tools in Church planting
House churches in Japan
A letter from a Team Expansion coach
Learning from one family’s experience
Updates from around the world
When God uses ordinary people
Team Expansion’s urgent needs
A Sign in Ireland by JOHN PALMER GREGG
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o, we won’t stop till every tongue confess. On Grafton Street, every tongue confess, sang Aoifa Keegan.
The young Irish woman led worship for a motley group gathered in the back room of a real estate office just a short train ride from Grafton Street, home to many of Dublin’s late-night clubs and bars. It was late on a Saturday night by the time communion was served. The excitement and energy in the room was growing steadily, almost palpably; it was almost time for them to go to work. Many Christians hold a special place for John 3:16 in their hearts and minds, in the United States especially. We have woven the reference into clothing, written it on billboards and held it up behind goalposts and backboards. For Christians and non-Christians alike, the words “John 3:16” are part of our shared experience, part of what it means to be American. Even if we don’t know what the reference means. There is a similar cultural phenomenon in Ireland. For nearly three decades a man named Frank Hogan has been carrying a long yellow sign with “John 3:7” written in bold black letters to stadiums across Ireland. The verse reads, “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” These words, spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus, have become the source of a powerful ministry in Ireland that is spreading even into the United Kingdom. For about 25 of those years Shane O’Brian has been helping carry the sign, as well as a share in the ministry load. He has carried the sign to additional sporting events and other venues where crowds would be gathered. He then took his ministry to the street - Grafton Street specifically. There he would stand on the street with his large sign. He didn’t approach people, he didn’t scream at them through a megaphone, he simply trusted the Holy Spirit to work on people’s hearts and to draw them to the sign, a sign that they were familiar with, even though the actual words of Christ were known to very few.
(Left) A woman walks down Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland. (Above) John 3:7 members pray with a man on the street. Philip Thompson speaks with a couple of interested people on the street.
He began praying with people, leading them to Christ and eventually he began to develop a small team of sign-wielding evangelists who took to the streets of Dublin about the time the bars and clubs began closing on Friday and Saturday nights. That was when Philip and Shirley Thompson, Team Expansion missionaries, began to get involved with the ministry. ￼ In the back room of the realtor’s office, everyone bows their heads. Shane O’Brian prays for the Holy Spirit to use them all. “As we go out on the street Lord,” he prays. “I pray that you bless each person, and Lord I pray that you bless each conversation.”
“Let’s go out there for the fields are white unto harvest,” Philip Thompson said as the group grabbed their jackets and coats and prepared to hit the streets.
sign is well known outside the Church. Shane smiles and talks to the woman for a few minutes, and poses for a photo before her friends lead her away.
The Thompsons had previously all but written street evangelism off.
“That happens a lot,” said Ian Quinn, one of the team members. “Their friends will just try and drag them away.”
“It is tough going,” Philip said. He gives all the credit for its success to the Holy Spirit working in people there on the street. The group still doesn’t approach anyone, they just wait and hold the signs. They rely on the recognition of the signs and the Holy Spirit moving people to approach the team members.
Ian saw the ministry team on the street several times before he felt God was speaking to him. Three years later he stands on the street corner doing something he never would have imagined himself doing before.
“Many who stop are drawn by an urge inside them, to know more – to learn more.” “They have to approach us. That makes all the difference,” Shirley said. “Within the Irish culture, by letting people approach you, you are showing them respect,” Philip said. “If you shove it down their throats, that is disrespectful.” Because of this approach the ministry is very heavily focused on introducing people to and helping them come into a relationship with Jesus. “We focus on repent – believe – receive,” He said. “So basically [when we pray with them] they are inviting Jesus Christ into their life as their Lord and savior, and acknowledging him as God; who rose from the dead, came from heaven, and died on the cross to take the penalty for their sins, and to give them eternal life. We focus on John 3:7, so that’s the starting point. Life starts with birth, and our spiritual life starts with a spiritual birth.” “We see this as a first step for people,” Shirley said. The team continues to follow up on those they pray with, encouraging them to be part of a church and to become baptized. ￼ It’s a wild night on Grafton Street. The All-Ireland Football championship was being held the next day, and fans of rivals Cork and Kerry were in the capital to have a good time. “John 3:7!” yells a twenty-something woman stopping dead in the street. Her jaw drops and she points at Shane, who is sitting almost motionless as the crowd swirls around him. “I ****ing love you guys! This is the happiest day of my life!” It is obvious the
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“This wouldn’t be my cup of tea,” he says. “It’s not my strength. It’s Jesus’ strength in me.”
For the next several hours the ministry talks to probably hundreds of people. Many are just excited to see the sign, many have just had too much to drink and are looking for anyone with an ear, but many of them are drawn by an urge inside them, to know more – to learn more. God shows Himself to those who seek Him. Since January 2006, the John 3:7 Dublin team has led more than 5,000 people to Christ, and that number continues to grow. This past year the ministry has decided that it needs to multiply, and has been traveling to Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh as well as other cities in and around Ireland, which has already resulted in more than 200 decisions for Christ. While in Cardiff the police approached the team to thank them for being there. The police have also told them that incidences of crime go down when the team is holding their signs. “I guess people are less likely to misbehave when they know the light is shining,” said Philip. On into the wee hours of the morning the team prays with people, talks them through John 3:7 and what it means to be born again. Some of those that approach the ministry members burst into tears, their search for meaning has ended. They lift up their hands accepting Christ and asking Him to be the Lord of their life. In the background you can almost hear the song just now reaching Grafton Street from that small back room: “No, we won’t stop till every tongue confess. On Grafton Street, every tongue confess.”
For more information: email@example.com www.dublin.ie/websites/johnthreeseven
Shane Oâ€™Brian waits patiently for someone to speak with him.
(From left) A John 3:7 member holds a sign. A member prays during communion prior to hitting the streets. Members hug before the start of a late-night worship service. A couple walks near Grafton Street. A John 3:7 member talks with people on Grafton Street.
The Birth of a
evolution! by DAVID LINN, President NMC ‘10
When asked to serve as president for the National Missionary Convention, several emotions swept over me, like the honor of representing the mission and the overwhelming nature of the task. Would it be possible to add another “iron to the fire?” The site for the convention, Lexington, Ky., had special appeal, as we began our ministry trek some 30 years earlier in the same state. The spot is also significant to our brotherhood as our origins are traced to the “camp meetings” that happened nearby at Cane Ridge. Add to that - the mission offices are just down the road! It would be a homecoming of sorts, a time to give back. I will forever be indebted to Doug Lucas and Eric Derry for their feedback when we met to discuss the convention. It was summer of 2008 and we met in a coffee shop at Southeast Christian Church. References were made to the historical significance of coming back to Lexington some 200 years after the “camp meetings,” and the date, 2010, on the threshold of a new decade. While the wheels began to churn, the task seemed as daunting as the building in which we met. It would take an incredibly big God and many sharp people to pull this off.
“By nightfall, the whole discussion had boiled down to two words: RESTORATION REVOLUTION”
Perhaps one of the most significant events came later that summer in the selection of a prayer coordinator. Shawn McMullen, minister and editor of the Lookout Magazine, had served in my home church in Heath, Ohio, as an intern while I was still in high school. His demeanor helped lead me into ministry. Few people hold my respect more for their personal integrity and devotion to God than he. After accepting the role as prayer coordinator on the spot, a plan to recruit prayer warriors was formed. Project 132, in the spirit of Acts 13:2, was launched. Very quickly 33 prayer captains were recruited from around the world who would each recruit three others. These huddles of four (33 x 4 = 132) would each pray and fast one day a week toward the convention. Over these past two years, this faithful band has led the way, building momentum and opening many doors toward the convention.
