The CALL Vol 8 – Year 2016 – Issue 1 Contribution Rs.50
The English magazine of Gospel Echoing Missionary Society (GEMS)
The CALL is the Quarterly Magazine of GEMS heralding the triumph of His utterance, dictating the desire of HIS heart, illuminating the obscure, planting visions and triggering Christendom to stand up and testify. It is in essence a prophetic voice to the churches & an apostolic voice to the missions.
Managing Editor / D. Augustine Jebakumar Chief Editor / Mariyosh Joseph Sub Editor / Isaac Ambrose
Missio Dei Special
Design & Layout / Tamil selvan. k Cover Design / Alwin Aniz Cover Photography / Gideon M. Durai & Jagan Vincent On the Cover/ GEMS fields Nuaon, Buxar
(Bhojpuri 1) & Kuba (Rohtas)
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All scripture portions if otherwise mentioned are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Take Heed! Venture Forth! 1 Some images used in the magazine are taken from the internet and we acknowledge the copyright to the rightful owners.
Where there has been acceptance of the gospel through preaching, my complaint is that there has been some motive” writes Arun Shourie in his book ‘Missionaries in India’. I wish he understands the motive behind missions, the love of God! God’s love is the motive of missions and that’s why it is ‘Missio Dei’, the mission of God. Unless one experiences the love of Christ in his life, he cannot be a true missionary; the love that sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Missions is the grateful expression of a disciple lived out in complete submission to the One who saved and called Him to carry His message of love, forgiveness, salvation and hope. The picture and verse on the Cover signify this truth, that when we were gone astray, He opened the eternal way, by bearing our sins and with this thankfulness we show forth His praise to all generations. The article from the Director’s Desk, ‘‘The Missionary Call’ presents this as the threefold love, love for God, love for Neighbour and love for the Lost.
God seeks not only the able, but the available and equips them to be capable to fulfill His mission. Two Get Equipped articles, each focus on Training and Cultural Anthropology in Missions. It is the call for every believer to take the gospel to the ends of the world and to provide such an opportunity to train laymen and women for missions, GEMS started a new program, Missionary Preparatory Training Course (MPTC) and the Magnifying Glass column is focused on this initiative. The Tentmaking column poses the question “Are we serious enough with the Mission at the Marketplace?” sounding the clarion call that “it’s time for the Christians at marketplace to live out as Salt and Light leading the professionals to taste the love of our Lord Jesus and to bring them to the light of salvation.” Deploring the deplorability of “Christian ministry (that) present God as the ultimate capitalist whose paramount attention is on successful living evidenced by financial prosperity”, the New Gen Thinking column article, ‘Call Centers for Christ’ addresses the practicalities of workplace evangelism
The Editor’s Space...
and presents the big need to reach out to the BPO industry. The Children’s Chronicles column ‘Use Me’ will be doubly exciting for children; it is cartoon with coloring pages. When their exams get over, parents, teachers and wardens can teach the children the truth of the story that God has called children too to partake in His mission and let them have the fun of coloring. The field focus of this issue is on the Rohtas Hills and one article talks about the Oraon people of the hills giving an anthropological and apologetic view and another article brings out a beautiful testimony of a tribal woman who left witchcraft to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Missions is about God; and He uses people to fulfill His vision and it is imperative that the carriers of the gospel are cared for. ‘Caring for God’s Servants’ is a Standing @ the GAP article that shows the need and the nitty-gritty of Member Care from recruitment through retirement.
Just eleven days after her husband Graham Staines, the missionary in Orissa who was burnt alive with his two little sons, Gladys answered to an interview on what would she say to young people considering missions, “once you are sure of that (your call from God) then just be prepared for whatever, even if it costs you loss. We must learn not to hang on to our own lives; we must learn to allow God to use us… So if the Lord has called them and they are sure of their call, then... don’t stay at home.” The fulfillment of the purpose of this issue is perfectly presented in these words of the lead article ‘Embracing God’s Global Vision’, “If the youth catch the vision of the nations and if missions becomes the talk of the church and at every meal in houses then an entire new society will be born and the family and church will fulfill this heavenly vision.”
Missional Reading! Mariyosh Joseph
from y r a e h o t e v uld lo
k with your c a b s u d e CALL and fe e h T n o d e Fe d opinions! firstname.lastname@example.org n a ts n e m th com feedbacks to
Send in you
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l a i c e p S i e D o i s s i M 28 16
From Bihar With Love Embracing God’s Global Vision D. Augustine Jebakumar
Director’s Desk The Missionary Call C. Ashok Kumar
Poem Channel of His Blessings to Nations Sheela Duthie
Get Equipped Making Fishers of Men T. Emerson
Magnifying Glass Missionary Preparatory Training Course Isaac Jayakumar
Tentmaking Mission at the Marketplace Sumithra Jayaraj
Poem On the Roadway of Missions Preena Stanly
Get Equipped Role of Cultural Anthropology in Missions Vincent Jeyaraj
Poem His Missionary Mariyosh Joseph
New Gen Thinking Call Centers for Christ Sai Bharathan
Children’s Chronicles Use Me Angeline Mariyosh
Standing @ the GAP Caring for God’s Servants Lois Sampath
Transforming Peoples to Transform Nations Oraon People of the Rohtas Hills Martin
From Sorcery to the Saviour Mariyosh
From Bihar With Love D. Augustine Jebakumar
Brother Jebakumar besides being the General Secretary of GEMS is an itinerant preacher who travels extensively in India & Abroad and is married to Sister Rupalekha.
odâ€™s Global Vision
I was talking to a Pastor who serves among the European and Srilankan Tamil people, who has worked very hard for their welfare and to comfort them. He was sharing with me, how God interrupted powerfully in his ministry and changed his attention towards Israel. Though he did not agree with some Israel issues, he started p r a y i n g because God changed h i s Take Heed! Venture Forth!
direction towards that nation. He said that after he started interceding for Israel many changes started to happen in his ministry and in his personal spiritual life.
He also shared with me how God turned his perspective head on, from only looking at his ministry and the related ministry towards a global vision. He was very glad that he now ministers with this global vision and that he is constantly thinking about the Kingdom of God at large. Yes my dearly beloved, God has asked us to seek first His
Kingdom and His righteousness. His big desire is that the Good News of the Kingdom should be preached across the world. I have preached this again and again in my messages. But sadly many of the ministers and ministries do not look beyond their windows. Missionary vision has at its heart the global vision of God. We can never refute the fact that, â€œGod SO loved the world.â€? It is the bounden responsibility of every minister to make the heart of God known to every believer in the congregation. How then
children, youth, and adults with this global vision? Only when the church understands this, then the believers become prayer warriors, will understand the heart of God, will be freed from self pity, will look at things differently from the way the world looks at, when they read or hear news they will be gripped with burden and will pray for that, they will not hold back their children or possession, they will long for the move of the Holy Spirit, they will lament that they do not have enough time to pray, will start running with God when God starts to move across the nation.
at its s a h n io is v y r a Mission f God o n io is v l a b lo g heart the
can we infuse the spirit of mission inside the church? How can we burden the 6
The weekly routine of going to Church in order to be healed of headache and fever should change and be replaced by the prayer of The CALL
Godâ€™s own heart. The churches should practice the prayer of the Kingdom of God. This is the need of the hour. To implement this all the pastors, Sunday School teachers, youth ministers and cell group leaders should come together and work. For instance in every Sunday worship, the statistics of a nation can be displayed and prayer points about the nation can be distributed, so that the church together can pray for this nation for some time in the service. Through this the congregation will start knowing about the different countries and their need and will start praying for them. Later when they read about this nation in a newspaper or magazine, they will start praying or praising for this nation. Sunday School is a very good place to teach
the children about different nations and the need for missions. At least once every month, the life of a missionary s h o u l d be either enacted or told to the children. This will fire up the children to look out at the nations, instead of only looking at themselves and their needs. These children can be challenged by the amount of service accomplished by missionaries who worked in the days of very little modern scientific advancement.
Sunday School is a very good place to teach the children about different nations and the need for missions.
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Similarly in the youth groups, there can be discussions about the lives of missionaries or we can ask the young people to enact the life of a missionary once a month. Through this the young people will get to know that the Acts of the Apostles are still being continued by the labours of the missionaries, and 7
will also desire to accomplish something for the Kingdom of God. If this becomes the topic in the church, then the prayer groups will never run out of fuel. The entire church will be galvanized in speaking, working and praying for missions. The presence of God will manifest powerfully amidst this unity and man’s praise, flattery, deceptive words will slowly be washed out from the church. Only God will be glorified. There is no doubt about that. My heart aches whether this will not become a reality in the churches. If the youth catch the vision of the nations and if mission becomes the talk of the church and at every meal in houses then an entire new society will be born and the family and church will catch this heavenly vision. To know more about the nations we could use the book OPERATION WORLD. I wish and pray that our churches accept this suggestion and become mission minded. May our prayers and works be pleasing to our God! Those who know the passion of God Keep away from needless things Will stand in the presence of God To plead for the nations to know Him Young, old and the little ones Will not merely be namesake Christians Jesus, the ruler of the eternal Kingdom Will secure a place for us Let us yearn for this, live for this May this world know Jesus! (This article is an excerpt from the author’s book ‘Hearken Ye The Trumpet Call’. To get this book send an email to email@example.com) The CALL 8
C. Ashok Kumar
Ashok is a Medical Doctor who serves as the Director of Missions of GEMS and is married to Angel, a medical doctor who serves at GEMS Hospital, Sikaria. firstname.lastname@example.org
reetings to you and am glad to reach you through this first issue of 2016! The great command and commission are like two eyes for a disciple of Christ (Mark 12:30,31; Matthew 28: 18-20) and signify the threefold Love, i.e. Love for God, Love for Neighbour or brother and Love for the Lost. Missionary work or call is the strong reminder of this core truth of the Scripture. It’s not just about going in to a needy place but it is all about my wholesome love in true action through my submission. The key part of missionary work is the Missionary Call from God and I have tried to give you a gist
of it from the Bible. One of the passages which spell sound about this subject is Romans 10: 12 to 21. I have narrated the truths from this context and added additional texts accordingly. The Latin root from which the English word “Missionary” is derived is equivalent to the Greek word “apostolos” (Strong’s Dictionary / #652), meaning “one sent forth” from which we get “Apostle”. So, Missionary in simple terms means “one who is sent for a particular mission”.
