A Heart for Missions RESPONDING TO THE ‘CALL’
The Great Christmas Spend AN ALARMING TREND
Why bible translation? A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
The Great Commission.
A HEART FOR MISSIONS ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:47 Any service that reflects Jesus’ love is a good service! It can be something as simple as giving a cup of water and showing hospitality (Mark 9:41) or it can be life changing and require moving to another country to serve and minister (Mark 16:15). There are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world, but knowing what God requires of you can be daunting... The Bible does give specific examples of Christian service: show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2),
remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Some of these examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children, tend to families, treat employees fairly, deal honestly with customers and be diligent with employers’ resources. There are thousands of organisations designed specifically to serve others. Homeless shelters, home builders, and food banks always need help—both voluntary and through financial giving. Internationally, many organisations provide food, clothing, and education for children in sometimes dangerous and hopeless situations. Others provide water, micro-finance, or resources such as farm animals which enable the child’s family to generate income. There are also many opportunities for those specifically educated in theology. Church start-ups, chaplains required
in hospitals and natural disaster zones as well as training local communities to run and manage their own churches are all needed. Parachurch ministries provide Biblical guidance for families and internet ministries are always in need of those who can explain the truth of God in a loving, easy-to-understand way. The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show who Christ is with their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. Every action performed out of kindness, powered by the understanding of Christ and His love, is a worthy service. If your heart is pounding and your hand is high in the air, then we encourage you to begin within these pages and partner with an organisation already doing an incredible work. Now that is a worthy calling!
CBM Australia. For over 100 years, we have followed the example of Jesus, reaching out to those forgotten by society. CBM is a global leader in working alongside people with disabilities to create a world that includes everyone. You can join the CBM family today by contacting us at: Address: PO Box 348, Box Hill VIC 3128 Phone: FREE call 1800 678 069 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cbm.org.au
• Taking the gospel to the unreached peoples of Africa • More than 1,000 workers in 22 countries AFRICA INLAND MISSION
• Short-term and long-term opportunities
“Christ-centred churches among all African peoples”
Contact Australia PO Box 328 Gosford NSW 2250 P: 02 4322 4777 E: email@example.com W: www.aimint.org/au
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
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New Zealand PO Box 56290 Auckland 1446 P: 09 8899 406 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.aimint.org/nz
REMEMBER THE CHILDREN THE WORLD HAS FORGOTTEN Mission Without Borders is an international Christian organisation serving the spiritual, educational, emotional and material needs
We respect the dignity of the individual to future. We serve people without regard to their religion or ethnic background. Our work is focused on Eastern Europe, especially Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. In 2014 the need is greater than ever before, as Childrenâ€™s Homes are closing. We to support our work by February 2014.
To sponsor a child today please call 02 96472022 or
WHY BIBLE TRANSLATION? — a personal perspective by Barry Borneman
ible translation is difficult work. It requires cultural sensitivity, academic excellence, perseverance in large measure and commitment to a multicultural team over many years. It does not happen in a hurry, and involvement is often measured in decades of one’s life rather than years. What is it that motivates people to continue to devote large parts of their working life to this endeavour? Below are three perspectives from my own journey. Valuing of the Scriptures personally Having the Scriptures speak profoundly into our very own lives is a primary motivation for wanting to see them available to others in their own mother tongue. I can still smell the pages of the Good News New Testament that I was given in 1970 as a 17 year old. As I read the gospels in everyday English I increasingly became attracted to this man Jesus — his life, his teaching and ultimately his sacrifice. From this and subsequent experiences, I cannot imagine knowing Christ without the Scriptures that recount his words, his actions, and his devotion to do what the Father asked him to do. Personally valuing Scripture is a motivation for assisting others to have the Word of God in their own language and way of thinking.