During the Tulsa NMC ’08, an open forum was held to discuss the present needs and direction of our movement. In an overflowing room, ideas were exchanged and opinions expressed. At dusk, a subcommittee continued meeting to simplify the notions. By nightfall, the whole discussion had boiled down to two words, “RESTORATION REVOLUTION.” An acrostic based on the word “ACTS” was built to define the major thrusts of the Revolution.
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s cribe s e d r tte ch le a e , c sion. osti i r v c e a h S” g t “ACT ishin l e p h t m co upon r ds ac r a praye Built r. w e y 7 o a t / r ne in p ant n 24 ting o ighty es i a ten p h m o l c d r A a u ll e
h es ch l a urch , wil king t olve r e h v e e c n y i s , a r 2 to t 13 ty – in p rojec lmigh ups ways P o r g e g v n i i vat ople plify Inno ed pe s, am e. h t c n a e m nre decad u g n i 0 move 0 pcom e 6,7 he u t of th n hes i hurc oted ted. c n m a o l w r p e nd be p rs, a 00 n being e 0 d s 1, r e , o h ed” USA ur b hurc nd o the reach ew c n o n y n u i e “ – b he hes lds hes ong t hurc n fie hurc m c o a i s s w s i ne Several interesting ment d” m 1,000 move ache g e r n things happened shortly i “ g plant amon ard thereafter. That very night, urch h c forw s 0 u 0 ible 1,0 Bob Stacy, founder of CIY, ing B guide k c s a e l l are beloved preacher and profestry. till peop rces es s minis g u a n o i u s sor, and participant in the forum g e e he an ag and r upport t jor l p eng a l s e l m asked the results of the meeting. h o 0 to d s – to the 8 logy, s, an When he heard the words “RESo o d t ools n e e h n n c eet r te dditio TORATION REVOLUTION,” s, m othe In a r , o n o o d he nearly hit the floor! He said, lati pen trans to o y r “‘Revolution of Restoration,’ that el. a s gosp e er neces h t is precisely the theme I plan on answ lp. of e l l g i h n i w o d 00 preaching in my church next year!” ers all t sprea e. 1,0 work he c m t 0 o g 0 h n In addition, the passenger who i 0 . vest hear f 10, vision e har happened to sit next to me on the um o hose r h t m a t i e n – i y g ts 10am ngin flight from Atlanta to Tulsa, while not ervan this n bri race, i r g o t s f s ’ i od only contributing greatly in the discusass rack By G eep t ll to a k c d sion, has become a leading voice for the l s ou God’ arly w Revolution and was recently hired by the e y s er NMC office as director of development labor
Russell Johnson! God has continued to define RESTORATION REVOLUTION. Last year in Orlando and Dallas, key leaders from churches, colleges and mission organizations met again to further discuss the revolution, giving it direction. It is now defined as “a 10 year collaboration to close the gap in sharing Jesus with all people.”
NMC - HARVEST OF HOPE
While this vision is far bigger than any one of us or the institutions we represent, united in Christ we can do far more than any single one of us could ever dream. By God’s grace, RESTORATION REVOLUTION will be born at the NMC ’10, Rupp Arena. The first fruits of many prayers will be evident and with God’s favor, the first wave of 1,000 servants will be set apart in an “Antioch Moment.” David Empson, executive director of the NMC and Jim Chamberlin, coordinator for the simultaneous teen convention, will continue developing the theme in future
conventions in the upcoming decade. Having lived in Kentucky, one thing is certain - they take their basketball pretty seriously. We, however - with faith in the Almighty God - believe the greatest victory in Rupp is yet to happen! Join us in Lexington, Ky., at Rupp Arena, November 18-21 for the birthing of RESTORATION REVOLUTION and this year’s “Harvest of Hope” Convention!
For more information: www.restorationrevolution.org
PACE: Pray, Activate, Commit, Enlist by TIM STAPLETON
magine the possibilities of your church taking the gospel to one million people who have never heard the name of Jesus before. Two churches, through prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and strategic partnerships, felt a calling by God to do more than the norm. Through PACE, they are connecting with a specific people group in regions of the world virtually untouched by the gospel of Jesus. Some would consider the restricted access, poor economic conditions, poor social standing of the people and relatively non-existent presence of Christianity in these regions to be insurmountable problems, but not these faithful Christians. They believe that, “with God, nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). They have also learned from missiologists like Peter Wagner who said, “Just because a people group is unreached does not mean they are unreachable” – Peter Wagner (Kairos Reader). Initially, the connection for one church was with an evangelist willing to go to a people group of about 30,000 in this difficult region. Once Team Expansion’s expertise was enlisted, the church began praying with us that others would come alongside and commit to church planting movements for all 112 unreached people groups in the area. (We believe that when the primary commitment is to the people group rather than a lone evangelist, the congregation takes greater
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ownership in seeing the project through to the end.) Now, by God’s grace, a megachurch has stepped forward with exactly that vision–that all 112 unreached people groups could be reached with the gospel. Team Expansion was also able to connect these two churches that have a similar vision. Both churches are actively involved. They are aware of the price they will have to pay as congregations. Resources will be needed. A major time commitment will have to be made. Workers will have to be recruited. Trips would have to be made. The end of the project is only a vision in their hearts and minds. But, the commitment has been made. The end result will affect the eternity of countless lives. Our hope is that the example of these two churches and dozens like them will spur other congregations to take ownership in reaching a lost world for Jesus. The commission of Jesus calls for churches to “Go…make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Team Expansion stands ready to partner with those churches, through the PACE strategy, to fulfill the specific call from God to touch the unreached world with the gospel of Jesus.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org www.teamexpansion.org/pace
Rocky Soil by MEGAN BROUK photos by John Palmer Gregg and Shauna Peterson
here are rolling farmlands in the distance, ripe for harvest and filled with workers. The workers have shiny tractors and nice equipment. In the foreground, there is very different scene. Worn buildings surround a concrete plot of land. The cement is broken in places. A beautiful flower has grown through these cracks. However there are only a few workers toiling here. They look tired. They only have hand tools, such as rakes and pick axes, to work the tough ground. This is an image Kim Kendall uses to describe the inner-city mission field. Kim is an artist and a visionary with a heart for the inner city. She, her husband, Jade, and their teammates JP and Chloe Glenn have been working with the people of Lower Price Hill in innercity Cincinnati since 2001 when they were students at Cincinnati Christian University. In 2005, they partnered with Team Expansion to form Hope Inner City and began working full-time with State Avenue Church of Christ in Lower Price Hill. They were joined by Jennifer Polzin and her sister Jessica in 2009. State Avenue Church of Christ was founded in the 1960s by students of CCU. Before Hope Inner City partnered with the church, it had no full-time staff but was served by volunteers such as the current minister, Jamie Carmichael. Together the volunteers and the Hope Inner City team toil in this cement world.
photo by RAHEL SHARON
(This page) A man prays at State Avenue Church of Christ prior to the start of a Sunday morning service. (Facing page, clockwise from top left) Martha, church member, spends time at water park with her granddaughter. Chloe Glenn teaches kids during Prime Time. A girl from the inner city smiles during Prime Time. Jennifer Polzin plays with kids from neighborhood.