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1. Missionary call is the cry of God’s heart (Romans 10:21) Standing with outstretched hands towards a stiff necked people all the day is a symbol of God’s crying heart for the unsaved. Realising this Paul says that it is like a “great sorrow, unending enormous deep pain (1), Unceasing anguish and grief (2)”. Both in OT (3) and NT (4) God’s heart agonises for the unpreached and unreached. This knowledge made Paul willing to pay any price to be a missionary to the unreached till the end (5). Number of passages in the scripture expresses His crying heart but have you ever had such experience in your Bible meditation hour? It is possible when you do it with open heart and whole heart.
Whenever you get such experience of agony, distress or pain in your heart, you can affirm that God is urging you to listen, learn, lean and leave for definite action and that is the birth process of a Missionary. 2) Missionary call is the initial step of the salvation plan (Rom 10:13-16) The passage describes the process of how an unreached man comes in to Salvation of God.
A saved person is willing to go after he / she comes to know the need → He goes (or) sent by Church → Preaches to the unreached → the unreached hears the word → Believe the word → Call on God’s name → Salvation. In the chain of actions, the Prime step is the stepping in of a born again believer who is willing to go to the shown / known unreached place. This made Paul to travel from Southern Palestine to Northern Greece / I t a l y mainly to the UNREACHED places, about 8,000 kms in 12 years (Romans 15:19-23, NKJV) when there was no modern transport facilities. C.T Stud went to Africa by knowing the challenging need and William Carey stepped in to India
and lived and died in India. God looks for a candle in the darkness but Church of today keeps everything within its compound. The result is that the outside world is still in an abandoned state even after 20 centuries of Christ’s resurrection. Today we are in a modern communication world and know the information in no time. Everyone has the opportunity to know the Mammoth need of this country (1236 million population) and the Mountainous challenges of our Nation (only 2.3% are said to be Christians according to Censusindia.gov.in).
and Running to Remote places) and He Voluntarily sets His mighty hand on them to reveal His power to the world (Isaiah 52:7, 10; 40:9 ESV). The weeping eyes, willing heart and the walking (obeying) feet are the properties of a missionary. 3. Missionary call is open to ALL and reaching ALL (10:12 &18)
The full gospel is “Be a receiver of God’s blessings” and “Be a reservoir of His Blessings” (John 3:16 & 1 John 3:16; Genesis 12:2). We know that Abraham was called to do so but we should know that EVERYONE from Whenever people the gentiles (we) hear this information, The weeping eyes, too is called to be eyes weep, heart is so through the cross willing but the feet willing heart (Galatians 3:14, are not ready. God ESV). The reason and the walking for an open call is is eagerly waiting to see those “beautiful” (obeying) feet are well said by Jesus, feet climbing on “Harvest is plentiful Mountains (means the properties of but the labourers are taking up Ruggard few” (Matthew 9:37a missionary. 38, Path, Risky tasks ESV). So, everyone Take Heed! Venture Forth!
who is born again is given the responsibility to proclaim His goodness (1 Peter 2:9, NLT) from day one. All professionals like Moses the prince, Luke the doctor, Peter the fisherman, Amos the shepherd, even Paul the teacherwriter-pastor were called for God’s frontline work. In the past three decades, it is on the down slope that the elite one has not fulfilled their role in this call. Where are the Ida Scudders, David Livingstones, Ramabais of today in the challenging places? In the same way, God wants EVERYONE to be reached out (Romans 10:12) and whether it is ONE Ethiopian minister or ONE woman in Samaria, God counts them as pearls. Every soul’s repentance brings great joy not only to that person but also to Heaven. When you believe and practise this, it helps you to be a candle wherever you are now and makes you a light house wherever you will be sent which is the zeal
and seal of a missionary. 4) Missionary call is the prime preparation of His second coming (10:20) It is mandatory to take the gospel even to those who don’t seek or ask because the Bible declares that the gospel will be preached in all the world AND THEN the end will come (Matthew 24:14, KJV). God has been waiting for more than 20 centuries (2 Peter 3:9, KJV). Though God has countless angels, it is His desire that you and I would finish this final task. We have spent most of our time and resources in preaching the gospel to the evangelised. In country like India, one has no right to listen to the gospel second time as more than 200 thousands (Crude death rate is 7.3% in India as on 2014 June, World Fate Book – India) are leaving the earth every day and majority are without Christ. Whenever you long and pray for the second coming of Christ,
an apostle would carefully look for the seeds shown by pioneers and will water on it to complete the work. Even Jesus taught this principle to His disciples. It is the cry of the pioneer missionaries who have completed their race and have sown the seeds, many of whom have laid down their life, that we may water (1 Corinthians 3:6, Titus 1:5) and reap (John 4:36-38, John 12:24) and store the harvest in God’s barn. Else the yester years’ labour will go in vain and God’s kingdom will suffer loss and it’s our duty to ensure that our King would suffer no loss (Daniel 6:1,2). it is the reminder and call for you to labour more to finish the task of preaching the gospel to the unreached. 5) Missionary call is Kingdom oriented (1 Corinthians 3:6) Looking for a lucrative designation or fame or role in the working place has become common even in Christendom. But people like Apollo though called
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Whenever you pray for a Revival, it is a reminder and call to water the seed and to reap the harvest for which others have laboured and left the task for you and I to work in our days. The Pioneer Missionaries have paid the price and now it’s time for us to complete the task. May the Lord help you to feel His heart’s throb and finish the task to which He has called you!
Channel of His Blessings to Nations
Sheela serves as the Secretary to the Director of GEMS and is married to Rajesh Duthie who serves as Asst. Director of GEMS. email@example.com
Greater is His plan to bless the world To make His heavenly blessings reach one and all Didn’t plan to pour it out directly on the masses Planned to make me a channel of His blessings to nations! I am not a politician to change my country I am not a businessman to provide for the people I am not a soldier to protect my nation Still He says, “I will make you a blessing to nations”! Though I don’t understand fully this great plan I consider it a privilege to be a part of His band Though I don’t know how to start with I just give myself wholly in His hand! He satisfies my soul with living waters And makes me a spring of living waters “Go and quench the thirst o f people”, says He To be a channel of blessing to nations! When I see people touched by my life It gives me immense joy unexplainable I pursue to take His blessings to others Making use of every opportunity that my way comes! He will be pleased to see His blessings flowing through me Reaching people who in turn take it to nations He will be happy to see His plans for me working And will make me still more a greater blessing! Take Heed! Venture Forth!
Making Fishers of Men Biblical Basis Training
“When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Preparing people to carry on His mission is a prime work of God; because He created human being as a part of His greater purpose on this earth. The fall of man, though being a setback for God’s plan yet He did not give up. He wanted to fulfill His
purpose through the descendents of Adam. The redemption plan of God is a mission of God to fulfill His plan and purpose for humanity and the earth. It is God’s greatness that in that mission He has made the humans as his partners and coworkers. So, it is His intention and commitment to prepare people to fulfill His purpose a n d
Emerson serves as the Regional Director of GEMS Central Region giving leadership to Sikaria and Rohtas Zones. He is married to Kiruba who serves as the head of Physics Dept in GEMS English School, Sikaria.
eventually accomplish His mission. Many examples can be quoted from the Bible that God prepares, trains, and equips people according to the need and situation. The Psalmist vividly presents about the life of Joseph, Moses and David. These three were great men in the history of Israelites. They were great in the sight of God as well as man. About Joseph the Bible says in Psalm 105, God
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sent Joseph to Egypt ahead of his people to save the seed of God. Likewise the same Psalm says God sent Moses. Both Joseph and Moses were sent to Egypt to fulfill God’s mission there. The mission of Joseph was to protect God’s seed during the time of famine and enable them to grow in large numbers. The mission of Moses was to go to Egypt to deliver God’s people and to lead them to the Promised Land. But to fulfill that mission God had to prepare them and train them. David’s lips praises God
that “He trains my hand for war”. (Psalm 18:33 ESV). He also says that “He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1 ESV). During the time of Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha the school of prophets was functioning in Israel to train the people for the prophetical office. Not much can be seen in the Old Testament regarding training of God’s people for God’s ministry. But the New Testament gives us some idea of how Jesus Christ and Paul trained others. Though John the Baptist had many disciples the Bible does not say much about how
Jesus trained them to be like Him and sent them or commissioned them to do like Him. 18
he trained them. But Jesus Christ during his three and a half years of ministry in this earth, He trained 12 apostles. He chose them in the beginning of His ministry and kept them with Him throughout His ministry. The Bible says that Jesus sent them to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, and to cast out the demons. Jesus also used them to give baptism. Not only did Jesus give them practical training to do the aforesaid things, but He also taught them. Most of the teachings recorded in the Bible about the kingdom of God were originally taught to His disciples. Jesus set a model of training the twelve to become apostles and to carry on His ministry of preaching the kingdom of God. At the end of His ministry before ascending to The CALL
heaven, Jesus told them that “Just as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21 ISV). Jesus trained them to be like Him and sent them or commissioned them to do like Him. Paul had many associates and coworkers in his ministry. Paul trained 12 people in Ephesus for two years (Acts 19). We do not know more about his training methodology. Only we know that they met in a lecture hall and discussed many things. But the outcome of this training is clearly mentioned that all the people in Asia heard the word of God (Acts. 19: 9,10).
