THE FRONTIER journal
NEWS + STORIES FROM THE MINISTRY OF FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP
FORGING FRIENDSHIPS MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PAGE 2
HAROLD KURTZ + THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP PAGE 17
PARTNER HIGHLIGHTS PAGE 20
PARTNERSHIP IMPACT IN ETHIOPIA
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICHARD HANEY
For Frontier Fellowship, 2021 is a banner year. We are forging ahead with plans to celebrate our 40th anniversary October 13-14 in Nashville. We also join with our friends at Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia to mark their 20th anniversary. Forty years ago, I was in my third year of pastoral ministry and one year away from leading my first mission trip to Brazil. Twenty years ago, I recall flying from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing and wondering about Y2K. Little did I or anyone foresee the events of September 11, 2001 looming up ahead. The world has changed so much in 40 years. One way is the sensibilities Westerners have adopted in understanding Islam and Muslims. Many of us are moving beyond fear to friendship, getting to know our Muslim neighbors. I have been blessed by numerous friendships with Muslims at Virginia Commonwealth University, where my wife worked among international students. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Pakistan—so many wonderful students from these nations. I have come to admire these Muslim friends for their religious devotion, commitment to family life and, yes, reverence for Isa (Jesus). I also have learned from my overseas friends how better to understand other cultures and religions. Light of Hope hosted me on a visit to Ethiopia in my second year of serving with Frontier Fellowship. While there, I witnessed my colleague Urgessa at work as a bridgebuilder between cultures. As a young man, Urgessa saw himself called to carry the Gospel in a contextualized way to his own people: Arsi Oromo Muslims in Ethiopia. Harold Kurtz, Frontier Fellowship’s first leader, was overjoyed to discover Urgessa’s passion for outreach to Muslims. He had been praying for that mission vision to be embraced by Ethiopian Christians. Ethiopia is roughly 60% Christian and 40% Muslim, so almost everyone has a neighbor from the other tradition. Despite the political turmoil today, many Ethiopians have built friendships across religious boundaries. Light of Hope leads the way as it builds primary schools in Oromo towns and villages for all children to attend school. Muslim and Christian. Girls and boys. Both church planting and peacemaking are fruits of this school initiative, creating greater access to the Good News of Jesus. Join us in thanking God for the friendships we’ve had the privilege of helping facilitate over 40 years between Western churches and indigenous leaders on the frontier. You’ll read one such story in our feature article on Page 4. Leastreached peoples gain access to the Gospel through vibrant partnerships like these. We are humbled and grateful to God as we continue to pursue our vision: for every people, an indigenous church; for every church, a mission vision.
© 2021 FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP
CONNECTING MISSION LEADERS A CONFERENCE FOR PEOPLE PASSIONATE ABOUT MISSION
Join us for a conversation about The Future of Frontier Mission. Drawing from the wisdom of frontier mission leaders —voices from research, mission agencies, global partners and churches— we'll explore the intersection of people groups, world religions, migrating populations, languages and translation, and movements toward Christ.
OCTOBER 14–16, 2021 | NASHVILLE, TN LEARN MORE + REGISTER AT CONNECTINGMISSIONLEADERS.COM
FORGING FRIENDSHIPS PARTNERSHIP IMPACT IN ETHIOPIA KRISTIN HUFFMAN, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR WITH LIGHT OF HOPE MINISTRY ETHIOPIA LEADERS + MEMORIAL DRIVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (TX) LEADERS
DURING THIS 40TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR, WE RECALL COUNTLESS STORIES OF GOD USING FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP TO ADVOCATE FOR LEAST-REACHED PEOPLES AND ACTIVATE THE CHURCH TO ENGAGE IN MAKING THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS KNOWN. IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE TO SERVE AS A LINK BETWEEN INDIGENOUS PARTNERS AND WESTERN CHRISTIANS, SEEING THE BLESSING GOD BRINGS WHEN PARTNERSHIPS FORM AND FLOURISH. IN THIS ISSUE OF THE FRONTIER JOURNAL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR KRISTIN HUFFMAN REFLECTS ON THE WAYS GOD DREW FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP, LIGHT OF HOPE MINISTRY ETHIOPIA AND MEMORIAL DRIVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (TX) INTO A RELATIONSHIP, RESULTING IN A PARTNERSHIP THAT IS BRINGING GOSPEL ACCESS TO THE ARSI OROMO PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA. (continued on page 6)
Kristin, an ordained pastor, has served Presbyterian churches for over 33 years. Prior to joining Frontier Fellowship’s staff, she spent 19 years at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas—first as the Christian Education pastor, then as the Associate Pastor for Outreach.