Among the worn buildings is a culture different than that of the suburbs and country. It is a culture that many only experience through media, and so it can seem mysterious and foreboding. Kim Kendall says that when she talks about the struggles of the people of the inner city with alcoholism, drug addiction and prostitution, middle-class Americans often say they have the same problems in their communities. What makes the inner city different, she says, is that everybody is facing these issues, not just a small section of the population. “When I come home from anywhere, there will be prostitutes looking into the car trying to see if there is a potential customer, and that happens on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s not just like I drove down the street one day and felt bad for a prostitute. It happens every day. But that’s why we’re here. We truly believe that living here makes a big difference.” The Hope Inner City team strives to make this difference by being involved with the people’s lives in all of their everyday activities. The team shows love and acceptance to a people group that is often dismissed as worthless by the society in which it exists. Because the team lives among these people, they know the stories and the struggles and the triumphs of inner-city life. These stories, which would seem shocking to mainstream American culture, are common-
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place in the inner city. On the little league baseball team Jade Kendall coaches, there are two boys whose father committed suicide last year. After this devastating loss, their mother turned to drugs in her depression. Now, she prostitutes herself to support this habit. To the Kendalls, this type of story has lost its shock factor. This is everyday life in the inner city. Even though the stories may have become commonplace to the team, the people have not. The team truly cares for and respects the individuals living in the inner city “The inner city, though it’s portrayed as a really dangerous place, is people’s home – and really high quality people who need hope in their lives,” said Chloe Glenn. The respect that the team has for the people of the inner city allows the people to feel safe and accepted in the church. It creates an environment where seekers can receive the love and support they need as they strive to begin a new way of life. A woman named Cherry is very thankful for her family at State Avenue. She knows that the church will accept and support her when other people will not. Because of her relationship with God and the people at State Avenue, she has been able to break free from an addiction that she could not shake. Instead of judging, the Hope Inner City team allows the people
they serve to see when they make mistakes and struggle as well as when they succeed. The team shows that they need God’s grace and forgiveness just like their inner city brothers and sisters.
In the midst of this culture, in the concrete plots, the Hope Inner City team labors. They have seen beautiful lives come up through the cracks in the cement. Yet the process of cultivating in a cement world is backbreaking. Jennifer Polzin said that one reason the ministry is hard is that the people are sometimes not faithful in attending the church. Often, they attend as children and then fall away as teenagers and young adults. They sometimes return. Sometimes not. Chloe Glenn and Kim Kendall have seen the girls they’ve discipled through the years experience the powerful pull of the street life. They’ve seen the girls become teenagers and allow their friends to convince them that church is dumb and being associated with a “church lady” is not cool. They have poured hours into these girls’ lives to watch some of them become prostitutes or enter into abusive relationships. When this happens, “It makes you feel like you’re a failure,” Kim Kendall said, “and there’s a lot of tears and a lot of grief that go along with it. Something that our mentor and minister, Jamie, always would say to us is, ‘You’re not doing this for somebody else. You’re doing it for God,
and He’s the one that is judging you. He’s the one who is saying what your successes are.’ We always have to tell ourselves that over and over.”
erywhere. He definitely can do it. I just hope I’m a good enough vessel for him to do it through,” she said.
IS GOD BIG ENOUGH?
FROM THE CRACKS
The people of the inner city have a hard time believing that God is at work among them. There is so much hurt around them that they can’t always see Him. They live in the ghetto. They have been told they are not good enough. They have a hard time understanding why anybody would want to come live among them, much less someone who created the universe. This is what breaks the hearts of the Hope Inner City team. Sometimes it’s even hard for the team to see God’s movement among the people. “I get really down when I think, Is God doing anything?” said JP Glenn. “I know that He is, but sometimes it’s so overwhelming that I’m like, Man, where is God? Where is He? A lot of times I feel that helplessness and hopelessness that inner city people have.” “It’s just really intense, you know?” said Chloe Glenn. “Like all of the problems are intense, and the addictions are intense. It feels like you have mountains to climb in order to get one person to the place of fully relying on God. So, a whole neighborhood of those people is really intense. “God is big enough. The problem is that not everyone is going to chose Him. That’s ev-
Despite the times that seem hopeless, the team sees a great deal of beauty through the cracks in the cement. They strive to show the people God’s movement through the good things that are happening, whether they are big or small. Sometimes they are as small as a smile from a church member. Other times the victories are larger, like celebrating two years of sobriety with a woman in the church or the preteen girls reaching out by raising money for Rapha House, a home for girls rescued from forced prostitution in Cambodia. Then there are the times that God’s movement is bigger than what anyone expected. Donny Thomas grew up in the inner city. He calls Lower Price Hill his home. He is from the very people that Hope Inner City is working among. These people are known for being in-your-face, but they are also value family and are very loyal and generous. This is Donny’s heritage. Donny became a Christian a few years ago. Through working with Jade Kendall and the people at State Avenue, he grew and matured in his faith. Because of his expressed desire to serve in ministry and his faithfulness, he was ordained in March of 2009. This is what Hope Inner City desired: an indigenous leader.
“It’s something that I set out from the beginning,” said Jade Kendall, the team leader, “ – to find someone who would be able to do what I do, but even better because they’re from the culture. Donny became that person.” “I don’t think we ever really know that was going to happen,” said Kim Kendall. “I mean, it was a goal but we just knew in our mind how hard that was going to be to accomplish.” This is why the Glenns, the Kendalls and the Polzins live among these people: to make a difference in their lives. What does the Hope Inner City team dream? They dream that there would be more churches in the inner city and more leaders for these churches. They dream that these leaders would be both indigenous and those that God calls from the comfort of middle-class America. They dream that God will use the work of these leaders to allow more brilliant flowers to come bursting through the cracks in the cement. They dream that the people of the inner city would know they are worth the price God paid for them.
For more information: www.hopeinnercity.com
From the desk of Team Expansion’s Global Security Director
n the realm of mission security there are many areas of concern that can affect the workers in their fields of service – criminal events, natural disasters, political events, personal events, and financial events – which can negatively impact the operations of the missionary. Basically, security issues are any situations that threaten to disrupt the work the missionaries intended to do. In my role as Global Security Director with Team Expansion, I monitor all of our 50+ fields of service for the occurrence of any of these events on a daily basis. We at Team Expansion have been truly blessed that we do not have many of these situations occur, but we must be prepared to deal with them effectively when they do occur. The year 2010 has not been unusual in this regard, but it has been interesting and stressful for some of our workers.
On Sunday, March 7, 2010 a crisis of a security nature began to unfold in a country in north Africa, as the government of that nation started an expulsion purge of Christian missionaries who were striving to help the people in various platform operations across the country. Since the country is a Muslim nation, the missionary workers were not overtly evangelizing, but were utilizing various assistance platforms as a means to bring the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to the people. The various platforms ranged from business oppor-
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tunities to orphanages, from travel agencies to clinics for children with disabilities, and all were striving to help the people of a nation that had been very tolerant of such activities. This tolerance had existed largely because the local government knew that the people were genuinely being helped by the work of these foreigners living in their nation. Even now, months later, the expulsions continue with more than 120 workers ripped from the work they were doing and expelled from the country that had become home to them as they sought to help people in need. To this day the expelled workers have not been given actual reasons for being kicked out, and many were told by the local authorities who enforced the expulsions that they did not know the reasons, but the orders came from higher up. The actions against these workers have been devastating and disruptive to their work and their desires to serve the Lord. The United States government has made minimal effort to assist the American workers who were removed from their fields of service – some who were given only hours to gather what belongings they could and be escorted by authorities from the country after significant questioning.
The Team Expansion team located in “Narnia” (fictitious name) was a victim of the first round of expulsions on March 7. On
that day, four of the six Team Expansion workers, along with one child, in Narnia were expelled by compulsion. They were given only four hours to leave the country while being monitored the whole time. The excellent work they had been doing to assist disabled children (32 children were being worked with at the
“I truly appreciate the strength and determination the workers have shown to move on with their disrupted lives.” time in the clinic) in the community appeared to not even be considered in the actions of the local government. The team leadership couple, who had been in the country for five years, was among those expelled, as well as the primary physical therapist. One couple, who had recently moved to Narnia from their for-
mer city of language learning, was not approached and was allowed to stay in the city. The workers were forced away from the people and especially the disabled children that they had come to love and had striven so hard to help. There were no criminal charges filed, they were just told they had to leave the country. All of this certainly brought to the knowledge of the Team Expansion workers that serving the Lord is often a difficult and uncertain task that is complicated by the actions of man. Clearly, the actions of the local authorities disrupted the work of these servants.