Development of Missionary Training
sent. The twelve disciples are commonly known as Apostles. Paul frequently used the word apostle in his writings. The author of Hebrew describes Jesus as the Apostle (Heb 3:1). Jesus was sent by the Father to preach the gospel and to redeem the mankind. Later Jesus also commissioned His disciples to carry on the mission for which He was sent into this world. Now this mission is entrusted to the church. The right understanding about mission is important to have right missionary training. So far most of the churches feel that i t is the
The word missionary is not used in the Bible. Many scholars accept that the word “missionary” is equivalent to “apostles” which means to send away or to be Take Heed! Venture Forth!
responsibility of few gifted people who have the calling to go to the faraway place sacrificially and preach the gospel. Unless and until the church realizes that it is her responsibility, the church won’t train people for missions and eventually it won’t produce missionaries. Earlier people went to the Seminary to equip themselves for missionary work. At present most of the Seminaries in India produce Armchair Seminarians and fall short of preparing
er to v e li e b y r e v e r o It is the call f world e h t f o s d n e e the gospel to th
people as missionaries. They impart knowledge, skills, train people and produce theologians and church leaders but hardly produce missionaries. Eventually 20
the Missions don’t want to send their people to the Seminaries due to the fear of losing them once for all. The great missionary William Carey, known as the father of modern missions founded a seminary along with a secular college to train God’s people and later on Yavatmal College of Leadership Training (YCLT) was started at Yavatmal to give missiological training. Both of them are at present facing lot of crisis that continuously dampens
the effectiveness of these Seminaries.
Paradigm Shift in Missionary Work The recent development in the mission history has brought phenomenal changes in the The CALL
understanding of missions. The mission frontier is no more a far away remote tribal village as it was in earlier times. It is realized that every believer is a missionary and every unbeliever is a mission field. Reaching the unreached and preaching the gospel is a responsibility of all the believers and it is a mission given to all. The concept of missionaries is no more a few chosen people sent to preach the gospel. It is the call for every believer to take the gospel to the ends of the world. That doesnâ€™t mean that the church does not need to send missionaries. Still there are several unreached places in this world. But it cannot be shouldered by only a few chosen people. It should be shouldered
by the entire church and when we approach missionary training with this understanding, the concept of missionary training and its implications will be very different. Take Heed! Venture Forth!
The Nature of Missionary Training Missionary training should start from the home setting and the church. The vision casting and bringing the children up with missionary burden should primarily take place in the home. South Tamil Nadu has produced many missionaries over several decades. Many Indian mission leaders come from that area. One of the reasons is that their parents committed their children for missionary work when they were young and sometimes even before they were born. And from childhood onwards they brought them up with that vision. Similarly the church should do its
part in envisioning and equipping Godâ€™s people for Godâ€™s mission. The church leaders should not deal with the members with the approach of milking them but to rear the sheep which produces lambs. 21
The missionary training has to develop deep commitment pertaining to its call. Though Paul and Barnabas were set apart for the mission work, yet their work was not separated from the Antioch church. The mission work in the first century was supported and backed by the Jerusalem and Antioch churches. Ideally speaking, the church should own the mission work. There would not be any Para-Church Organization as such, had the church owned this responsibility. Since the called out community, the church failed to fulfill its mission, God called out people from the church to carry out His mission. First century
Christians were very different. Every believer involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. Relevant Approach Recently GEMS has launched Missionary Preparatory Training Course (MPTC) in Chennai and other places to train lay people for missions. The primary motive of this programme is to give clarity about missions and missionary work and to prepare them to reach the unreached. Every church should have such programmes to envision their congregation for missions. Though lots of changes and developments
have taken place in our country but still the missionary work in our country is more challenging. The call of a missionary is like the call of Abraham, to leave his family, people, and language and to move to a place where God sends. The missionary would face cultural shock, distinct climate and environment and inadequate facilities. Apart from that opposition and persecution are also part and parcel of their calling. Consequently the missionary training has to adequately equip the missionaries to face these challenges. Their commitment is not less than the commitment of the soldiers (2 Tim 2:3). They need to be mentally, physically, emotionally strong. The great missionaries of the first century, Paul and Barnabas risked their lives to take the gospel to the unreached places. The commitment may not be taught but it is to be developed. The missionary training has to develop deep commitment pertaining to its call. The call of missionaries is to preach the gospel and to bring social transformation. All the cultures and societies have the elements of evil imbedded in its day to day life due to the fallen Take Heed! Venture Forth!
nature of the world. Missionaries are committed to replace those evil practices of the society with Christian values and eventually bring social transformation. With this perspective they work in the area of education, medical, social welfare and contribute substantially to bring social transformation. So the missionary training needs to equip people not only to reach the unreached with the gospel but also that they may be able to contribute to the other areas like education, medical, socio-economy, and media. Conclusion The changing scenario in India demands more effective missionary training to meet the challenges. The principles and concept of missionary training may not change but the methodology has to change to meet the present need. This article is attempted not to deal with the content and methods of missionary training but to deal with the concept and issues pertaining to missionary training. Until the last person hears the gospel our effort of training and sending missionaries should continue. Churches need to produce people who receive the call from our Lord and say â€œLord here I am, send meâ€?. 23
Preparatory Training Course – MPTC WHAT IS MPTC? Missionary Preparatory Training Course or Programme is an initiative of GEMS to equip the contemporary Church with contemporary approach for God’s Glocal Mission.” Before proceeding further to the various aspects of MPTC, it is imminent to know what “Glocal Mission” means. “Glocal” is a fusion of two words “GLOBAL” and “LOCAL”. “Glocal Mission” means reaching the unreached with the gospel and making disciples of all Nations both locally and globally. (Mt. 28: 18-20, Acts 1:8). Stanley. R (2002:32) says: To equip us with power to witness for Christ is the supreme purpose of the Spirit’s infusion. Any other is secondary. Witnessing starts i n
Jerusalem, which is the city where the believer lives and simultaneously spreads to Judea which is his or her State, then to Samaria which is his or her cross cultural neighboring States or North Indian States and then to the ends of the earth. Every believer in a local Church has a responsibility to involve in all the above aspects of mission.
RATIONALE A. Present context in the Indian Mission History: Indian Mission history has its origin in the first century and according to the traditions, Christian mission was launched by Apostle Thomas who was the disciple of Jesus Christ. Somehow the first Christian community’s vigour and zeal to evangelize died off due to various reasons. Tradition says that the Apostle also died as a martyr within a short period which could be one of the reasons. Even though people were becoming Christians subsequently because of the work of catholic missionaries who came during the period of Portuguese and Dutch colonialism, local congregations
Isaac serves as the Director of MPTC and lives with his wife Dolly in Chennai who administrates the GEMS Action Center, Chennai.
with strong missionary zeal didn’t form anywhere in the Nation. Then came the era of protestant missionaries, which started in the 18th century and during this era churches emerged with strong Biblical base and believers began to grow in number and quality. From the year 1700s to 1950 hundreds of western missionaries came and worked with great sacrifice. After India’s independence these missionaries had to leave and the local leaders took charge of the Churches. God began to raise many Mission leaders who mobilized the Churches in Southern India towards the unfinished task of reaching the North Indian states. Indigenous Mission agencies began to emerge and missionaries started moving from South India to Northern India since late 1950s and it lasted in vigour until approximately 2010. This movement began to subside and almost came to a standstill whereas a close observation
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will reveal that the process of stirring up the hearts of people to move cross culturally for His Mission has begun and started gaining momentum again. B. Present context in the World Mission History: God is moving in a special way in Asian countries and according to a report from the London Sunday Telegraph, China will be the “world’s most Christian nation” in 15 years. The usual movement of missionaries from western countries to Asian countries is undergoing a paradigm shift of missionaries moving from one Asian country to another. China is now the world’s largest missionary sending country with 100,000 missionaries. I n
Mongolia, the number of believers grew from just 2 in 1990 to over 50,000 believers in 2005. Mongolia has changed from a mission field to being a powerful mission force – sending out more missionaries per believer than any other nation on earth. South Korea has sent 1 9 , 9 5 0 missionaries. The above two contexts are the major rationale for the e m e r g e n c e of MPTC programme. It’s high time that the Indian Church begins to think of her missional re s p o n s i b i l i t y to the less evangelized South Asian countries. If Korean missionaries are present all over the world, why not Indian missionaries?
CONTEMPORARY APPROACH Another important feature of MPTC programme is its approach to equip the local Churches for its glocal mission. The number of Indian Christian youth migrating to various other countries for employment and business is another trend that is seriously considered. We need to see this as an act of God in the Indian Churches to facilitate His Great Commission. Hence MPTC is focused to help these young people to perceive their 26
employment as well as their business as mission and to equip them for that mission. Training always is vital for people to be more effective and efficient in their mission.
What kind of training? Short duration (6 months) Inspirational / Motivational N on – residential P ractice oriented Missional discipleship level programme What’s Special? I nteractive Classroom learning A pplication o r i e n t e d learning B ilingual Communication 2 – 2 ½ hrs of class room learning for 2 days in a week during late evening hours (total of 96 hrs.) 1 5 days of field exposure in the mission fields of Bihar P ractical guidance in choosing the Career & Mission L eading to a certificate What are the subjects? 1. Principles of Kingdom Living 2. “ P R O F I T- P R O f e s s i o n a l s Fellowship of International Talents”Principles & methodology 3. Business as Mission Principles & methodology 4. Tentmaking - Principles & methodology The CALL
5. Exposure by Senior Missionaries 6. Exposure on various Missions by Mission leaders 7. G r o u n d realities of Various States / S A A R C Countries 8. How to work as a catalyst in countries where a person goes for short term employment. This is to equip a person to be an effective tool for the Diaspora as well as the nationals in the respective countries where they go. Who can enroll? Any Christian professional or College student or any believer who is passionate to live a life in obedience to the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Missional Living). He or she should be below 45 years of age and should be able to read and write either in a regional language or in English. Where the Classes are conducted? The first batch was started for 25 students in the GEMS Action
Centre, Chennai in the month of August 2015. In the next phase it is planned to start before June 2016 in the cities of Trichy, Tirunelveli, Nagercoil and Abu Dhabi.