+++ I’ll never forget my first visit to Ethiopia in 2007. Just months earlier, while attending a gathering of the Association of Presbyterian Mission Pastors, I’d overheard Rev. Jim Milley (then the mission pastor at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, CA) talking about an upcoming vision trip he was leading. Something stirred in me, and I asked if I could join the team. One of my colleagues from Memorial Drive joined me; we both felt that God was calling our congregation to Ethiopia and something new in ministry. We landed in Addis Ababa in the wee hours of the morning. The distinct, unfamiliar sights and smells of Ethiopia instantly overwhelmed me. Yet strangely, I felt like I was home. Urgessa Biru, founder and director of Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia, was at the airport to welcome us. From the moment we met him, Urgessa opened his heart to us—sharing his story, his faith and his dreams. His deep passion for Jesus, joy in serving God and commitment to ministry inspired us. At one of the churches we visited during that vision trip, Urgessa asked the team to come forward so he could pray for us. We couldn’t understand a word he prayed, but I began weeping. The Holy Spirit’s presence was so palpable. I knew then that God would use Light of Hope to forever change my heart, my life and my church. A VISION BORN FROM PRAYER
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PRESENCE WAS SO PALPABLE. I KNEW THEN THAT GOD WOULD USE LIGHT OF HOPE TO FOREVER CHANGE MY HEART, MY LIFE AND MY CHURCH.
Light of Hope is a holistic ministry serving the more than 10 million predominantly Muslim Arsi Oromo people of Ethiopia. They provide access to the Gospel through community development and spiritual formation in culturally honoring ways. With school construction, education, healthcare, vocational and pastoral training, church planting, Bible translation and pioneering efforts in contextualization,* Light of Hope is creating opportunities for people to encounter the Good News of Jesus in their own language and culture for the first time. * Learn more about contextualization on Page 13
Light of Hope was founded 20 years ago, born from years of prayer and the common vision God cultivated in the hearts of three strangers who became friends. Urgessa told me the story of its beginning: “In 2001, I preached at a gathering of evangelical leaders in Ethiopia and shared the vision God had given me for reaching Arsi and other Muslim people groups. Kes Iteffa, a leader in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, approached me afterwards and asked to talk more. He shared that he and Harold Kurtz, whom he knew from Bible school, had been praying together for over 20 years that God would raise up somebody to reach the Muslim peoples in southern Ethiopia with the Gospel in a contextualized way. I met Harold and his daughter, Caroline, a few months later when they were in Ethiopia. Kes Iteffa introduced me to them and said, ‘This is the guy we’ve been praying for!’ “He shared about how he and I met, about the calling God had given me and about how he longed for the Ethiopian Church to embrace this vision. He said to Harold, ‘This is your baby. THIS IS WHY FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP CAME INTO BEING. IF THERE’S ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, HELP THIS MAN.’ We talked and shared together for a while, then Harold came and knelt beside me. He put his hand on my shoulder and started crying, so moved by what God was doing. We prayed and prayed, then exchanged addresses. Harold sent an email to the board, proposing that they include the Arsi people as one of Frontier Fellowship’s people group focuses. Greg Roth, then chair of the board, responded and said, ‘Harold, you never give up on challenging us more.’ God used Harold as a tool to bring Light of Hope to the Frontier Fellowship family.” THE FRONTIER MISSION VISION GROWS Coming home from that first vision trip, I began to share the story of my experience in Ethiopia with anyone who would listen. I was convinced that this was where God was leading our church to engage with an unreached people group. Since its founding in 1955, Memorial Drive had always had a deep ethos of generosity—congregants gave extravagantly of their time, talents and finances. What had been missing, however, was an understanding of how a congregation like ours could engage from Houston, Texas, with people all over the world who had never heard the Gospel. FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP, ALREADY A KNOWN AND RESPECTED PARTNER OF OURS, HAD BEEN HELPING US LEARN ABOUT LEASTREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS, BUT THE ARSI OROMO WERE THE FIRST ONES I’D MET IN PERSON. WHAT HAD ONCE BEEN A CONCEPT WAS BECOMING A REALITY. (continued on page 8)