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Seeing the lives of individuals and communities transformed for the better There is nothing like seeing individual lives and communities transformed for the better because of the Scriptures. When the message of Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and very real presence comes to communities it does change things. Alcoholism can give way to purpose, fear of spirits to new freedom to live fuller lives, and illiteracy overcome by a desire to learn to read. Forming an alphabet and writing down a language can also generate a pride and renewed value for the people in their language and culture at a time when they are often pressured and dominated by major language communities around them. Seeing these positive impacts on communities is also highly motivating. God simply loves to be worshipped with a diversity of culture and language
I have always been struck by how the Scriptures delight in the diversity of culture and language. Jesus’ coming announced salvation for everyone from different cultures and languages. When the Holy Spirit filled the believers at Pentecost inaugurating the church, their praise and acknowledgement of Jesus as both Lord and Messiah broke out in languages not their own, much to the surprise of everyone around. Then there is the amazing picture that the Apostle John had of people from every nation and tribe, and people and language worshipping God and shouting ‘Salvation comes from our God’ (Revelation 7:9-10). This is the very intention of God. Why would God want worship from all the different languages so much? I think possibly because it would take all the almost 7,000 different languages of the world, each with their distinctive nuances and
worldview, to capture a new and different aspect of the majesty of our King of Kings. Now that is a motivating reason to join the Bible translation movement. Of course if you don’t value Scripture for yourself, or believe that the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures transforms lives for the better, or that man’s greatest purpose is to glorify and worship God, then doing Bible translation makes little sense. That is understandable. However we are also comfortable working alongside fellow linguists, anthropologists, educationalists who do not hold our underlying motivation, but share our appreciation for the uniqueness and importance of each language and culture. We can do much together that supports these communities and their aspirations, but to really understand what motivates Wycliffe members at a deep level it lies in our value of the Scriptures as God’s revelation to the world.
“GO UNTO THE
Women of Australia & New Zealand, bring what is uniquely yours: your love, your kindness, your grace, your compassion.
WE ARE HEA DING TO AFR ICA! In June 2014 a team of 30 Aussie and Kiwi Christian women are taking the adventure of a lifetime. And you could be on board!
We will travel to some of African Enterprise’s key ministries in Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. We will visit the projects that focus on women and children, and you will see the profound love of Jesus at work in their lives: a love that brings hope and transformation. No doubt we will laugh, we will cry. We will both bless and be blessed. And we will grow as we receive from key African pastors & evangelists. So don’t miss this incredible opportunity! It will change you forever. That is certain.
F O R F U RT H E R I N F O R M AT I O N , C O N TA C T U S : 02 9889 1799
Can’t find it here? Try searching online www.findachristianmission.com.au | 5
The Great Christmas Spend
n a news article in Novemeber there was a story about the projected spending by Aussies during the Christmas period. According to the story we are going to spend $40 billion! FORTY BILLION! That’s $1,700 for every man, woman and child in the country, just for Christmas About half is food and drink. The rest is extra petrol, presents and decorations. If this is just for Christmas imagine what we spend for the rest of the year. Most of you will be surprised at the amount you spend as it continues to add up over the Christmas season.. It just seems to flitter away. Some extra food here, a few presents there, and next thing you know the credit card takes a big hit. It’s like America’s on Black Friday people go crazy purchasing gifts. For me the biggest surprise is that the figure for Christmas 2010 was a paltry $22 billion, just under $1,000 per person. I thought $1,000 was extravagant. Maybe it’s just me but I find the whole Christmas spend a little alarming. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. The message of Christ is to love your neighbour and share with those in need.
CALLING ALL WHO SUFFER AND ARE PERSECUTED! CALLING ALL INTERCESSORS, COMFORTERS AND ADVOCATES!
Unreached? Yet loved by God! When does an unreached people group become reached? When they have the Bible in their own language. Only when people can engage with God’s Word for themselves is true discipleship possible… Almost 2,000 languages still have no Scripture. Can you play a part? To help translate God’s Word, please visit www.wycliffe.org.au or email email@example.com
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Using Isaiah 1-39, Christian analyst Elizabeth Kendal shows what it means to walk by faith in times of uncertainty and escalating hostility. This is indeed a book for our times; an excellent resource for individuals or small groups. For more information, including commendations, resources and purchasing options, visit www.turnbackthebattle.com
Andy Coller is our Church Relationships Coordinator in Queensland and is looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Saviour this Christmas.