Contact to Enroll If you or your church or fellowship would like to take up this course contact Bro. Isaac Jayakumar at 9790338176
or send an email to mptc@gemsbihar. org
References 1. T h e Te l e g r a p h , “China on course to become world’s most Christian Nation..”, <www. Telegraph.co.uk/ News/ world News/asia/ china> Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016 2. Asia CMs: equipping Asian Christians for Life Changing, Mission in Asia, www.cms-uk. org/whoweare/historyand networks/ asiacms, Retrieved 18 Feb. 2016 3. Stanley. R (Blessing: 2002) Happy Harvest, Chennai
MPTC 1st BATCH
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Mariyosh serves as the Communications Coordinator of GEMS and as the Chief Editor of The CALL and is married to Angeline who serves as the Headmistress of GEMS English School, Sikaria. firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t have a mapped out Career, But I have Christ and Character; I am not constituted, and I don’t have Cheerers, But I am Chosen and Called; I neither possess Power nor Position, But to fulfil God’s Purposes, I will Function; People may not know my Name, I serve to proclaim only His name and praise His fame; I can’t boast on all that I have Left and Lost, For without Christ and His work on the Cross I am but a Rot; I never went to a Seminary, But God called me to be His Missionary; I am neither Qualified nor do I have great college Education, But He who called, makes me Qualified, through daily Supplication; I am not here to make me Richer, For I have the Scripture, the greatest Treasure; My measure is not in the Penny that I make, But is the People to who I Preach and the Places that I Reach; My assurance and affirmation does not come from people’s Praises, But is assured and secured in God’s Promises; I am not here to just maintain and Manage, But to pioneer and to pass God’s Message; To fulfill God’s mission is my one and only vision, For the will of God, I give my complete submission; Let humility always be mine, And all glory be Thine! Take Heed! Venture Forth!
la p t e k r a M on at the
– Are We Serious Enough?
A Sunday school teacher while I was still a Sunday school student”, this was the beginning of my ministry when I was studying in my 8th grade. My parents, who were serving the Lord, reaching unreached places with the love of Christ, although my father was not a full-time minister then, took all 3 of their children during the weekends to serve along with them. We used to walk miles together to reach villages, take Sunday class for Children,
teach them about the love of Christ and show them His love. Most of them whom we met were from poor families which lacked basic facilities and love. Being born in a Christian family, hearing about missions and missionaries from my childhood, seeing needy places before my eyes, watching my dad on the run to serve the Lord in all means after his regular work, I always had a desire in my heart to serve the Lord from my childhood days. As I grew up, I got to see many ministries and full-time ministers who would go from place to place carrying the Good News. I have heard of stories of how people clearly received the call of God to go to certain place, and to do certain ministry. While
I was doing my higher studies in Engineering, Information Technology, I was desperately waiting for God’s call to serve him
Sumithra serves in the Overseas Connections Department of GEMS and supports her husband in facilitating PROFIT. She is married to Peter Jayaraj who serves as the Zonal Superintendent of Sikaria Zone .
in some remote, unreached place. Yes, at last I received God’s call but it was not how I expected. It was in the form of a Call Letter from a reputed IT firm to work as a software engineer. All those around me, who got selected along with me for this post were jumping in the air with joy of getting placed in a good company. But here stood a girl, raising questions after questions to God for giving this CALL. “God this is not what I asked for”? Yes, I did attend the interview; I did give my best in it. But I was still expecting you to call me to serve you”. “Lord, Am I not eligible to be your minister?” But somewhere deep down within my heart, I could hear His still voice saying “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways My ways, My thoughts and ways are higher than yours”. I knew that God wanted me to take up this job and He is
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serious about it. Unwillingly, yet with the assurance that the steps of the righteous are ordered by God, I submitted myself to do His will. I joined the company and started off with my profession. Although I knew that it’s the responsibility of every Christian to share about Christ to others, I thought that being into full time ministry is the greatest way of serving the Lord and it is a mandatory job for them to share the good news but for others it’s a voluntary/optional one. Since I grew up in a Christian setup, we were much involved in regular church activities throughout the week. But after joining my work I couldn’t take part in those regular
meetings except for the weekend and Sunday gathering, as my work demanded me to stay at office until 9 pm. This too disturbed me and made me think that this was
Mat – 9:36. God opened my eyes and heart. I looked around and I could no longer see them as my colleagues; they all seemed
s not how I a w it t u b ll a c eived God’s a Call Letter... f o Yes, at last I rec rm fo e th in s to me expected. It wa unscriptural.
Days turned to months; I still could not understand God’s purpose for asking me to take up this job. There was no thrust for me to work there expect for that small string of assurance that I am in the place where God wanted me to be. But there came a day, a life changing challenging moment, while I was walking in my office premises towards the cafeteria. It was lunch time, my company being a big one with thousands of employees, crowds of people who were my colleagues, where moving around in the premises. While I was walking among them, at once these words rang so loud in my heart and as I heard these words, tears began to well up in my eyes. “When Jesus saw the
like sheep without shepherd, directionless, purposeless, harassed, scattered and caught up in the world of vanity. I could understand the heartbeat of Jesus, to bring them to His fold. He wanted to be their Shepherd; He wanted to be their Lord. I could hear Him say “Whom shall I send?” “Who will reach out to them?” and “This is the reason why I brought you here”. The compassion of the Lord filled my heart, an overwhelming burden for the lost in my workplace gripped me. I wanted to cry out loud, saying “Lord Here I am”. This one verse transformed my perspective towards my work and the reason why I was there in that job. My work turned
multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd”.
out to be joyful and purposeful one. However hectic the job was I could carry on with this driving force. It gave me a new meaning for Ministry. I understood that the Call Letter that I received from the company from my recruiters was indeed a Call from God to serve Him at my workplace.
I could sense the hand of the Lord upon me while I was there working. I could minister to my colleague personally during their tough times. I could be a reliable friend, to whom they could turn to when they needed help. I started sharing about my life and my daily walk with God during our casual talks. My managers and my leads saw me as very different person and esteemed me for my values and work. Every day, God taught me as to how I can be effective in serving Him while I was on my job. In my day-to-day work life I could experience this verse â€œThe Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructedâ€?. Isaiah 50:4. I knew I was not an ordinary person, but the one Called specifically by God to be there in that company and in that team. Until this time I had not heard of any such terminologies like Take Heed! Venture Forth!
workplace evangelism, marketplace missions nor had I heard any sermons about being missional at workplace or serving God while at work. Months later, I got an opportunity to attend a conference which was exclusively for Christian working p r o f e s s i o n a l s . The resource people for this conference were professionals f r o m different fields. This was a very significant one for me, as I could see that, all those things that the Lord had taught me during the past months were put forward in a structured way with scriptural essence during this conference. It gave me more clarity on my mission at my workplace. I was also amazed to see how God had raised and placed professionals in the marketplace to be His witnesses. Meanwhile I got connected with few Christian friends in my company and we began to pray for our organization and our colleagues for their salvation. We could sense a great move of
The compassion of the Lord filled my heart, an overwhelming burden for the lost in my workplace gripped me 33
God in our workplace. The Lord was stirring our hearts to get on our knees and to cry out for them. The burden to reach the lost in our workplaces drove us to pray during our short breaks, weekends and night vigils. Constant and conscious efforts were taken to show the love of Christ to the unreached in our workplaces. We could even get connected with like-minded professionals from various other companies to keep this fire going. Apart from personal evangelism, mass evangelistic meetings exclusive for professionals, which were first-of-its kind during those days, were conducted to reach them. During all the years that I worked, there was not a single day that I regretted for being there, as the joy in reaching people was immense and the sight of the yet to be reached people was pressing. Time came for me to quit that job as my wedding was fixed and I knew clearly that the Lord was moving things and I had to come to Bihar as my husband was serving as a missionary in GEMS Bihar. Although this was my long time desire come true, that it, to serve the Lord full-time; but this time I was quite reluctant because I had already been working in the marketplace and I have seen the great need for laborers there to harvest souls working in different calibers. My heart was for souls at my workplace. My passion was 34
to win them for Christ. But fully convinced of Godâ€™s leading in my life I committed to do His will. It is always amazing to see how the Sovereign Lord works in each of our life intentionally to align us in the right way to accomplish His mission here on earth. When I joined GEMS to serve as a missionary in the year 2011, I was spellbound to know that my husband was facilitating a movement called PROFIT (PROfessionals Fellowship of International Talents) which was initiated by GEMS towards workplace evangelism. The fact that my husband too worked earlier in the IT field and also carried the same passion to rescue the perishing in the marketplace fueled my desire even more towards w o r k p l a c e evangelism. I got a strong conviction within me that although I have quit my job, my job of reaching the professionals still continues as I was in the perfect will of God. GEMS, in spite of being a mission organization serving the people in north India, sensing the move of God and seeing the need for a strategic shift in missions, had initiated a movement called PROFIT in the year 2006, to equip and empower the Christian professionals to reach the lost at The CALL
…when they think of ministry, all that comes to their mind is the one done within their churches, the offering that they give to various ministries… the work places. It inspires the Christians in the marketplace to envision their workplace as their mission field as the PROFIT slogan says, “My Company is my Mission field and I am a Missionary there”! When I look back and think of the ways in which the Lord was working in me and as well as globally, it astonishes me as to how the sovereign Lord, who knows the beginning and the end, who is the Lord of Harvest and who is a Missional God works in different times, through different people in different ways. If he could birth in me a passion to reach my colleagues and envision my workplace as my mission field while I knew nothing about it nor was not interested in it; if he could ignite the same passion in the hearts of those Christian professionals who were sensitive to His move; if He could impart the burden of equipping Christian professionals, to a mission organization GEMS serving in north India, then God must be really serious about bringing about an awakening in the marketplace to reach the multitudes working there. God has begun a great move across the globe to make this happen in the last 10 – 15 years. Take Heed! Venture Forth!
A Glimpse of God’s Move at Market Place Globally Many Christian professionals and Christian leaders across the globe have sensed this move of God and have started to work towards it. George Barna who is the founder of a 30 year old research firm called Barna Group which provides spiritual influencers with credible knowledge and clear thinking, enabling them to navigate a complex and changing culture says, “Workplace Ministry will be
one of the core future innovations in church ministry.1 Billy Graham, a
world renowned evangelist says,
“I believe one of the next great moves of God is going to be through believers in the workplace”.