People slowly began opening to the idea of a ministry partnership in Ethiopia. We walked alongside Light of Hope for several months, taking time to pray together and get to know each other. Urgessa came to Memorial Drive to share his story with our church leaders. A year later, I participated in another vision trip to Ethiopia. Shortly after that, Memorial Drive really caught the vision and our engagement with Light of Hope grew deeper. We began giving regular financial gifts and, for the next several years, sent numerous people on vision trips and to serve in the ESL summer program for Light of Hope teachers. We were delighted to participate with a ministry that truly revealed Jesus as the “Light of Hope,” and our affection for them and the Arsi people grew. Urgessa visited numerous times. So did Taliilee, a young woman who coordinated Light of Hope’s outreach to women and had since joined Frontier Fellowship’s team as an associate director mobilizing Oromo diaspora churches and Western Christians in the US. The relationship bore fruit and grew in a steady, God-determined way. A PARTNERSHIP BUILT ON FRIENDSHIP In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the Church as a body with many members, each dependent on the others for the flourishing of the whole. When I think of the partnership between Light of Hope and Memorial Drive —and how Frontier Fellowship helped nurture it—I’M SO HUMBLED TO SEE THE WAYS GOD WOVE OUR STORIES TOGETHER. IT WASN’T MERELY A “SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP.” IT WAS ALSO A DEEP, EMOTIONAL, FAITHFUL GROWING TOGETHER IN CHRIST. I left Memorial Drive’s staff in 2016 (to join Frontier Fellowship’s team!), but the congregation’s partnership with Light of Hope is still flourishing. I recently visited with Urgessa and Taliilee, who are now married, as well as leaders from Memorial Drive’s outreach ministry, to reflect on the impact this partnership has had on each of us. Amy Delgado, Memorial Drive’s Outreach Director, shared:
“FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP HELPED TAKE US FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BEING A SUPPORTER OF MISSION TO ACTUALLY BEING ENGAGED IN MISSION. PARTNERING WITH LIGHT OF HOPE OPENED OUR MINDS TO THINK OF MISSION IN A MUCH DIFFERENT WAY. BEYOND RELIEF AND CARING FOR THE MARGINALIZED IN REACHED SOCIETIES, WE ALSO BEGAN TO EMBRACE THE LARGER TASK OF REACHING THE WHOLE WORLD FOR JESUS. “Our relationship and friendship with Light of Hope has deepened, resulting in several opportunities for us to participate in projects with them, such as Bible translation and building schools, that have made a huge impact on the Arsi Oromo people. Even through the recent civil unrest, it has been a privilege to pray for Light of Hope and the friends we have made in Ethiopia. When they hurt, we hurt. We feel a deep connection from the years of partnership and praise God for the incredible impact they continue to have bringing Jesus, the true light of hope, to the Arsi people.” Kelsi McCormack, Memorial Drive’s Global Outreach Director, added: “LIGHT OF HOPE IS MORE THAN ONE OF OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS; URGESSA AND TALIILEE HAVE BECOME DEAR FRIENDS TO US. We’ve seen the transformational impact they’re having among the Arsi Oromo community. We’ve also had the opportunity to worship alongside them in an Arsi Oromo church. It was a small glimpse of heaven.” Urgessa and Taliilee both pointed to Frontier Fellowship’s unique approach to partnership, and the resulting friendships they have gained over the years, as a significant impact on their lives and Light of Hope’s ministry. “With Frontier Fellowship,” Urgessa shared, “partnership has never been primarily about the funding. It’s about the relationship. Frontier Fellowship is a bridge, a link, to friendship with others. You don’t find many Christian organizations based on this kind of model. They helped connect Light of Hope and Memorial Drive in a two-way partnership and, because of that, a lot of things happened. Because of people like Kristin, Amy and Kelsi, Memorial Drive became a part of the vision.” (continued on page 10)
Remembering the first time he met Harold, Urgessa added: “He would tell people, ‘Urgessa is our guy. His vision is our vision.’ I didn’t grow up in the church, and had always worked in the professional world, so I wasn’t sure about asking people for support to do the work God had called me to do. HAROLD HELPED ME UNDERSTAND THAT GOD’S WORK CANNOT BE DONE BY ONE INDIVIDUAL ALONE. HE BROUGHT ME ONTO THE FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP STAFF AND I FELT AT HOME WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. “The Church in Ethiopia was resisting at that time the vision God had given me to contextualize the Gospel for Arsi people. Frontier Fellowship’s vision—for every people an indigenous church; for every church a mission vision—fit what God already put in my heart. It was the first place I found a family to join. God added me to their body for a purpose, not only to encourage and support me, but to also help enlarge their vision.” Taliilee shared words of deep gratitude for the ways God has used this partnership to transform her life: “I am the person I am today because God used Frontier Fellowship to help me grow in my ministry and my studies, and to open more doors to churches all over the US. I’ve been empowered in a way I never imagined or dreamed in my life. It’s so wonderful to have friends who believe in you and trust you. When you are in ministry, there are often challenges. Friends like these come alongside us to pray with us, encourage us and help us carry out the vision God has given us. “Just look at the impact Light of Hope has had—the schools built, the churches planted, the leaders trained. We couldn’t have done those things if God hadn’t used Frontier Fellowship to connect us to churches and friends like Memorial Drive. MORE THAN WE HAVE ADVOCATED FOR OURSELVES, THESE FRIENDS HAVE ADVOCATED ON OUR BEHALF. IT’S A WONDERFUL, ENCOURAGING, POWERFUL AND INSPIRING PARTNERSHIP.”