How should you respond? I see two specific responses that I think are critical to the work of any missionary serving anywhere in the world. First of all, we as a mission agency need to recognize the shattering effect such a situation can bring to bear on the affected workers and show them the strongest possible support in helping them to grieve and, when ready, move forward with their lives and perhaps even a new field of service. Secondly, we must recognize and be prepared for the fact that a similar situation could happen to mission work-
ers in any field. This actual situation has not been easy for the affected workers to deal with and yet, each of them, with the Lord’s help and the support of loved ones and caring supporters, is striving to move on with their lives and potential opportunities for continued service to Him.
I praise God that none of the Team Expansion workers were hurt or incarcerated and I truly appreciate the strength and determination they have shown to move on with their disrupted lives. We know that God will protect our workers around the world, but please let us pause to thank Him for the protection provided in this situation and on behalf of all the mission workers throughout the world. Thank you, Father, for the way you take care of us and bless us as we continue in serving you despite the disruptions that man imposes on the work of mission workers across the world.
responding to a crisis 15
What Others Are Saying:
“This course has been one of the highlights of our training at Team Expansion!” - Team Expansion missionary
by TARA WOOLARD photos by SHAUNA PETERSON
When Discipleship meets the Outdoors
n Psalms 8, David describes the majesty of God and the beauty of His creation. This particular psalm paints a vivid picture of the care, detail, creativity and all-consuming love God lavishes on us, His children, through the vastness and diversity of what we see all around us. 16 fall 2010 • tell
tell • fall 2010
“When I met the group, I was shocked how well they had already connected. I asked more about the preparation they had done. The leader told me about their training in team building with Team Expansion. Thank you for your ministry in this team’s preparation. I would recommend your service to other leaders of other countries. May you be assured that your ministry there is reaching the nations!” - Missionary from another Christian agency in Poland
“As a facilitator, you can learn a lot about people as they work their way through each obstacle. Teamwork and good communication are major indicators that a group of missionary candidates will be able to adapt well under the pressures and stresses of the foreign field. It is our hope that cross cultural workers will be stronger, more cohesive and determined to share Christ wherever He takes them as a result of this course.” - Director of DSOTO
At Emerald Hills, the home base of operations for Team Expansion, we have been blessed with this kind of majestic beauty expressed through God’s creation. Situated on a 61 acre campus with nearly three miles of wooded hiking trails, we observe God’s creation in new ways every day! For this reason, the vision was set in motion to begin the “Discipleship School of the Outdoors” (or “DSOTO” for short) at Emerald Hills. The vision is to develop an outdoor, adventure-based program that is used as a training tool for team development, team cohesiveness, interpersonal communication, problem solving, conflict resolution and stress management. These are all areas Team Expansion believes are crucial in the evaluation of our effectiveness as Kingdom workers. Currently, we have a low-ropes course with enough elements to fill a two-day team building challenge. We are hopeful that this fall we will also be building a new high-ropes element
“As a frequent leader of short-term trips, it’s always challenging to observe how the synergy of your group will be revealed. Simply having pre-trip meetings in a sterile environment can’t uncover those dynamics. I was overjoyed after our great experience with Team Expansion. Not only did I learn about our kids, but they learned a lot about themselves. It was gratifying to observe how our students interacted while tackling each challenge/obstacle.” - Short-term trip leader
to add to the adventure of our challenge course. It is exciting to see God continue to expand this program as we utilize the great outdoors on our campus here at Emerald Hills. The lessons are endless as we observe God’s creation here. We are encouraged to see Kingdom-building taking place even through the simple lessons of teamwork on an outdoor, lowropes course. May God be glorified as future workers are prepared for the ripe harvest fields.
For more information: email@example.com
natural learning 17
Catalysts for Change In an effort to transform communities by planting churches among the unreached even more effectively, Team Expansion partners with external agencies and programs with specialized expertise and experience. The Kairos course and Jonathan Project are two examples that are making strides as catalysts for change among our overseas teams and among the local church. Team Expansion is using these tools to challenge God’s people to new spiritual heights and perspectives, and to equip Christ’s disciples to move mountains in some of the most difficult fields on earth.
18 fall 2010 • tell
Kairos: A moment in time
ne of the most exciting new catalysts that Team Expansion has seen God using in our mission is the Kairos course. “Kairos” is a Greek word meaning, “the opportune moment,” and is used to emphasize that now is the time to reach the world with the love and salvation of Christ. Kairos was developed in the Philippines as a strategy to mobilize and train an indigenous mission force. The missionaries saw that the churches were NOT mobilizing for missions. They introduced an intense course, but the Philippine church leaders had a hard time getting through it and attrition was high. They took the Jonathan Lewis world mission course, condensed it, and adapted it to embrace various learning techniques and the result has evolved into Kairos. Kairos is designed to produce a worldview change - to set in hearts a passion for reaching the unreached to the glory of God. Within a decade, all 13 of the unreached people groups in the Philippines had been engaged by the Philippine churches! It was so successful that it is now being translated into other languages and spreading globally – it is now in 45 countries and 20 different languages.
Our vision is to go globally with this. Kairos was designed to multiply. We have taken it to Asia and we’ve partnered to launch it in Venezuela. We’ve just made it part of all new worker training. Field coordinators are being trained so that we can take overseas teams through the program. The Mobilization Department is having all our regional mobilizers take the course and train to stage it as well. We’re seeing that new recruits are eager to take Kairos back to their sending churches. In fact we just hosted a pastor and his wife. When I asked how they decided to come, he said, “Our daughter [who is in one of Team Expansion’s teams in Taiwan] told us, “Dad, you’ve got to take this course!” So here I am.” This response from previous participants is typical. Once you experience Kairos, you’ll know why.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org www.teamexpansion.org/kairos
Becoming a Jonathan
onathan Training is a crucial training tool that Team Expansion is utilizing to help us accomplish our vision of transforming communities by planting churches among the unreached. After our workers have learned culture and language they attend Jonathan Training, where for two weeks they wrestle with the question, “What does it take to start a church planting movement that reaches an entire people group?” The name of the training comes from the Biblical character, the son of King Saul, who said to his armor bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” (I Samuel
by ERIC BARRY
by ERIC DERRY
trends among other criteria. Once together they hear first-hand reports of successful church planting efforts around the world. Through prayer, collaboration, thorough analysis, boldness and great faith they develop a Master Plan for implementing the most fruitful practices that seem the best for their specific situation. Missionaries who have taken Jonathan Training over the past 10 years are praising God for the results they are seeing after implementing what they have learned. Prayers are being answered as thousands upon thousands are responding to the gospel that is being sown abundantly among the unreached (including Tribal, Hindu, the unreligious, Muslim, and Buddhist) people all over the world. Local unpaid leaders are being trained. Cell groups and house churches are being established and then they are multiplying rapidly creating strong and healthy communities of believers who are being transformed. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14 We praise God for our partners who help empower our international missionary forces with this effective training, which focuses on disciples making disciples and churches planting churches. We can now facilitate shorter Jonathan Training Courses for local churches, colleges, and campus ministries for purposes of mobilization, discipleship, and upgrading of ministry vision and strategic planning.