God is marshalling his people in the workplace as never before in history. God is up to something. The next spiritual awakening could take place in the marketplace – Henry Blackaby 2 “Today, a spiritual revival is sweeping across Corporate America as people of all stripes are mixing mysticism into their management, importing into office corridors the lessons usually dolled out in churches, temples, and mosques. Gone is the old taboo against talking about God at work”. –Business Week Magazine, November 1999 2 35
Mark Miller a CEO of an industry states, “I have around 200 people in my company, which is bigger than many small churches. Some of them will never walk through the church door and so the only opportunity for them to hear the Gospel is companies like ours”. 14 years ago we could only identify 25-50 workplace ministries. Today, we can identify more than 842 ministries, 1,330 listings that are national or international.” 3 Beloved, what we see now is just “A cloud as small as a man’s hand” when compared to the great need that lies before us. The Lord has begun His work but what matters now is how we as church partner with Him to take it forward.
A Look at the Vast Need We are so excited to see how the Lord is moving in our marketplace. We get to hear many stories of people turning to God like never before, and we see a thirst in people’s heart for reality. It is true that heaven rejoices and celebrates when one sinner repents and turns to God. But most of the time, we celebrate the winning of that one soul throughout our life time, forgetting the millions who are yet untold of His Love in our
workplaces. Isn’t this the cry of Jesus “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep fold. I must bring them also?” John 10:16 Taking the example of India, Economic Times dated July 9 2014 says, “the proportion of working-age population in India is likely to increase from around 58 per cent in 2001 to more than 64 per cent by 2021 according to the pre-Budget Economic Survey 2013-14”. The Times of India dated Sep 8, 2013 states, “the bulk of India’s population, nearly two-thirds, in the working age group from 1564 years. It makes India a young country with large productive workforce.” 4 Looking at the statistics of the working population, where does the large chunk of unreached population lie? It must be alarming but the fact is, more than 60% of the Indian population spends more than 40 percent of their waking hours per week at work. So when we talk about unreached people, don’t this bulk of people fall in that category of “Unreached” or “Lost”? How are we going to bring them into His fold?
Are we serious enough? The clock is ticking and their count is rising. We do not have time to wait for people in the marketplace to walk up to us, to our churches, to our public meetings. There was a time that churches sent missionaries into different parts of the world. They went from villages to villages; towns to towns, many preached on public platforms and street preaching was a common thing. Can we be really effective in reaching this big mass of working population, through the same
mission strategy? There is a great need for us to consider our mission strategy. Yes, there may be some who have understood this need. There may be many workplace ministries; Christian at marketplace may have started to feel the need of being the Salt and Light at their workplace. But this is not enough. Every time we meet Christian professionals through PROFIT, we come across lots of professionals who say that they havenâ€™t thought about their profession in this perspective, as a tool to reach their colleagues with the love of Christ. Churches need to take up this responsibility on their shoulder. It can be more effective and fruitful in the days to come if it enables believers to see their workplace as mission field and send them as equipped ministers into the marketplace. We need to look at believers in our churches as missionaries in
Take Heed! Venture Forth!
their workplace. I strongly believe that God has already positioned our people in the marketplace as laborers in His vineyard. There are to be given the right vision and direction to carry forward their mission. If Christians are in the workplace, then so is the church says C. Peter Wagner in his book ‘The Church In The Workplace’ where he explores how the role of the church in the work life of believers is just as much a ministry, a service to God and even worship, as what believers do on Sunday in their local churches.5 On an average a believer spends more than 40 hours a week from Monday to Saturday at their workplaces and when they think of ministry, all that comes to their mind is the one done within their churches, the offering that they give to various ministries or some outreaches during the weekend. This is because they have termed their work as ‘secular’ and ministry
as ‘spiritual’. A renewed thinking is the utmost need of the hour for the Christian at workplaces. God calls us to bridge the gap between the Missions and the Marketplace and He is truly serious about it. In an article in Charisma magazine, Jonathon Shibley declares: “God is calling onFire, filled-with-the-Spirit, soldout men and women functioning as bankers, lawyers, business owners, inventors, teachers, entrepreneurs and artists to penetrate the marketplace with His ways, justice, and glory. These men and women are not only garnering resources for the Kingdom, but also serving at the forefront of establishing God’s Kingdom on earth in their spheres of influence. The marketplace is a key vehicle in the Kingdom’s advance to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and steward the earth’s resources.7
Beloved, Elijah prayed fervently and unceasingly for the rain until a cloud as small as a man’s hand was formed. Once he saw this cloud, he asked Ahab to flee and he too girded Himself and ran to Jezereel much before Ahab’s chariot. Elijah never tarried a moment after that, he was on the run because he had already said “I hear the sound of abundance of rain”. He had a firm assurance that God who began the good work will bring it to accomplishment.
2. h t t p : / / w w w . marketplaceleaders.org/faithwork-factsheet
Do you see a cloud, that small cloud or hear the sound of abundance of rain at marketplace. If no, we got to pray earnestly as Elijah did, until we see it happen. If yes, it’s time for us to run. It is time for us to plunge into the action of proclaiming Christ at workplace. It’s time for the Christians at marketplace to live out as Salt and Light leading the professionals to taste the love of our Lord Jesus and to bring them to the light of salvation. Huge majority of unreached people are waiting for us. Like the Ethiopian eunuch to whom Philip ministered, there are many out there who say “How Can I Know Unless Someone Guides Me”.
5. C. Peter Wagner “The Church In The Workplace
Are we serious about this? “Some want to live within the sound Of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, Within a yard of hell.” - C.T Studd
Bibliography 1. h t t p s : / / w w w. b a r n a . o r g / research Take Heed! Venture Forth!
3. A Study of the Impact on Christian CEOs who Participate in a Christian Executive Accountability Group 4. h t t p : / / t i m e s o f i n d i a . indiatimes.com/india/66-ofIndia-in-15-64-age-group/ articleshow/22408378.cms
6. Jonathon Shibley, “God’s Marketplace Movement,” Charisma, June 2012, 7. Encounter: Journal Pentecostal Ministry, 2013, Vol. 10
8. http://www.china-mike.com/ facts-about-china/factsurbanization-cities
“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit.” – George W. Peters 39
g n i k n n Thi
Ge w e N Call Centers for Christ
randed clothing, accessories, signature hairstyles, all powered by the better remuneration commanded by the Multi National Companies are the new differentiators of class. McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut have embraced this cultural hybridity. The malls of cities play host to local and western brands, the local pubs and FM channels b e l t out a
heady mix of Indian, western and fifty shades of fusion. The combination of high salaries, night shifts, rumored social life and western accents are seen as invasion of western promiscuity into traditional Indian social custom. Studies reveal a relaxed attitude towards sex, drugs and alcohol. Traditional values are giving way to the individualistic hedonistic free radical whose aspirations and identity is increasingly defined by the western prototype. Losing the best of the Indian culture and assimilating the worst of the American, ultimately ending up with the worst of both. In the face of these momentous changes, the church faces the need to respond with a valid missional response for reaching out to those in the industry. The need of the hour is the church attempting to grapple seriously with the diverse aspects of globalization. In the age of globalised capitalism, sadly, Christian ministry presents God as the ultimate capitalist whose paramount attention is on
Sai is an Architect based in Bangalore. He was in GEMS as a family for his Internship during his studies at SAIACS. He visits GEMS and supports the mission with his skills. He is married to Meera who is also an Architect. email@example.com
successful living evidenced by financial prosperity. This uncritical adoption of liberal globalization has resulted in a syncretistic form of Christianity where God and Mammon are both objects of devotion and pursuit.
without transmission loss.
The church must speak the language understood by this new culture, which encompasses innovative, aesthetic and emotive forms such as visual, interactive media and the performing arts Biblical Precedents for Engagement as bridges of communication. Effective communication of of Gospel with Culture the gospel involves enabling The four Gospels are themselves individuals to find their place within theological interpretations of the loving community of faith the Christ-Event aimed at four characterized by strong personal distinct audiences. The Acts relationships. The metanarrative of records the continuing journey of Godâ€™s compassionate love the gospel story across towards the lost and socio-political-cultural In the age helpless that resulted in boundaries, and even of globalised the death of His son on Paul is seen to articulate the Cross must interact the presentation of the capitalism, sadly, with and reshape the gospel in a manner best individual personal life Christian ministry suited to the specific stories giving witness presents cultural orientation of to the efficacy of the the target audience, God as the gospel. using their images, ultimate Greenhills Christian idioms and ideas. Fellowship at Pasig City, Tools to Engage Culture capitalist whose Philippines does not paramount look at those working Every act of contextualizing the attention is in the Call Centre gospel involves industry as youths of decoding the core on successful dubious character and message from the living evidenced western morals; the original biblical cultural Church affirms them as by financial professionals working context and recoding it in the new context under challenging work prosperity. Take Heed! Venture Forth!
a context-specific Christianity after a careful process of critical contextualization.
environments. The GCF operates a dedicated ministry called CONNECT exclusively for those in the Call Centre Industry aimed at strengthening relationship with God and fellowship with believers, helping professionals to be effective witnesses in the workplace. The ethos of the ministry is to critically evaluate the culture of the Call Centre industry and adopt, adapt or abandon salient features of the prevailing culture to evolve
The ministry makes extensive use of social media to network with the professionals and updating them on upcoming programs. They have groups that meet close to the different IT hubs to help easy accessibility and time their meetings at 5:30 AM and 8:00 AM to fit into the shift schedule of the BPO industry. The venues of the meetings are very unlike traditional churches in look and feel, tending more towards the ambience of a slick community centre. Small groups form a caring community which facilitates relationship building, accountability and mentoring. The ministry is decidedly ‘progressive’ to engage with the hybrid culture of single adults in the ‘global’ scenario, offering a variety of activities to engage youth of every kind- the sporty, the tech geek, the arty, the
dancer, the rocker etc, involving them in their respective interest groups in the youth ministry. The church reinforces that worship isn’t just about music, that one can worship God by singing, the arts, and work, all expressions of our enjoyment of God, making it an everyday experience for those living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The music in this contemporary church is a fusion which spans every musical genre and worship expression from ancient hymns to jazz praise, in addition to incorporation of other elements like dance, drama and video. The messages are both deep and practical, dealing with everyday issues faced by BPO professionals. Seminars akin to training programs are frequently conducted by specialist resource persons addressing topics
Take Heed! Venture Forth!