+++ There’s a very intentional reason the word fellowship is part of our organization’s name. Frontier Fellowship is passionate about drawing people who care about the frontier into friendship. We believe that facilitating relationship-driven partnerships between Western Christians and global partners in least-reached places benefits everyone involved. By God’s grace, the partnership between Light of Hope and Memorial Drive is a beautiful example of that—a relationship between people who truly love Jesus and each other, and whose friendship and work together is helping least-reached peoples in southern Ethiopia encounter the Good News of God’s Kingdom for the first time.
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“The gospel is to be planted as a seed that will sprout within and be nourished by the rain and nutrients in the cultural soil of the receiving peoples. What sprouts from true gospel seed may look quite different above ground from the way it looked in the sand in society, but beneath the ground at the worldview level, the roots are to be the same and the life comes from the same source." —Charles H. Kraft, Fuller School of Intercultural Studies
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CONTEXTUALIZATION OF THE GOSPEL In 2008, Harold Kurtz gave a training to Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia staff and church leaders in Ethiopia on Peter's vision of the inclusion of the Gentiles in God's Kingdom (Acts 11). Urgessa Biru, Light of Hope's director, had invited him there. “One of the visions I had,” Urgessa said, “was to contextualize the worship. When you plant a church, it must reflect the community it serves. In those days, there were few places where Arsi Oromo had access to a contextualized church. Even if worship songs used the Oromo language, the musical style itself was from a different cultural perspective. Churches used to teach that cultural traditions were sinful, that God called people out of culture. I was trying to change that and asked Harold—a respected elder and missionary—to help. That sermon gave us a breakthrough.” Associate Director Taliilee Fiqruu, who was the women’s outreach coordinator for Light of Hope at the time, believed God meant the message specifically for her. “Before then, I didn’t understand how a Christian could listen to Arsi music. We’d left that behind. I’d always been taught that Arsi culture couldn’t exist alongside the Gospel. But the Holy Spirit revealed to me that God has no favorite race or language and every culture has a place in His Kingdom.” Taliilee, a gifted songwriter, began composing worship songs to Jesus in the Arsi dialect using traditional melodies. For the first time, Christianity was being introduced to the Arsi people in a familiar language and style. Taliilee’s friends and coworkers seemed eager to hear the message of a God who spoke their language and knew their songs. Urgessa and Taliilee, now married, have dedicated their lives to sharing the Good News of Jesus within the context of Arsi Oromo culture. They find hope in the Gospel’s power to redeem and restore unique expressions of identity. “It was the Gospel that made me appreciate my culture,” Taliilee shared. “As God helped me understand my identity, I began to see the beauty and dignity of the culture into which I was born.” Frontier Fellowship celebrates and shares Light of Hope’s commitment to contextualizing the Gospel. Contextualization is a central tenet of a flourishing indigenous church. As the global Church thrives in its diverse expressions, God gives us a glimpse of that day when worshippers from every nation, tribe, people and language gather before the throne and before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9). VISIT FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM/ARSI-WORSHIP TO LISTEN TO A PLAYLIST OF CONTEXTUALIZED WORSHIP SONGS TALIILEE HAS WRITTEN + RECORDED FOR THE ARSI OROMO CHURCH
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF MINISTRY “ALL OF MY TRIPS TO ETHIOPIA AND MY RELATIONSHIP WITH LIGHT OF HOPE LAUNCHED ME TO A CONTINUING MINISTRY IN THE US AMONG MUSLIMS." LORETTA DAVIS, VISION TRIP PARTICIPANT + ESL COORDINATOR
PRIMARY SCHOOLS CONSTRUCTED
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GIRLS + BOYS GAINED ACCESS TO EDUCATION
WORSHIP LEADERS TRAINED
ARSI OROMO WORSHIP ALBUMS DISTRIBUTED
S, LIGHT OF HOPE!