Yes we can celebrate. Jesus went to parties and celebrated. Sharing with family and giving gifts is great. We don’t need to spend $1,700 each to do it though. Perhaps it’s also alarming to realise that we will spend $40 billion on a one day celebration yet giving to charities and aid agencies has, at best, flat-lined. The government is looking to take $4.5 billion out of the aid budget. How has a fair-go nation like Australia become so self-centred? What will I be doing this Christmas? Yes I will celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends. Yes, I’ll eat too much and I will give gifts. I will give a mixture of gifts. I will make use of the Little Book of Big Gifts put out by Baptist World Aid Australia and I’ll give close family some special things. I’ll also give a gift in the Be Hope Christmas Appeal. I’m very blessed here in Australia and Jesus calls me to share these blessings with my neighbours in the developing world. Will you join me celebrating the birth of our Saviour and honouring his teaching by sharing with the poor this Christmas?
MISSIONARY IN BY SARAH TENGVALL New Zealander Marlene van Troder is a missionary in training with Africa Inland Mission (AIM). The goal of this organization is to achieve Christ-centred churches among all African peoples. Its priority is Africa’s unreached, currently around 900 people groups, who have never heard the gospel. The ministry has 1,000 people serving in 22 African countries. To become a missionary Marlene is undergoing something called Training in Ministry Outreach also known as TIMO. This is a two-year programme that takes a ‘wannabe’ missionary and equips them with on the job training and foundational missionary skills. Marlene’s mission, later this year, will be to the Lopit people of South Sudan. Here she shares her thoughts and experiences to date on this coming adventure.
pulled out the most often. Zero expectations is the next to go in the bag as this generally means patience will come more easily when things do go wrong. But often when ‘things go wrong’ God is in this too as you have more time to talk, more time to learn and more time to share. In all of it there is the blessing of knowing God is in control and He has a plan. So I love it, both for the challenges and the joys.
What are your dreams/aspirations for the future? If you’d asked me that question just a few years ago I would have had a string of answers. Most of them are fairly typical of a single woman my age, some not so typical. These days I mostly try not to plan too far in advance. I try to spend more time praying and listening. When I finish TIMO in two years I hope the Lord will What made you decide to be a missionary? open a door for long-term service in Africa, but I am content to Several years ago, while I was still studying, the Lord brought wait and see. people across my path who had served Him overseas. Also, during this time I started to develop a heart for Africa. I spent What is your advice to people reading this story who are some time in 2007 working in Botswana and all of 2010 in thinking about becoming a missionary? Tanzania, working with AIM. This experience combined with Pray. That is the first and most important step. Pray that the Lord much prayer and many conversations with friends and family will guide you to where He can best use you. Then talk to some caused the desire to continue to grow. I knew the Lord was of the important people in your life and someone who has been calling me to longer-term service in Africa. involved with long-term service overseas. If God has planted the seed He will grow it and He will guide you, but you will need to What do you hope to achieve in South Sudan? be willing to listen and wait. It doesn’t always happen how or I am going with a TIMO team with Africa Inland Mission. Our when we want it to. If you are heading overseas my advice would aim is two fold: to prepare a group of people for a lifetime of be to be a learner first, not a teacher, we often know less than we ministry through study and ‘on-the-job’ training. At the same think we do. time we hope to build relationships with the Lopit people and learn their language and culture to effectively share the Gospel Training in Ministry Outreach or TIMO is one of Africa Inland and set up a foundation for continued ministry in the area. What is it like living in an undeveloped country with people from a different culture? Fun and difficult. Rewarding and challenging. Exciting and frustrating. There are definitely contrasting feelings all the time. I love the simplicity of living. There’s so much time for everything and everyone. People and relationships are valued above tasks and the people, in my experience, are open, welcoming and hospitable. It is a bit like an adventure, but don’t romanticise it. On the flip side, I hate the simplicity of life. Cell reception and power is not dependable, travel rarely happens on time or without breakdowns, you feel dirty a lot of the time, even when you’re not, and health can be a real issue. Patience and perseverance are the first items you pack and will need to be 8 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine 2014
Mission’s effective team-based opportunities. If you are keen to share the gospel as part of a team, TIMO or one of our other curriculum-based teams is a great way to start. We are looking for people like Marlene. People who love Jesus, who have been discipled and who have at least some basic Bible knowledge. Above all we are looking for people willing to let God use them to make disciples. Besides Marlene’s trips there are many up and coming ministry adventures with TIMO. These include; reaching the shepherd boys of mountainous Lesotho and surfers, fishermen and woodworkers are needed for a trip to Madagascar next year. For more information on available opportunities contact Len Lesleighter on E: firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.aimint.org/nz
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