that are relevant to call centre agents. Important among them are ‘How to beat Stress’, ‘Health @ Work’, ‘Managing Financial Resources’, ‘Anger Management’, and ‘Real Love’. Counseling service by certified professionals are provided to singles, and to married couples to help adapt positively to the marriage while working in different time shifts. This kind of holistic strategy that affirms and accepts the workers in the industry, facilitating their participation by employing convenient timing and location, relevant worship style, practical messages, close fellowship groups that provide alternative sources of legitimate enjoyment has all resulted in the great success of this ministry among those in the BPO industry in Pasig City, Philippines (GCF). A Call Centre agent’s life begins as a promised life of enjoyment and quickly turns into a life of stress leading to burnout in about two years. The abuse of the body causes ‘lifestyle diseases’ that plague the workers of the ‘sunshine’ industry by the time
they are thirty-five. Society in its characteristic shortsightedness is unable to look beyond the lucrativeness of the industry and see the devastating long term costs involved for individuals, families and society. The Church has to wake up to the destructive aftermath that such lifestyles could lead, by organizing ministries specifically aimed at the call centre employees; addressing issues like that of increasing abortion rates among the IT/BPO workers. The urban church must see the potential of ministering to the employees in the call centre industry with its high English proficiency. Awareness programs highlighting ways to successfully work at call centers by a v o i d i n g destructive lifestyle choices and practices are essential to encourage making of right choices. The 44
Christian content and message in these programs can vary depending on the degree of acceptance and freedom available. Organizations that are closed to the proclamation of the gospel nevertheless welcome external initiatives in impartation of value education and skill development. Leadership programs designed to impart right value systems are essential to empower them to live purposefully in a countercultural manner. By imparting godly values and setting positive examples as role models, the young adults can be transformed to become people of high integrity, high moral standards, and higher aims and objectives. T h e C h u r c h occupies a unique position, being at once an insider agent furthering globalization and also a The CALL
resisting agent preserving culture by resisting its homogenization. This gives the Church to function as a ‘prophetic critique’, accepting and adopting the good, abandoning the evil, and transforming the whole. Rather than rejecting the Call Centre industry wholesale as evil and irredeemable, the church must remember the biblical precedent of the historical engagement of the gospel with even seemingly evil socio-economic institutions such as Roman slavery. The engagement of the gospel with the unfortunate institution resulted in the leveling yeast working through it till it was transformed to reflect the glory of God, as in the case of Paul’s engagement with Philemon and Onesiphorus. The contemporary Church needs to be similarly minded and work with this stigmatized a n d problemfraught industry till the yeast of the gospel transforms it into the image of Jesus Christ to the glory of God.
References r Friedman, Thomas L. The Take Heed! Venture Forth!
World Is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century. London: Penguin, 2007. r McMillin, Divya C. “Outsourcing Identities: Call Centres and Cultural Transformation in India.” Economic and Political Weekly 41.3 (2006): 235– 41. r Nadeem, Shehzad. D e a d R i n g e r s : H o w Outsourcing Is Changing the Wa y Indians
Understand Themselves. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011. r Mortensen, Viggo. “Globalization, Global Ethics, and Interreligious Dialogue in a Multireligious Context.” Currents in Theology and Mission 28.3-4 (2001): 369–77. r Flemming, Dean E. Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2005. r GCF. “Greenhills Christian Fellowship.” http://www.gcf.org. ph/pages/about/. 2007. 45
Childrenâ€™s Chronicles Angeline Mariyosh
Angeline serves as the Headmistress of GEMS English School, Sikaria and is married to GEMS missionary Mariyosh who serves as the Chief Editor of The CALL. firstname.lastname@example.org
e M Use
Take Heed! Venture Forth!
On The Roadway of Missions
Preena, a doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences, is involved in counselling at the GEMS Hospital, Sikaria. She is married to Stanly Gladson, a medical doctor who serves as the Medical Superintendent of GEMS Hospital.. email@example.com
From the toiling work of a worldly rover To a simple way of reaching and serving Till this brief time on earth is over To complete the mission I’m craving Sometimes led through rocky road But not alone, though I didn’t feel Him With faltering steps, seeing no path to trod Stumbling beneath desperately, to hear Him Doubts and fear of unfulfilled purpose Arose like mighty waves unstoppable Longing for more of His grace purchase Yet felt like mission impossible Fearing to catch up with God’s timing Worked hard to do preparatory lessons well But not sure if I’d reached His chiming For I hate the hardness inside my shell I shall know it on the final glaze To hear Him, “Well done, faithful servant” With a smile and an embrace Approving my journey as fervent But now I shall take one step at a time Slowly carefully following His lead Following Him one day at a time Till I finish my race for His need Take Heed! Venture Forth!
d e p p i u q Get E
Role of Cultural
Anthropology in Missions
ndia is a land of diverse religions, cultures, languages and ethnic groups. One of the greatest missiological issues facing the Indian Church today is the way to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively and meaningfully to her countrymen. The communication must be biblical in content and culturally relevant in its interpretation and expression. In other words, the gospel has to be made relevant to the people’s c o n t e x t in which they live. Effective evangelism is invariably based on the way the evangelists and missionaries relate themselves with the culture of the people among whom they work. Anthropology is the scientific study of man, his culture and his behavior in the society. M. J. Herskovits has defined 50
anthropology as “the science of man and of his work”. Another anthropologist, Kroeber, has defined it as “the science of groups of men and their behavior and productions.” According to Eugene Nida, “anthropology is essentially the science of learned human behavior and human culture”. Thus cultural anthropology is invariably the scientific study of human culture. Cultural anthropologists study the m a t e r i a l products like arts, tools, food habits, dresses, houses and nonmaterial products l i k e religious beliefs, symbols and values.
What is the role of Cultural Anthropology in Christian missions? Is it the answer to all that ails missions or a secular tool some The CALL
Vincent serves as the Regional Director of GEMS Southern Region giving leadership to Sonebhadra, Vananchal, Jharkhand and Maharashtra Zones. He teaches Cultural Anthropology at GEMS Timothy Bible College. He is married to Malini who serves as a teacher in GEMS English School, Dudhi. firstname.lastname@example.org
missionaries use instead of relying on the Holy Spirit? These are two extremes. The role of cultural anthropology in missions is neither of these. Cultural anthropology is not a cure-all for missions. It is just one tool of a well-prepared missionary. Neither does Anthropology replace the Holy Spirit. No real missionary work takes place apart from the Holy Spirit. However many Christians misunderstand the “role and place” cultural anthropology can have in effective ministry. The missionary who uses cultural anthropology as a tool in developing a missionary strategy is not trying to work apart from the Holy Spirit but in harmony with Him. Peter Wagner of the School of World Missions at Fuller Theological seminary points out the strategy: The Holy Spirit is the controlling factor in missionary work, and the glory for the results goes to Him. But, for reasons we have not been
informed of, God has chosen to use human beings to accomplish His evangelistic purposes in the world. These human beings, missionaries in this particular case, may well become obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit, just as they may well be effective instruments in God’s hands… Missionary strategy is never intended to be a substitute for the Holy Spirit. Proper strategy is Spirit-inspired and self-governed. Rather than competing with the Holy Spirit, strategy is to be used by the Holy Spirit (Wagner 1971:15)
The missionary who uses cultural anthropology as a tool in developing a missionary strategy is not trying to work apart from the Holy Spirit but in harmony with Him.
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Cultural anthropology may contribute in at least four ways to an effective missionary strategy:
r It gives the missionary understanding of another culture. r It helps the missionary in entering another culture. r It facilitates the communicating of the Gospel in another culture. r It aids in the process of planting the church in another culture. 51
Every society develops its own culture for its proper functioning. God wants to communicate with each and every Society through the channel of culture in which they are living. Man is fundamentally cultural. Therefore a better understanding of man and his culture is very important for the effective communication of the gospel. One who intends to minister to another culture needs to become familiar with the other culture. Although basic behavioral laws or universals underline all human behavior, this behavior takes various forms in different cultures. I n order to function in another culture, a person must understand that culture. Cultural anthropology provides the conceptual tools necessary to begin t h a t process.
What is culture? Everything created by God was called “nature”. Everything man created was culture. It is an integrated coping mechanism, consisting of learned, patterned concepts, behavior and products shared by a group of people. In the words of Luzbetak, culture is an “integrated system (not just a heap of unrelated elements) composed of functionally organized elements that unite into largest units and finally into a single whole, in fact, these units constitute a kind of living organism with a “soul”. (Luzbetak 1963: 195) Culture is the way of life, totally designed for living. It is learned unconsciously. It is also a regulator of the society. People feel at home in their culture. When people enter into another culture with which they are not familiar, they receive culture shock.
What is culture shock? Culture shock is the disorientation people experience when all the “cultural maps” (the ideas and behaviors) and guidelines they learned as children no longer work to make sense in their new culture. Unable to use The CALL
their normal ways of coping with life, they are confused, afraid and angry. To minister in another culture, one must enter that culture. When an individual leaves his or her own culture with its familiar customs, traditions, social patterns, and way of life, the individual quickly begins to feel like a fish out of water and must either begin to adjust to the new culture or be tossed and buffeted by it until he or she finally succumbs to
There are exciting things to see and experience. There are usually friendly people to help and see to one’s comforts. The tourist, or short—term visitor, usually never goes beyond this stage before leaving the host culture. The second stage is the rejection stage. The fun and fascination of the new culture begin to fade, and the newcomer meets head-on the difficulties involved in living in the
d “nature”. lle a c s a w d o G y db Everything createman created was culture. Everything
exhaustion and suffocation. A person will respond to the new culture in one of two ways: with empathy, acceptance, and identification, which will result in adjustment and success, or with culture shock and ultimate failure.