Y AMONG THE ARSI OROMO PEOPLE “MY RELATIONSHIP WITH LIGHT OF HOPE RADICALLY IMPACTED + RESHAPED MY MISSIOLOGY. GOD DID AMAZING THINGS IN MY UNDERSTANDING OF GOD'S MISSION IN THE WORLD + HOW WE ARE CALLED TO BE PARTNERS + PARTICIPANTS."
CHURCH LEADERS TRAINED
OROMO-SPEAKING CHURCHES PLANTED
SHELLEY IRVINE, VISION TRIP PARTICIPANT
ARSI OROMO NEW TESTAMENTS DISTRIBUTED COMPLETE ARSI OROMO BIBLE COMING SOON!
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO PARTNER WITH LIGHT OF HOPE AMONG THE ARSI OROMO PEOPLE: FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM/LOHME
"BUT YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU; AND YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM, IN ALL JUDEA AND SAMARIA, AND TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH." ACTS 1:8 Pictured: Acts 1 in the Arsi Oromo Bible
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FOUNDATIONS A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PEOPLE + PRINCIPLES THAT SHAPED US
Photo above (L-R): Harold Kurtz + Bill Young on a 2007 staff vision trip (Ephesus | Turkey).
NEXT PAGE: REFLECTIONS ON HAROLD KURTZ + THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP
HAROLD KURTZ + THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP BY THE REV. BILL YOUNG FORMER FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Harold Kurtz had a passion for partnership. This is one of many lenses through which I can reflect on his impact on the vision of Frontier Fellowship: for every people, an indigenous church; for every church, a mission vision. And how appropriate it is that my reflection should be part of an issue of The Frontier Journal with news from Ethiopia. It was while Harold was a missionary in Ethiopia that he had the opportunity to study at Fuller Seminary’s School of World Mission in its earliest days. Harold went back to Ethiopia a changed missiologist, building a frontier mission vision into the missionaries there as well as their partner church, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Over the ensuing years, Mekane Yesus has been an example of what God can do when you reach out with the Good News of Jesus to the many people groups who are “different” from your own and allow them to reflect their culture in their local churches. It was from that background that Ralph Winter tapped Harold as the first director of Frontier Fellowship. Harold then implemented his understanding of partnership in three different spheres. He worked for many years with the US Presbyterian structures to bring acceptance of the need to return to where their global mission started—in frontier areas! He worked with local churches here to promote this vision. And he worked with partner churches in other countries. One of the earliest partners was the Berliner Missionswerk in Berlin, Germany. Harold collaborated with Mort Taylor in the Presbyterian Church USA’s (PCUSA) Office of International Evangelism. The PCUSA signed an agreement in 1988 to send a worker for outreach to the Kurdish refugees in Berlin. She also connected to local churches there to help them develop a vision for reaching out to the Kurds. That work in Berlin continued under others several years later, while she and her husband moved on to the Kurdish area in Iraq, where early Presbyterian missionaries had served in the 1800s. I remember another example from a trip I took with Harold to Hungary in 2001. We visited with officials and some pastors from the Reformed Church. One pastor in particular was involved in outreach to the Roma people in Hungary and Ukraine. Our visit’s purpose was to encourage the Reformed Church officials to
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"THE WORLD IS TOO COMPLICATED FOR ALL INSIGHTS TO BE CONTAINED IN ANY ONE SOCIAL FRAMEWORK. AND THE HUMAN RACE IS TOO 'FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE' FOR ALL ESSENTIAL INSIGHTS TO BE CONTAINED IN ONE ETHNIC GROUP. THIS SHOULD BE PART OF OUR THEOLOGY AND OUR MODUS OPERANDI. THIS IS THE WAY GOD CREATED THE WORLD. WE NEED ONE ANOTHER TO BECOME ALL THAT GOD WANTS US TO BE. WE NEED OTHER FACES OF THE GOSPEL." —HAROLD KURTZ, MISSION MATTERS! (2000) go beyond their minimal support for that ministry, and to encourage the pastor and see how we could bring US believers alongside her ministry. As the “old man,” Harold could speak frankly to church officials, but he did it in a winsome manner—typically with stories from other places. One of Harold’s efforts I especially appreciated when I served in the PCUSA’s Office of International Evangelism was his push to help us expand the definition of partnership. At the time, when engaging in an outreach effort overseas, it was our practice to partner with the local church in that nation. But when you consider an ethnic group of a few million people with no local church, who is our church partner? Denominations in other parts of geographic countries typically won’t reach out. Harold’s position was that we needed to find groups working in such places—like NGOs—who shared our values, then join with them in ministry. We were able to begin applying that thinking, especially in Central Asia and later in Turkey, as we expanded our sending of missionaries into those regions, beginning around 1999. Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia is another example of a local group Harold connected Frontier Fellowship to in my early days as its Executive Director. I could say so much more about Harold’s travels, about his speaking in churches and conferences, and about the many other ways he pursued his vision. In all of these, Harold’s goal was multifaceted. The overarching goal was to reach with the Gospel those who would never hear it from anyone in their culture. He wanted US believers to see God’s vision, which flows all through the Bible, to bring believers from every tongue, tribe, people and nation to worship Jesus. But in the process of doing that, he wanted the Church to grow in its mission vision—that we would be changed through contact with others whom God was using in other places as we came alongside them.
—SOUTH ASIA MINISTRY PARTNER
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“THIS YEAR, A SMALL, DEADLY VIRUS SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE GLOBE + LOCKED US INSIDE OUR HOMES. THE EVIL FORCES OF THIS WORLD USED THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SHUT DOWN WORSHIPPING CENTERS + CHURCHES. BUT NOTHING CAN STOP THE WORK OF GOD! GOD MADE THE BELIEVERS’ HOMES INTO WORSHIPPING CENTERS. GOD MADE THE BELIEVERS’ HOUSES INTO CHURCHES.”
ETHIOPIA Ongoing political instability and rising COVID-19 rates continue to challenge the people of Ethiopia. Our partners, Suri Literacy Project and Light of Hope Ministry Ethiopia (LOHME) are faithfully navigating these crises and trust that God will bring intervention and healing. Join us in praying for justice to reign throughout Ethiopia in the midst of ethnic conflict and war. May God protect all those being forced to flee to neighboring nations or cities. School schedules in Ethiopia have been interrupted multiple times throughout the past year from both from the pandemic and national conflict. Pray for students, parents and teachers at LOHME and Suri Literacy Project schools as they discern their next steps. Our three-year commitment to the Suri Literacy Project is nearing completion. We thank God for the wonderful work of this partner and will share more information this fall! The Arsi Oromo Bible translation is complete and is awaiting printing in South Korea. Pray that God would provide the necessary resources to publish and distribute this new translation of God's Word. CONTACT: FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP NATIONAL OFFICE INFO@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
SUDAN + SOUTH SUDAN Due to the continuing pandemic and high inflation in Sudan, our Darfur Outreach partners have decided to combine two semesters into one. Thank God for creative solutions and answers to prayer, as this will reduce the cost of travel and food for students. The Bible school in Sudan has also hired a new principal, following the death of the previous principal. The accountant who had been ready to retire earlier this year has decided to stay on for the time being to assist the school’s leadership transition through the pandemic season. We celebrate God’s faithfulness to these partners and pray for great wisdom and grace for their new leadership. Our Sudanese / South Sudanese Refugee Ministry partners are helping fifteen men prepare to be church planters. As these men devote the next semester toward their training, pray for God’s wisdom and blessing over their lives. CONTACT: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR DENISE SCIUTO DSCIUTO@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
NIGER Eglise Evangélique de la République du Niger (EERN) is celebrating the recent completion of a new school building at one of their sites in Niger. Their Christian primary schools are considered the best in the nation. Many Muslim families throughout Niger send their children to EERN schools due to the high level of education they receive. Pray that the remaining construction projects in process would be completed swiftly, allowing more students to encounter God and His Word. As part of their 60th anniversary celebration this year, EERN leaders gathered together for a time of prayer, asking God to grant them discernment and a clear path forward into the future. Pray for God’s clarity, creativity and wisdom as they prepare for the next season of ministry. The presidential election in Niger earlier this year led to unrest and violence in the nation. Pray for the restoration of peace and order.