“What does it take to start a church planting movement that reaches an entire people group?” 14:6, NIV) Jonathan had great faith to make himself available to God to attempt the impossible for His glory. We must identify and mobilize Jonathan-types who are ready to do whatever it takes to reach the most difficult and resistant unreached people groups of the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it “is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1:16, NIV) In preparation for this training course each worker creates a people profile of the people whom God has called them to reach. They consider spiritual, economic, political and social
For more information: email@example.com
catalysts for change 19
Church, Redefined by CARLA CASSEL
Some quotes were taken from the article, â€œHouse Church Planting in Japan,â€? by Chad Huddleston from Japan Harvest magazine. Used with permission from the author.
How house churches are creating disciples in Osaka, Japan
everal families laugh together in the living room. The sounds of kids playing echo down the hallway. Someone pulls out the snacks, and everyone chats happily about their week. When one person’s story reveals a sincere struggle, the mood shifts and as a group, they begin reading the Bible, discussing implications, and bowing together in earnest prayer. It’s intimate. It’s community. And in Osaka, Japan, it’s church.
WHAT IS CHURCH?
All across Japan, churches are forming in living rooms, businesses, and even in cafés or restaurants. And this is just what Team Expansion worker and Osaka team leader, Chad Huddleston, wants to see. When the Huddlestons arrived in Japan in 1998, they shared a vision of starting house churches, but the inconveniences of limited language and inexperience forced that dream
aside. In 2002, they were leading a decently sized church by Japanese standards, hosting many impressive events and celebrating good numbers in attendance, including several seekers. Despite this seeming success, Huddleston recognized that they were “failing in the core areas of discipleship, leadership training and multiplication.” Many seekers were coming to Christ, but few of the Japanese believers were effectively sharing their faith or taking leadership of the fellowship. Not wanting to trap themselves into a perpetually American-led system, they began evaluating how they were approaching ministry in Japan. In the midst of an intense journey of prayer, study, and reflection, Huddleston began asking, “What is church?” The answer that Huddleston found in Scripture pointed him toward two levels of fellowship. He desired to foster the unity of all the believers in a given city, and to grow the occurrence of house churches, where he saw most of the teaching and growth of disciples occurred.
(Clockwise from top left) The Osaka skyline stretches as far as the eye can see. M-chan celebrates after her baptism. Chad Huddleston (center) meets with church leaders to plan the next “I Follow Jesus” camp. Kids and helpers pose for a group picture at “J’s Kids Klub” event (Elisabeth Johnson and Lora Christenberry top left).
Despite the renewed vision of Huddleston and his team, their first year of transition was not easy. “Some people were intimidated by the change in expectations,” Huddleston said. “Whereas before they could just come, sit and listen, now they were expected to join in on discussions, prayer times and ministering to one another. It was a very painful time as some of those whom we had spent the most time with began going to other churches, or stopped coming altogether. For nearly a year, we did not see anyone come to Christ.” The team persevered through that rough first year with the confidence that God was leading them in this direction. In the summer of 2004, a united network of house churches in the Osaka area was launched under the name “Be One.” Since that time, even more house churches have continued to bloom and thrive and dozens of disciples have emerged.
WHAT IS HOUSE CHURCH?
While each house church has its own personality, strengths and weaknesses, there are some general traits that each church has in common. They are intentionally structured simply, though often cultivate a surprising depth in content. The format is deliberately reproducible. The hope is that any Christian could easily partner with other Christians to facilitate a community of disciples. The group setting creates a natural depth because the smaller situation accommodates and fosters intimacy, openness and growth. “People should be getting to know each other, sharing and praying with one another, sharing their weaknesses and sins
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and supporting one another,” which usually results in deeper fellowship, Huddleston explained. In keeping with the teachings of Paul, when church members gather, everyone is expected to contribute with prayers, insight, encouragement, instruction, or other spiritual gifts. In an audience setting, a select group is providing for the edification of the entire church, but in house churches, each member is directly responsible for ministering to the rest of the group. Everyone shares, grows, seeks and serves. The time the group invests in the Scriptures is a key part of this growth. One of the functions of the community is to “empower people to discern God’s will for their lives and for their churches – and begin to live it out,” Huddleston said. “Our time in the living Word of God is meant to affect our real lives.” For Elisabeth Johnson, one of the newest Team Expansion Osaka team members, the value of deep Scripture study is evident in the house church she attends. “We get out our Bibles and read together. We then read to ourselves. After that, we share with the group what we felt God showing us from the passages. We talk about it, and most of the time it leads into a story of what someone has been struggling with.” In Osaka, the individual house churches tend to have 4-12 members, and almost all churches are being led by Japanese Christians, all unpaid. Though the house church model tends to force Christians into leadership sooner than the assembly church model, this usually results in a better reliance on the Holy Spirit and on their fellow believers. Huddleston and his Japanese team
give each new house church leader initial training and encouragement, as well as ongoing support. Each church is fully empowered to baptize, worship through communion and even collect and distribute financial offerings. Even within these important traditions, the atmosphere of the house church is usual casual and ministry happens around everyday life. In addition to their individual meetings, the entire Be One church network comes together several times each year for a combined time of worship, encouragement and fellowship. During these gatherings, the individual Christians and churches catch a glimpse at what God is doing all over Japan and how they fit into that plan.
Ultimately, Huddleston and his team are not trying to create churches; they are trying to make disciples. They believe “church” is what happens when two or more disciples gather together in pursuit of Jesus’ Kingdom. While Huddleston has tried to make it easier for Christians to lead and start a church, his team simultaneously wants to raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple of Christ. “We teach that church is much more than a weekly meeting, but is something that should be ongoing throughout the week as we interact and minister to one another,” Huddleston explained. All believers are encouraged to participate in committed accountability groups, take compassionate risks by reaching out to their friends and neighbors, and attend intense discipleship training. And though Huddleston believes the house church model is the catalyst for this kind of development in Japan, he is careful to monitor his priorities. He desires foremost to serve God and bring people into growing and active relationships with Christ, and not with a specific style of worship. Johnson agrees with her team leader. “I used to think that having church in a big build-
ing and an organized service was how it was suppose to be. I realize now since doing house church that we miss out on each other by not walking through our troubles with each other. But, I don’t think we have to have house church for all this to be accomplished. I think we all need to put ourselves in a place where we are gleaning from what God has to offer.” Though it is rare, Be One has seen house churches struggle to maintain the greater vision. “We try to teach and encourage each church and individual to have a healthy balance of being simultaneously oriented upwards (God), outwards (missions) and inwards (fellowship/building up the body),” Huddleston said. “We have seen groups lose their focus though, and become primarily inward-focused.” Despite these obstacles, Be One has seen the creation and development of house churches where true disciples are being shaped and challenged, and average people are catching a vision, and stepping out in faith to create a new community of Christfollowers in their own homes. Disciples are making disciples and churches are creating churches. While it has been a long road full of victories and struggles, Huddleston looks optimistically toward the future. “Together, we have begun to increasingly focus on discipleship, intentional church planting, prayer and evangelism. Though we have yet to see many of our ideals and visions attained and we have failed many times over, we have tasted enough to be excited about what God is doing and to continue following Him on this journey.”
For more information: www.b-1.jp (From Left) A group worships at one house church. Jennifer Huddleston prays with a girl at a youth gathering. Elisabeth Johnson (bottom center) spends time encouraging and praying with house church leaders.