Stages of culture shock Culture shock comes in three stages. First is the fascination, or tourist stage, which c o m e s when the p e r s o n first enters the new culture. There are new and fascinating sights and sounds. Take Heed! Venture Forth!
new culture. But now the “rules” of living are different, and the newcomer is not “in” on most of them. The way of doing things in the person’s own culture may have been neat and logical, but the ways of doing things in the new culture may seem capricious, without design or purpose. The newcomer becomes frustrated in attempting to function in the new culture by applying the “rules” of his or her own culture. When these “rules” do not accomplish the desired results, the person blames the new culture; and he or she begins to reject the new culture. This rejection may take several forms, such as 53
degree of recovery from culture shock varies from person to person. Some people spend a lifetime in another culture at a level just above the toleration point, while others fit right in after only a short time.
stereotyping members of the new culture, making derogatory and joking remarks about the people, dissociating oneself as much as possible from members of the new culture, and associating as much as possible with members of oneâ€™s own culture. Most people make at least a partial recovery from culture shock. Those not able to accommodate themselves to the new culture eventually withdraw from it completely. The third stage, recovery, begins as the person starts to learn the language or dialect of the new culture and some of the â€œrulesâ€? of the new culture. As the person begins to adjust to the new culture, the frustration subsides. The 54
Cultural anthropology can give people a perspective that will enable them to enter another culture with the least amount of culture shock and the quickest recovery, enabling them to begin to move toward empathy, acceptance, and identification.
Missions is the communication of the gospel. The role of cultural anthropology is to insure that the message is communicated in a culturally comprehensible way. The central task of missions is to present the gospel of Jesus Christ, the redemptive act of Christ through w h i c h
individuals m a y enter into a personal relationship with The CALL
God. The gospel message is exclusive. There is no other way, according to God’s Word:
gospel. The person is bringing his or her cultural understanding of the gospel and cultural manifestation of it. In other words the
ithin the ned the gospel w ar le ve ha e w se Becau assume culture, we tend to n ow r ou of gs in wrapp biblical culture.
that our culture is th
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (1Timothy 2: 5-6) We have an imperative to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. We have no imperative to present our culture to anyone. Because we have learned t h e gospel within
the wrappings of our own culture, we tend to assume that our culture is the biblical culture. When a person has been raised in one culture as Christian and enters another culture to bring the gospel, the person brings more than just the Take Heed! Venture Forth!
gospel has been contextualized in the culture of the Christian. As we introduce the gospel in another culture, we must attempt to lay aside our own cultural understanding and manifestations of the gospel and allow understandings and manifestations of the gospel in the light of the host culture, that is, to become contextualized. Cultural anthropology is a useful tool in separating our culture from the gospel and putting it in terms of the new culture. In this context, Dr. Eugene Nida says,
Of course, a study of cultural anthropology will not guarantee that a message communicated to any group of people will be accepted. Far from it! CA only helps to guarantee that when the message is communicated, the people are more likely to understand (Smalley 1967:310-311). Therefore, being a crosscultural missionary, I strongly believe that every missionary should have some kind of working 55
knowledge of the principles of anthropology and a good understanding of the customs and cultures of the people to whom they are called to serve. Eugene Nida, the author of Customs and Cultures observes, “Good missionaries have always been good ‘anthropologists’. This observation implies the importance of anthropological studies for effective missionary work. Bibliography Referred
1. Allen Roland. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983. 2. Albert, Vasantharaj. Why Cross-cultural Evangelism? Madras: C h u r c h Growth
Research centre. 1984. 3. Grulan, Stephen A. and Mayers, Marvin K. Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979. 4. Hesselgrave, David J. Communicating 56
Christ Cross-Culturally. Allahabad: St. Paul’s Publications, 1981. 5. Herbert, Paul G. Cultural Anthropology. Michigan: Baker Book House, 1985. 6. Herbert, Paul G. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries. Michigan: Baker Book House, 1987. 7. McGavran, Donald A. The Bridges of God. New York: Friendship Press, 1955. 8. McGavran, Donald A. Understanding Church Growth. Madras: Evangelical Literature Service, 1982. 9. Nida, Eugene A. Customs and Cultures. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954. 10. Ponraj, Devasagayam S. An Introduction to Missionary Anthropology. M a d h u p u r, M i s s i o n Educational Books, 1993. 11. Sargunam, Ezra (ed) Mission Mandate. Madras: Mission India 2000, 1992. 12. Seamands, John T. Tell it Well: Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1981. The CALL
Transforming Peoples to Transform Nations Martin
Martin is a GEMS missionary who serves at the Kuba field of the Rohtas Zone. He is married to Joice who is a nurse and serves at the GEMS clinic in Kuba email@example.com
t a s Oraon HillsR oish home People toof thousands people
of the Rohtas Hills
belonging to diverse tribal communities. This place gets his name from Rohitasva, the son of king Harischandra whose fort is found on this plateau, which is in the Rohtas District of Bihar. The Oraon people are one such tribe that has lived on this hill for time immemorial. The Indian Anthropological Society notes that the Oraons originally belonged to the Konkan region.1 The Oraons have migrated from South India and spread in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bangaladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.2 Traditionally Oraons depended on the forest and farms for their ritual and economic livelihood.
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Few of them have settled as agriculturalists and some of them have migrated to the other parts of India, especially northeastern India and employed in tea estates.3 Their language is Oraon which is of Dravidian origin and comprises of dialects from Tamil and Kannada languages. The culture of the Oraon is an oral tradition. Theirs is an indigenous religion called as Sarna Dhorom (meaning “Religion of the Holy Woods”). Sarna means “grove” and it is etymologically related to the name of the sal tree, sacred to the religion. They worship and revere Dharmesh, or God as the creator of the universe, who is believed to manifest in Sal trees.4 Though large numbers of the Oraon (also called as the Kurukh) have settled in Jharkhand, this article is focused on those living on the Rohtas Hills and looks at their understanding of God and their faith.
their occupation, it would prevent the rising of smoke. Instead the Agarias had sent the bird away stating, “Who is god; it is we who are gods”.
God and the First Creation The Oraon people believe in Dharmesh, who they believe as the supreme almighty. He is responsible for the regulation of the universe and creation of the ancestors. Accordingly, he created a man and a woman through whom earth has been populated whereas they do not know who they are! They also believe that there were two others known as Karma and Dharma who competed with one another. Since Dharma prevailed over Karma, Dharma was killed by Karma. This story has striking resemblance to the Creation account found in Genesis of the Bible and recounts the creation of Adam and Eve and the killing of Abel by Cain. God’s Incarnation They also believe that in ancient days, there was a people group by name Agaria whose occupation was to sieve gold and silver out of soil by means of fire. Due to the rising of smoke, it was not possible for the horse of god to graze grass. Hence god had sent a bird with the message that if these people would change 58
In turn, god had sent another bird with the same message and that bird was cut and sent away by the Agarias consequently. Following that, god took the incarnation of ‘man’ and came in the form of a leper and offered to train an alternative vocation to them, whereas the Agarias rejected his offer because he had come in the form of a leper. This made god to move away from this people group and to abode with an elderly woman, who had accepted him though he had come as a leper. While that elderly woman was worrying about food to offer, god in turn showed a hay stack to fetch the grains from there. To her surprise, the old lady was able to find some grains and brought the same in the winnower in her hand. While she let the grains to fall on the floor, it got multiplied. Thereafter god took one of the grains and put it inside the pot of water which came out as one pot full of cooked rice surprisingly.
Punishment Seeing this wonderful sight, Agaria people pleaded to god for help. But he refused saying, “If you are the gods then why do you come to me”, but after their continual persuasion he yielded to their request. As a result, god gave a vessel of water with mango l e a v e s inside and told them to torch the e m p t y house h e enters a n d sprinkle the water from the vessel subsequently for quenching the house in fire. Accordingly, the people did and god came out of the house and told the people to collect silver and gold found inside the house. While everybody went inside the house, god retained a man and a woman with him outside and set ablaze the house which burnt to ashes with all of them inside. When the two questioned god on his actions, he had replied, “One man’s gold will be snatched by the other”.
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Restoration Then god gave a pumpkin seed to the man and the woman to cultivate and when the pumpkin that was yielded through the seed was opened, there were 36 varieties of seeds inside. God saw the life of the man and the woman, who were living like siblings. While sleeping, they would keep a wooden plank between them. Seeing this, god removed the partition of division without their knowledge and that night they lost themselves and became one. The next day knowing what they had done, they were in shock and fear and god came and comforted them and told them that it was he who did this for the reason of the multiplication of humankind. These aspects of the Oraon people show their belief in a creator God, the depravity of man and their moral dilemma. When their belief in the incarnation of God ascertains the punishment of human, how much certain a need it is to present to them, the God Incarnate, Jesus Christ who came not to punish, but to save (John 3:17)!
Way of Speech Oraons are never used to assertive language. For instance, instead of calling anybody, “come here”, they say, “Will you not come here”. This has great implications in the way the gospel is communicated to the Oraons. When biblical absolutes of repentance, obedience are used emphatically, the Oraon people find it difficult to respond accordingly. They would respond when the truth is presented in a nonaggressive manner; like “Will you not invite Jesus into your hearts?” and “Will you not abandon the things which are not acceptable to the Lord?” and “Will you not serve the Lord?” People are able to understand and respond willfully when such language is used.
Way of Life They are slow in their dealings and show no sense of urgency. While visiting any of their houses, the visitor cannot get his or her things done and return quickly. The guest is expected to sit and deal with them explicitly. If the visitor deals with them only in standing posture, without giving sufficient time and if would leave in haste, he and his purpose are generally misunderstood. It is important for the missionary t o spend time with the house on his or her visit, even if it would mean to entertain only one person. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…” (Isaiah 52:7). The ministry of the gospel on the Rohtas Hills is done through the Rohtas Zone of GEMS which is
governed by the Central Region. This place has been highly underdeveloped, with no roads, no hospitals, no functioning schools and near-absent administration. It was under the clutches of naxalism; as an answer to prayers the hills is now free of naxalism. GEMS disciples the people through its churches and educates the first generation learners through its DCC schools and Social Action Centers and provides healthcare through its only dispensary, to the people who otherwise are left to witchcraft and at the mercy of the quacks. Pray for the Oraon people and the ministry among them and the other peoples on the Rohtas Hills; that the gospel may transform their communities. Pray for the missionaries who serve in the hills, under challenges and limited
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facilities. Pray for more indigenous workers and leaders to rise that they may become catalysts of change.