CONTACT: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR DONALD MARSDEN DMARSDEN@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
SOUTH ASIA COVID-19 rates skyrocketed in South Asia and our partners have been deeply affected. Some of our partners have contracted the virus themselves, while others have friends, family members and ministry partners who have been ill or died. Pray for God’s healing and intervention throughout South Asia. Another result of the pandemic is that businesses have lost needed income for their families. When churches closed, offerings were not being collected. Pastors in our partners’ networks have particularly struggled. Ask God to provide for the millions of people trying to make ends meet throughout South Asia. Nine indigenous missionaries have been preparing to serve among unreached peoples in South Asia, and another 50 are currently training to be church planters in least-reached regions. As they leave their homes to share the Good News of Jesus, pray for their protection and an openness to the Gospel for all who hear it.
CONTACT: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR CODY WATSON CWATSON@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
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EGYPT Our Discipleship + Fellowship Ministries partner met on Zoom this spring with some of our staff and US church partners to share their vision for the future and pray together. They recently opened a training center to equip Egyptian missionaries and hope to soon launch 10 new ministries throughout the Middle East! Dr. Atef Gendy, President of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC), is retiring this summer. We thank God for Dr. Gendy's faithfulness to ETSC for more than 20 years. We also pray for the Rev. Dr. Hani Hanna, who will assume the role on August 1. ETSC is also helping facilitate new opportunities for Egyptian lay leaders to enroll in Perspectives in Arabic. This course will help deepen the roots of Egyptian churches engaged in frontier mission. The Synod of the Nile's Pastoral + Outreach Ministries Council is training, equipping and sending Egyptian followers of Jesus to share the Good News with Arabic speakers in the Middle East, parts of Africa and Europe. They have already identified 5 families to serve in leastreached communities throughout this region. CONTACT: FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP NATIONAL OFFICE INFO@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA + IRAN Earlier this spring, one of our mobilizers hosted a virtual vision trip with our Arabian Peninsula partners. This was a great opportunity for US churches to hear firsthand about the incredible work God is doing on the Arabian Peninsula and engage more deeply in frontier mission ministry throughout the Middle East. Pars Theological Training Centre in Iran is celebrating the recent hiring of a new Director of Finance! They are also actively looking for someone to join their team as Director of Development. Join us in praying that God would bring the right person to come alongside them as they work to equip and mobilize the Iranian Church.