Letter from Beth The following is a letter from Beth, a Team Expansion worker and Pathways coach for the summer. Pathways is Team Expansion’s summer internship program. PFO is the pre-field orientation for the interns and their coaches, held at Team Expansion’s campus, Emerald Hills, in Louisville, Ky. I am very glad that you all asked one of us to come for the PFO training for our Pathways summer interns since my husband and I are the coaches. I was not all that thrilled at first because it meant leaving and all that goes with that traveling junk. But I am so thankful that I came. I think every full-time missionary that receives interns should attend a PFO at least once, if not more. I can see now that God had a plan in this all along, but I could not have imagined it. I loved being able to recognize through the LAMP (language acquisition) training exactly how each intern would learn the language best. That helped us so much in finding language partners for them once we got home to Eastern Europe. I was able to see how they interacted with one another and with me. It was great to meet our three interns and spend a week getting to know one another at Emerald Hills. I felt like we connected and got to know one another personally and began operating as a team from the very start, as opposed to playing catch up at the airport when they arrived on the field. We were able to talk over things that might be new for them, fears, excitement, language, etc. before we were actually on the field together. It seemed really strange how well we all connected almost from the very start. I loved these three even before we left for the airport from PFO. I can see in hindsight now that God was working this for a purpose. Once we got to our country, they just fit right in with our family and the culture and with our local friends. They have been here almost one month now and it feels like they have been here for much longer. I am not sure how we will ever say goodbye to them at summer’s end. I am CERTAIN that not one of them expected an internship like it has suddenly turned out to be now. We had a plan to do language and culture learning and that has happened and will continue. In the midst of all that “normal” life, our family had an unexpected thing happen. Two days ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since we found out this news, they have prayed for and with me. They have hugged and cried with us. This has brought us all even closer together than we were before; they are like family to us. Last night, they came to me and said that they had been talking. They said they knew they had project money and they had decided that if we needed any of that money for travel or whatever, they wanted me to be their project for the summer. I cannot even explain what that meant to me. I talked with the Pathways coach in Spain and she said that if it was too much for us, we could send our interns up to them and it would be great. Initially, after I got the call from the doctor, I immediately tried to imagine what we were going to do with our interns. We talked with them and I shared what the Spain coach had said. They all three said that under no circumstances were they going to Spain. They said God brought them here, to our family, at this time, for a purpose, even if it was not clear right now. They said they knew that they were right where God wants them and they are staying. God continues to amaze me with these interns He sent to us. I could not have ever imagined that this summer would be like this and I know they would not have either. But we are all rolling with it and know that God is teaching us all something. All three of our interns want to go into missions long-term. We told them at the beginning that we wanted them to have an experience this summer of what being a long-term missionary is like. I did not expect it would be in this way. I just wanted to say thanks for these three that have come our way this summer. I am really thankful and blessed that I got to be a part of the training with these three and also spend time at the home office and with the other teams.
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summer internships eastern europe
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Lifetime of Obedience
Bill and Karleen Crandall have served for more than 20 years in Ecuador. Team Expansionâ€™s creative arts writer sat down with them to explore their ministry and perspective. 26
fall 2010 â€˘ tell
How and when did you decide to go into full-time missions?
There were a number of key moments that God used to lead me in this decision. There were times that I moved ahead toward this goal and other times that God gave me a nudge. Actually it was more like a shove! The first key moment was when I was 18 during a personal devotional time when the Scripture that I was reading seemed to jump out at me and say this is for you to do on the mission field. I then chose my major as missions in Bible college. The second key moment was doing a 15-month internship in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This confirmed the calling in that I saw that God could use me in this area and there was a great need to reach people with the Gospel. I returned to Bible college determined to be better prepared and to get some stateside, full-time experience before going cross-culture. I graduated from college and worked three years as a youth minister, which included taking the youth on mission trips. One of the times that God gave me a shove happened when I was probably getting too complacent in the stateside ministry. God placed us in a situation that was the hardest year we have ever had in ministry. We made the decision at that time to raise support and head to language school. God blessed that decision! In less than two months our support was raised and we were studying Spanish. That hard year in the ministry turned to be a great blessing. It prepared us for the mission field, and we have never been able to say that “It was easier back home.”
What were your expectations when you started?
I thought churches would just kind of come together and form themselves by doing mere evangelism. Of course that did not happen! We did find out how important it is to have one’s focus on discipleship even while evangelizing.
people that finished the evangelistic study were baptized. The people were very receptive! We also came across a few Christians who had moved out to this area that told us that they had been praying for God to send someone to begin a church here long before we arrived. God communicates to the person through many ways before we ever start the evangelistic study. During the weekly Bible study and almost without exception the person tells me how God has been pointing them to himself through circumstances, events and persons talking to them. Also, as I get to know them I find that there is most often some relative that has been praying for them.
When you look around you, what do you see God doing? How is He working in your own life?
I perceive God still working on me to knock off some rough edges. There are times I get tired and frustrated working with sheep and I have to look again in the mirror to see that I also am a sheep. This week I began teaching the trimester of discipleship that includes the part on humility. From past experience I know that God is going to put me to the test to smooth out some of those rough edges.
How is He working in your ministry?
“It amazes me that His power is so great that He can accomplish His will through imperfect people.”
What have you learned about yourself along the way?
I have learned and am still learning that my self-sufficient nature gets in the way of God working and involving others. I tended to avoid confrontation, but that only allows the problem to get worse.
How has God surprised you?
His grace is always a surprise. It amazes me that His power is so great that He can accomplish His will through imperfect people. God also surprises me with how His Spirit can go before the messenger to prepare hearts.
“Spirit goes ahead of the messenger to prepare hearts.” Could you elaborate about this? For example, when we came to Guayaquil in 1990, we did not know anyone, and we chose to live in the north part of the city that was growing. At that time this area seemed almost more rural than part of a mega city. After following up from a couple of open air movies in the parks here, we soon had 18 evangelistic home Bible studies every week. One person would lead us to another like a network. Ninety percent of the
By God’s grace He chooses to use us to disciple the people and prepare leaders for them to reproduce themselves in others. There are 18 men this year that have been active in our Advanced Training ministry, which is similar to Bible college-level courses. There are four churches using our discipleship ministry materials, which span a total of six years in three different levels. Karleen and I teach some of the advanced levels while the Ecuadorians teach the beginning levels and are progressing to replace us in the upper levels.
How is He working in the church?
Each of the five churches are working to plant a new church. Four of those churches are already working evangelizing in these new areas.
How have you changed since you began?
I see a need for more emphasis on spiritual character development in the area of discipleship. It is not enough “to know” or “to do” – one must have a character that reflects God’s character. There is more trust in God’s sovereignty to work through people. Also, to keep fresh in teaching I must keep learning.
What do you expect your life to look like 10 years from now?
By God’s grace we hope to be training leaders in second-generation churches. Those are churches that have been planted by the Ecuadorians as compared to those that have been planted by the missionaries.
For more information: www.bcrandall.org ecuador 27
News and Notes
Updates and information about a few of Team Expansion’s other fields around the world
1 - Africa - Team Growth In the last year, the team serving in the African country code named, “Epiphany,” has seen several changes and exciting growth. Two new families have joined the team on the field. Another family was miraculous granted a return visa after it seemed that the government was not going to allow them back into the country. With 26 men, women, and children currently working in the country, the team has wisely split into two sub-teams to maximize their gifts and effectiveness. Both teams work closely in media outreach, follow-up ministry, discipleship and relationship-building. This year alone, hundreds of nationals have been introduced to the Gospel through the collective efforts of this team, the national believers, and the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit. So for in 2010, the ministry outreach websites have had: • 528,826 visits • 216,272 Christian TV shows, movies, videos, or audio programs played • 17,111 downloads of scripture, Christian videos, Christian audio programs and Christian music
2 - East Asia - Kairos In March, we were able to set up a Kairos course in East Asia. There was not a church building where they ran the program. They met in a public location where the temperature of the room was between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit because the government there turns the heat off in all buildings March 15. They also ran the constant threat of being stopped by local police that seek to restrict their religious activities. But, in
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spite of these hardships, God was present and his followers were trained to fulfill the call to spread His Word to those who haven’t heard. The purpose of this course was to help the Asian believers understand God’s plan to share His gospel around the world. This informative but also heartfelt program consisted of 40 hours of studying the biblical, historical, strategic and cultural aspects of missions. Par-
ticipants listened to lectures, watched videos, engaged in small group discussions and even shared a meal together that was from another culture. The influence of the Kairos program will be felt all across that vast land. Twenty five people attended the course, representing several different regions of the country. About half of them were local staff from the organization there, and the rest were local house church leaders.