Bibliography 1. Indian Anthropological Society (1986). Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society, Volumes 21-22. Indian Anthropological Society. pp. 75. 2. https://joshuaproject.net/ people_groups/14210/BT 3. h t t p s : / / en.wikipedia. org/wiki/ Kurukh_ people 4. J a m e s Minahan, Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia, pp.235-237
Transforming Peoples to Transform Nations
From Sorcery to the Saviour
ravind completed his course at GEMS Timothy Bible College and was placed as a missionary on the Rohtas Hills in the field Sadiki. He found a house on rent in the P a d u v a n i Vi ll a g e. He was unaware that the neighbour next door was a very p o p u l a r witch, the old lady Butani. Many other Sorcerers would come regularly to her
to learn and to take part in the sacrificing ceremonies that she held. From the day Aravind moved to that house, the sorceries of the witch failed and she did not know the reason. Someone told her that it was because of the “Isa Masih Wala” who stays the next door. One day she called for him and as soon as Aravind entered her house, she freaked out and said, “three demons ran away from me”. And she asked who he was and Aravind shared about his life and that he is a Christian and a missionary.
After a few days she a g a i n called him and told him, “If your Jesus is s o big, can He heal my sickness”. She had a sickness for several months and she could not be cured. She even visited bigger sorcerers and they too could not heal her. She was very sick and depressed. Aravind affirmed her that if she would believe in Jesus, He would heal her and the very instant knelt down in her house and prayed for her. The very night the Lord healed her sickness.
and destroy, but to give life”. She was shocked and soon called for Aravind and narrated the incident and requested him to tell her more about Jesus.
The next morning she confessed with joy the miracle that had happened and she believed in Jesus.
“Does it not stir up our hearts, to go forth and help them, does it not make us long to leave our luxury, our exceeding abundant light, and go to them that sit in darkness?” – Amy Carmichael
Aravind told her to leave her practice and to seek total deliverance. But she was visited by big clients. When one such big client had come seeking a favour, she thought, “If Jesus is the greatest, why don’t I send His Spirit to do this work”. And she had commanded the Spirit of Jesus to do that work. A voice was heard in her ears, “I did not come to kill Take Heed! Venture Forth!
Butani destroyed all the tools and sources of her trade and took baptism. She is a good believer w h o desires to tell about Jesus to all other Sorcerers; but is handicapped because of her age and her broken leg. But she shares about Jesus to all who come in search of her and now the village has come to know that Butani has become a follower of Jesus and has left Witchcraft.
for God’s Servants
sister came to my office to give the details and the testimony of her late husband, a GEMS missionary, who recently passed away. After listening to her for some time, I inquired about her faith life, as she is a first generation Christian and has none to guide her in the Christian faith. With fervour in her eyes, she told me that, not only she attends the church regularly but also involves in the ministry and church activities enthusiastically, as her h u s b a n d had told her to continue the work of God, just a day before he left for e t e r n i t y. This brought tears to my eyes 64
thinking of God’s awesome love and His compassion towards this grieving poor woman and wondered of His ways that encouraged her to run steady and focused in her Christian life. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to… provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy, instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour. (Isaiah 61:1,3 NIV) O u r God’s heart desires The CALL
Lois serves as the Coordinator of the GEMS Welfare Department. She is married to Sampath who is a Dentist in GEMS Hospital, Sikaria. firstname.lastname@example.org
to give beauty, joy, garment of praise and honour instead of mourning, worries, depression and shame, especially to those who are toiling in His vineyard! The same Spirit of God is upon us, for He has anointed us to be a channel of blessing and goodness to others. This is what God expects us to do to our fellow missionaries â€˜The Careâ€™.
situation, surroundings and work environment and find solutions for its particular and recurring problems. Member care also means keeping a balance between building up and disciplining people. It means correcting people in love, just as God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. (Heb 12:10).
What is Member Care?
Member care is reaching out and caring for one another. Member care can also be defined as, â€œthe investment of resources by the mission agencies, churches and service organisations f o r the
Caring is loving each other as Jesus has loved us (John 15:12 NIV); encouraging, lifting up and nurturing to maturity so that they become better disciples and thus in turn produce more disciples. Member care for Christian workers has to become the conscience of missions and church leaders. Member care has to be done by each mission according to its Take Heed! Venture Forth!
nurture and development of mission personnel”. Let me show in the detail the importance and practicability of Member Care through three components – Mission’s Perception, Missionary’s Perception and God’s Perception; for us to understand this comprehensively. Mission’s Perception India Member Care, a web Forum says, “From our perspective, the goal is to develop i n n e r strength, skills and virtues which w i l l be key in helping t h e
People are not to be taken for granted but they need to be developed and cared for personnel stay effective in their work. MC is thus as much about developing inner resources within the person like perseverance, stress tolerance, as it is about, providing external resources like team building, logistical support, skill training etc. It focuses upon every member of its organisation including children and family; Seeks to implement an adequate flow of care from recruitment through retirement”. hey need to provide adequately for their family including their children’s education, need to be prepared for crisis and possible persecution. They also need to learn how to relate to their own co-workers. If we care for our missionaries they will stay longer in their fields and they will feel content in what they do. People are not to be taken for granted but they need to be developed and cared for.
Member care also involves delegation, developing people and passing on the leadership to the next generation and making people sense their worth.
A missionary is motivated to a higher level and he can contribute his best, when his needs are met, the basics. This is well explained “Member care provider should in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in therefore poses mature character, ‘A theory of Human Motivation’ conscious dependent on God, wherein he implies that unless the commitment to spiritual growth, lower needs are met, a man will feel no strong desire for competence (necessary When an higher needs. skills to help missionary effectively) to practice member care well . It is essential to possess humility and servant attitude (Phil: 2:5-7). The member care giver should have the love of Christ which motivates and compel him to care for his fellow members,” says Ms. Brenda Bosch, a member care trainer.
organization becomes a bureaucratic structure, missionaries feel left out, lonely and under emotional stress.
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Let us see about the needs from a missionary’s perspective:
Physiological needs: Basic needs are food, warmth, water and other body needs. When a person is hungry or thirsty or his body is chemically unbalanced, all of his energy is turned towards remedying 67
these deficiencies and other needs remain inactive. Our good Lord has promised, â€œBut seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as wellâ€? (Mathew 6:33 NIV).
Security needs: The need for safety becomes predominant when a missionary is in the area where he could be harassed, threatened or persecuted. They are more vulnerable when they serve in cross cultural contexts. Since they opt to obey His call they make life style changes so that they could live within their needs. However, mission agencies
emergency funding in times of health crisis, bereavement in the family and for the education of the children.
Need for sense of belonging: Human beings need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance whether it comes from a large society or small social connections. They need to love and be loved by others. In the absence of these elements, one may become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety and depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs depending on the strength of the outside pressure. When a mission organization provides a family atmosphere by creating care cells, a missionary can feel the sense of belonging. When an organization becomes a bureaucratic structure, missionaries feel left out, lonely and under emotional stress. So it would be good for him to have a network among the families who can provide him care, advice and prayer support.
Esteem needs: All humans have a need to be respected, to have selfesteem, self-respect and to respect others. People need to The CALL
engage themselves in activities to gain a sense of recognition and contribution, to feel accepted and valued. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or inferiority complex. This will not be possible unless a person first accepts himself. For this one should understand the purpose of God in his life. Mission organisations should build the self-esteem of missionaries by providing opportunities, helping them to see the new horizon and encourage them to reach those new challenges. They should be liberal in giving them good designation within the organization and honour with rewards for long term services.
Cognitive needs: These needs are the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and to create. Giving continuous education and training, book supply, opportunities to experiment new ideas would help a missionary to grow spiritually and will boast his confidence to meet the challenge. At this level a missionary becomes self-contained sacrificial steward and a servant leader and he or she will not be insecure of Take Heed! Venture Forth!
his or her position in the hierarchy and thus content in all situations.
G o d â€™ s
Perception â€˜Love your neighbour as yourselfâ€™ Jesus says in Luke 10:27. Member care must be based on love. As we are the trustees and stewards of one another, we should take care of one another. Love for the neighbour is showing genuine care for your neighbour. It was well narrated by Jesus in the story of the Good Samaritan. When the religious people, even a priest a Levite did not attend to the wounded man, a Samaritan was able, because of sincere love, even though he was of a different community. Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honour (Romans 12:10 AMP). 69
Barnabas, meaning ‘Son of encouragement’ lived true to his name. He mentored Paul. We read in Acts Chapter 9 and 11, how B a r n a b a s encouraged Paul a n d
brought him to the forefront as an apostle. And, in 13, we see that even though Barnabas was senior in ministry and in team, he gave way to Paul as he saw him more talented in preaching.
any excuses. We see in Genesis chapter 40, Joseph was able to observe that the cup bearer and the baker were looking dejected because he cared for them, even when he himself was in jail on false accusation! Let us ask God to give us a sensitive heart so that we can discern the need of other missionaries, and reach out to them, in their adversities. A loving touch, a cheerful smile, an encouraging word will go a long way in inner healing! “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of His servant!” (Psalm 35:27 RSV)
References ‘ Ministry Call to Home Call’,
Missionary Upholders Trust Indian Missions, Oct-Dec
2003 issue, India Missions Association
Let us care for others and the servants of God without giving
church k ic s a r fo y d e “The best rem ry diet.” a n io s is m a n o is to put it – Unknown n Piper h o J – .” y e b o is “Go, send, or d 70
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GENERAL PROMOTION COORDINATION CENTRE Mr. Asirvatham, 16A, Chinnakoil Street, Murugankurichi, Palayamkottai â€“ 625017 Ph: 9443429735 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 72