CONTACT: FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP NATIONAL OFFICE INFO@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
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FRONTIER STORY: SOUTH ASIA Frontier Fellowship’s global partners have committed their lives to sharing the Good News of Jesus among least-reached people groups in cities, towns and villages all around the world. A churchplanting network leader in South Asia recently shared the story of one family’s transformation after hearing the Gospel: “My name is Sripal,* and I am from a Hindu family in South Asia. We followed all the Hindu rituals, but I was possessed with an evil spirit for the last seven months. My family tried their best to make me whole, but nothing was working. My family members were in great distress as there was no hope for me to survive. “Praise God that brother Ramchandra* came to my village with the message of hope. He shared the Good News with the help of a banner. My family members were there and at the end of the meeting asked Ramchandra if he could do anything to help me. He came and prayed for me so that I could be freed from the evil spirit. “I have no doubt it was God’s grace because, after a simple prayer offered to God, I was healed! Now, I am completely freed from the demonic power. Praise God for His grace and love! As a result, all of my family members accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.” We praise God for His transforming work in the world and thank Him for the unwavering dedication of our partners—those on the ground in frontier areas, as well as those across the globe who come alongside this good work through prayers, encouragement and financial giving. May the Good News of God’s Kingdom spread swiftly and be glorified throughout the earth (2 Thessalonians 3:1). *name changed for security
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS AT FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM/PARTNERS
CENTRAL ASIA The Central Asian Migrants Ministry is having an online conference soon to encourage and pray for one another. The Central Asian Youth Ministry hopes to gather young people for summer camps and conferences, but their funding was hard-hit by the pandemic. Springs of Water is raising funds for water filtration systems and training church planters in the practices of water purification and business. Once trained and equipped, church planters will be able to go into new towns and villages to sell water while they share the Good News of Jesus with least-reached peoples. One of our Women’s Shelter partners recently welcomed two women, each with five children, to their shelter in less than a month. Their recent building expansion provided the room for these families, and now every bunk bed is full! The Rural Community Center is offering leadership training to community, government and business leaders. Pray for discernment as they interview applicants and for opportunities to share the Good News with attendees. CONTACT: ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS RITA JOHNSON (RJOHNSON@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM) + DONALD MARSDEN (DMARSDEN@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM)
INDONESIA Light of the Islands’ (LOTI) team of church planters has been growing, even with COVID-19 restrictions in place! We thank God for His faithfulness to raise up workers for the harvest field. LOTI is continuing to pray for even more team members to join them. Pray that God would bring them the right women and men to fill new church planter roles. These new team members will help carry the Good News of Jesus to least-reached villages and communities throughout Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population. As they travel great distances to share the Gospel, pray for their safety and protection. Pray also that many would hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus.
CONTACT: FRONTIER FELLOWSHIP NATIONAL OFFICE INFO@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
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MONGOLIA Despite relatively low COVID-19 rates throughout the past year, cases in Mongolia increased dramatically in the spring, leading to a nationwide shutdown. Mongolia Frontier Mission Initiatives (MFMI) has been seeking God’s wisdom in how to strategically plan in the midst of ever-changing restrictions. Thankfully, they have been able to pivot to leading ministry trainings virtually. COVID-19 hit close to home for one of our contacts at MFMI. Both of his parents and his grandmother tested positive for the virus within days of each other this spring. They have all recovered but ask for prayers as Mongolia continues to navigate the pandemic. MFMI recently hosted a virtual gathering of mission leaders living throughout the region. Despite language barriers, this event provided great opportunities for unity and encouragement to flourish. MFMI is now mentoring and coaching some of these mission leaders, helping equip them to come alongside MFMI in sharing the Good News of Jesus among least-reached peoples.
CONTACT: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR KRISTIN HUFFMAN KHUFFMAN@FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM
ADDITIONAL UPDATES Schools in the Sand—our partner in Pakistan—had to close their primary schools several times this spring due to COVID-19. Ask God to give them grace as they minister to marginalized families in their community. Our new partner in Brazil, Amazon Outreach, is sharing the Good News among least-reached people groups along the Amazon River. COVID-19 surged in Brazil this spring, overwhelming hospitals. Pray for our partners as they navigate ministry during this pandemic time. We’re so excited to celebrate our 40th anniversary this October in Nashville, and we’d love to have you join us! Space is limited, but if you’re interested in attending, visit frontierfellowship.com/40 and let us know! We continue to walk alongside our global partners as they minister to the ongoing material, psychological and spiritual needs of their communities following waves of devastation left by COVID-19. VISIT FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM/COVID-19-RESPONSE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN COME ALONGSIDE OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS AS THEY RESPOND TO COVID-19.
Celebrating 40 YEARS
OCTOBER 13-14 | NASHVILLE, TN
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INVITING BELIEVING COMMUNITIES TO ENGAGE PEOPLE GROUPS WHERE THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM IS NOT YET KNOWN.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEND OUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT AS WE GATHER TO CELEBRATE GOD’S FAITHFULNESS + LOOK TO THE FUTURE OF FRONTIER MISSION? SPACE IS LIMITED, BUT WE’D LOVE TO SEE YOU THERE! LEARN MORE AT: FRONTIERFELLOWSHIP.COM/40 OR CALL OUR NATIONAL OFFICE: 612.869.0062 (CONNECTING MISSION LEADERS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW OCTOBER 14-16)
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