3 - Peru - Angel Dolls The Angel Dolls ministry was developed by Carla Hendee. She has a group of women in the U.S. who is making angel dolls by hand – some make the bodies, others are sewing clothes and making hair, etc. That is the first part of the ministry. The second part is a group of women who is forming in the city of Trujillo that has a passion for prayer. These women will be praying continually for a year for children with physical or mental disabilities or children who suffer from terminal illnesses. They will also be praying for their families. This group of women will receive contacts and organize women to go and visit their child’s house and explain this ministry, give the child an angel doll and pray with them. These types of opportunities open the door to build relationships with these families and spread the Word of God. For the third part of the Angel Doll program, the team in Peru will be giving angel dolls to the trainers of the barrios that we are working in, so they will also be ministering to these families. There are wonderful stories about these families; they are all very grateful and appreciative. Please pray that God will bless this ministry.
4 - New Orleans - Project 52
The New Orleans team has been faithfully converting an old bowling alley into a worship and community center known as “The Gathering Place.” On Labor Day of 2010, they began a campaign called Project 52, based on the book of Nehemiah. God used Nehemiah and his team of followers of the one true God to complete a task that almost seemed impossible – the completion of the wall around Jerusalem in just 52 days. These were men who were led by faith, who were obedient to the call and God did the unthinkable. The team was approached by some friends from up north that have felt a similar calling. God has placed upon the hearts of many that phase one of the Gathering Place could be completed in just 52 days. The team believes that this call is from God and they are willing to be obedient to that call. On Labor Day weekend 2010 they launched Project 52 and believe God will bring phase one to completion just before November.
5 - Hungary - Camps A 16-member team of youth and young adults from Switzerland came to help in Hungary during the time of this summer’s soccer camp. The soccer camp was a huge hit. There were 20 kids and youth attending. One local was able to line up some special coaches – men who play (or played) soccer in the Hungarian leagues. This gave the kids a great variety of skills with varied coaching techniques. Every day during the breaks, one or two members of the Swiss team shared a testimony with them. The Swiss team was eager to learn a
little Hungarian and made terrific efforts to communicate with the kids. The kids were really touched by the team’s joy, generosity and love. After the Friday morning testimony time, the kids were asked if they would really like to get to know Jesus. All 20 kids indicated interest. Please pray that the workers in Hungary will either be able to follow up with each child or make arrangements for someone who lives close to them to follow up. Pray that the children would all grow into a deep, living relationship with the Lord.
news and notes 29
Emerald Hills by DOUG LUCAS
A Sense of Place
andscape architects talk about “a sense of place.” The phrase describes the reaction of the human heart to an inviting fireplace hearth. “A sense of place” implies a physical, tangible icon that symbolizes the ethos and identity of a family, group, or organization.
Movements can flourish, in the early-going, without a sense of place. But researchers have shown that organizations survive best, long-term, when they embrace a sense of place. This is of paramount importance in a missions agency. Missionaries, themselves very mobile, seem to breathe a big sigh of relief when they find that they have a permanent “homeplace.” Watch a Wycliffe worker’s eyes light up when he first visits JARS in Waxhaw, N.C., or when he settles into Wycliffe USA Headquarters in Orlando, Fla. While you’re there, check out the international HQ for Pioneers or The Jesus Film. These centers serve grand agencies doing great things, providing adequate facilities that have helped propel and establish their respective organizations into world-class service and leadership in their respective niches, all for His glory. I believe they also serve another purpose: They each evoke “a sense of place” for people who otherwise would have none. Emerald Hills is beginning to provide that sense of place for a world full of cross-cultural workers. “I had no idea how beautiful it was.” “You just have to see it to understand it.” “Our kids love to come back here on Home Service. In many ways, now this is their home.” “I put off applying... until I saw you had acquired property. Then I knew that Team Expansion was no longer a ‘flash in the pan.’” “The training I’ve received here has saved me countless years of mistakes in the field. Can you please do a better job of getting the word out about Emerald Hills?” And at the door, as they were leaving, one couple turned to say, “Team Expansion sure knows how to take care of its own.” Team Expansion is transforming communities by planting churches among the unreached. Through your gifts, volunteerism, and prayers for Emerald Hills, you’re empowering the transforming of nations to be more like Him. Thank you for your partnership and shared vision.
For more information: www.emeraldhills.info email@example.com
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Fulfilling the Dream
Now that the first phase of land acquisition and construction is totally finished, we have a clear picture of the bottom line. To acquire the 61 acres, build the 6,000-square-foot-barn and workshop, meet city requirements for drainage and retention, create all the infrastructure for our current and future phases (including the electrical grid, septic system, and water system for the entire training and retreat center), as well as constructing the 10,000-square-foot Prayer Center and Atrium and accompanying parking lots, the cost was $3.5 million. By God’s grace, our missionaries, board members, and closest friends have provided nearly $2 million of that amount already in cash and commitments. The Hopewell House, our previous home base, is for sale on the east side of Louisville. Please contact our office if you or someone you know is interested in buying it. The cash from this sale will go straight to principal since the building is fully paid for. Enlarge the Harvest asks partners to make an annual commitment (e.g., a $100 one-time gift, twice a year, or a set amount per month like $100, $200, $300 or more). A portion of these funds go to assist a Team Expansion field team with a vision for the lost in their respective field. Already, Enlarge the Harvest has helped drill wells in Mongolia and launch a new field in Asia. In addition, Enlarge the Harvest funds have filled the gap, practically covering the cost of three different monthly mortgage payments over the past 17 months, when funds were short. Multiply the Momentum focuses directly on the principal owed for Phase I. This campaign seeks to find 270 Stewardship Partners who would, in effect, pay the principal for a particular month in the life of our 25year mortgage loan on the balance remaining for Phase I. We’re asking these Stewardship Partners to make the payment by Christmas (rather than waiting for the respective month itself) so we’ll save that month’s portion of the interest. Already, many Stewardship Partners have stepped forward. Please pray with us that God would raise up the remaining individuals, groups, companies, or churches. The amounts range between $3,400 and $11,400 and the Partner can choose from the remaining months, thereby selecting the size of the amount. A chart of these amounts, months already adopted, and months remaining to be adopted is available upon request or at the website, MultiplyTheMomentum.org. If we succeed in paying these amounts by Christmas, we will have saved our missionaries $2 million in interest that would have been owed throughout the life of the 25-year loan. This is a top funding priority for Team Expansion.
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by CARLA CASSEL
When God Uses Ordinary People
“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” – William Carey
ave you heard of William Carey? He is one of Christianity’s most well-known missionaries due to his pioneering work among unreached people in India. He wrote An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, asking the Church to consider its role and responsibility for proclaiming the name of Christ among those who had not heard His name. But before all that, William Carey was a shoemaker with an interest in botany and a knack for languages. He was an ordinary working man with a young family. But he asked the questions, “What does God expect from the Church? And what does He expect from me?” Those questions led him down an extraordinary path of discovery and obedience. More and more often, God is pulling His people from all stages of life and sending them to live and work in some of the most demanding and unreached places on earth. For three Team Expansion families who have made the transition from the secular workforce to the mission field, the journey has been full of challenge, surprise, discovery and faithful obedience.
Dave and Jeanay Stiles retired from the Air Force more than 10 years ago. After retirement, Dave and Jeanay participated in a variety of professions – from insurance agent to coffee shop owners to managing a group home for disabled adults – while continuing to raise their teenage children. They now work with the existing church leaders in Taiwan. Henry and Grace Butler were active in their respective medical careers. Henry had been working in private practice for 12 years and Grace was fully occupied with a clinic for people without insurance. With their four young children, the Butlers now live and serve through medicine in Southeast Asia. John and Katherine King have only recently retired from the armed forces. After a whirlwind of support raising and specialized training, the Kings are moving with their 12-year-old son to a country Team Expansion calls “The Hills,” where they will work with a team of church planters after a season of language learning.
The initial decision to pursue a career in missions came differently for each family. Dave and Jeanay participated in the Perspectives course (www.perspectives.org) and both felt an intense and overwhelming desire to use their lives for God’s global expansion. Though the defining decision was made, it would be years before
the Stiles were on the ground in Taiwan. Those years were packed with raising their teenagers, preparing and equipping for eventual service and gathering the necessary spiritual and financial support. “I was ready to go then, but our church and, most of all, God made it clear that we needed to wait,” Dave said. “I now realize if we had gone then, we would not have been prepared enough to be effective as God’s ambassadors.” Their fears about leaving their barely-grown children behind almost became too much of an obstacle. In each concern, Dave and Jeanay went back to God in prayer. “Is this really what you want us to do? We have made the plans to go and now it seems like the kids need us,” Jeanay prayed. But they still believed God was telling them to go, so they had to make the very difficult decision to trust their kids in God’s hands. For the Butlers, the decision to serve overseas was much more gradual. Henry and Grace had gone on short-term trips previously, but the addition of small children in their family had made that option much less possible. Despite their busier schedules and the security their medical careers offered, they began to recognize a greater call. “We had what another missionary friend called a, ‘growing sense of rightness’ about our call to pursue full-time ministry. So we did. It was a several-year process, but now here we are,” Grace explained. Even though they believed they were doing the right thing, not everything was easy. “I think the decision to finally quit our jobs was probably something we struggled with. Raising our own support was something we had never dreamed we would do. We struggled to have the courage to trust God to meet our needs,” Grace remembered. And God did provide their support and they were learning how to raise their children, practice medicine, and shine through spiritual darkness in impoverished conditions sooner than they expected. For the King family, the decision to go came after a series of short-term trips. After recognizing that Jesus’ commission to His followers applied to all Christians, John and Katherine took several trips individually. The real decision came when they took a short-term trip as a family. Though they were facing some uncertainty in how their future would look, the Kings realized that they were heading down a specific path. “While in some aspects our careers would be changing, we knew that it was still one of service and that had been God’s plan all along,” John said.
MAKING THE TRANSITION
For each of the families, a history in the secular workforce came with its own set of challenges and advantages in the world of fulltime ministry. One of the biggest obstacles is feeling inadequate or unqualified to address spiritual issues among those with whom the families serve. “Because we do not have seminary training, I think sometimes we doubt our ability to minister spiritually in the ways we would like,” Grace Butler admitted. But even in that doubt, she believes God works. “I think God takes that, and teaches us that He will enable us to do what He’s called us here for.” The Stiles family also struggled with feeling qualified to work with the existing church in Taiwan. Between their initial commitment to go and the time they reached the field full-time, they actively engaged in ministry activities and formal education. “This time was critical for our preparation,” Dave recollected. “Without it, many of the challenges and struggles that we faced would have caused us to probably return from the mission field.” For the Kings, who are just now entering their new country, there is an element of the unknown. Though they’ve been preparing with books, classes and mentorship, John readily admits that they’re going into a situation where most of the learning will happen on the field. “We still know there will be adversity placed before us. Our question is how we will respond. We pray that we will rely on God in the midst of these trials so we can glorify Him. It is not knowing what those trials will be that brings some fear.” Despite the fears and doubts that these families have experienced, all are finding that God is using their backgrounds and histories to make them effective in their ministries. Jeanay Stiles believes their varied careers and life in the military made it easier for them to transition. “All this has given us the perspective of adventure. It is OK for us to try different things. It’s OK for us to live below American standards. We had the house in suburbia with the jobs working for the paycheck. We understand what that feels like. Working for God’s purposes is a life worth living for.” Her husband agrees. And he recognizes a practical advantage. “Our maturity provides us influence in a culture that values age. We have been granted respect and honor with pastors that would not happen if we were younger. Credentials are important in the land where education is critical. For the Butlers, their pre-missions life established for them some critical wisdom. “The Bible
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says to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves; I think that being out in the workforce for a while gave us some of that needed wisdom. We are not so naïve, and that has really been a help in the context in which we work,” Grace said.
Each family has gone through a process where they recognized that full-time missions was their next step of obedience. They’ve moved forward in faith, trusting that God is going to honor their decision to serve Him. It’s not always easy, but they are each choosing to be faithful. With each step forward, the families are being challenged and shaped. This is not the lives they were living even 10 years ago. Sometimes there are trials that seem too hard, and in those moments each family has to rely on what they know to be true. “You go to God every single time,” Jeanay Stiles affirmed. Her husband, Dave, continued, “You have to have a strong calling that God wants you there. And because of all the affirmation that we had received before we went, we feel very strongly that God wants us there.” The Butlers have found similar affirmation. “The work here is harder and we have to hold on to the certainty that He called us here to make it through those tough times. In many ways I feel that so far the growing process has been more for us than for the people we came to serve,” Grace reflected. John King echoes that sentiment. “Reliance on Him is the biggest thing He is teaching us. It’s not a class, a presentation, a catchy story, fancy newsletter or another book that will get us to the field and keep us in the field. We trust that God is sovereign in this whole process and rely that they step we are taking today is the one that He would have us take.” Despite the ways each family has experienced change and growth, at the end of the day, they are still just normal families trying to honor God with their lives. John King understands this. “Ultimately, we like to think that we are the same family, no different than any other family that loves Jesus. We are not more spiritual, we do not sin any less. We are just being obedient to what God would have us do right now in our lives.” Names in this story have been changed for the protection of the missionaries, their teammates, and the Christians living in difficult situations around the world.
Full-Time Opportunities Where can I go? What can I do? We pray daily for new workers to fill this list of most needed ministries throughout the world:
Transforming Communities am
nti n g
Could you fill one of them?
Business Management/Advisor: Southeast Asia Campus Minister: Spain, Ukraine Church Planter: Ecuador, Hungary, Philippines, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, United States Computer/IT: Thailand, KY–United States Development Associate: KY–United States Discipler: Eastern Europe, Mongolia Evangelist/Preacher: Ireland Marketing/Small Business: Central Asia Missionary Kid Associate: KY–United States On-field Training Consultant: Central Asia Photographer/Videographer/Designer: KY–United States Project Management Associate: KY–United States Regional Mobilizers: All time zones in the USA Teacher: East Asia, Middle East Team Leader: Middle East Youth Minister: Tanzania
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Team Expansion is a 501 (c) 3 organization. Any inquiries should be directed to: 1-800-447-0800.
Team Expansion has well over 300 full-time adults creatively serving Christ in projects scattered across nearly 50 countries, most of which have been new fields for the Christian Churches. These hard-working saints have, with Godâ€™s help, led some 10,000 people to the Lord and, in pursuit of our ultimate end goal, theyâ€™ve established hundreds of new churches. However, we are constantly haunted by the more than 2 billion souls, forming more than 6,000 unreached people groups that have yet to experience their first valid opportunity to choose Jesus. In view of this incredible need, we feel compelled to radically increase our capacity to recruit, equip, send, and sustain missionaries.
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Published on Oct 20, 2010
Published on Oct 20, 2010
Team Expansion's annual magazine. News and stories from around the world about our missionaries and their ministries. We're transforming com...