Missions


In last month’s aLife magazine (C&MA publication), there was a very helpful article on frequently asked questions on Great Commission Sunday 2011.  I have placed it below for you to read.

 

 

GREAT COMMISSION SUNDAY 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

By Office of Communications, C&MA

1) What is Great Commission Sunday?

Great Commission (GC) Sunday is a celebration of what God is doing through the worldwide work of The Alliance. The practice of giving sacrificially to build Christ’s Kingdom—in times of abundance and of scarcity—has been an Alliance distinctive from the very beginning. GC Sunday is an opportunity for the U.S. Alliance family to express its commitment to pushing back the darkness in the remaining unreached parts of our world.

2) What is meant by “pushing back the darkness,” and how will GC Sunday help accomplish this?

Pushing back the darkness is a term recently adopted by The Alliance to describe our strategy for the final chapter of world evangelization. It refers specifically to taking the light of Christ to countries with little or no access to the gospel. A portion of the funds received from the 2011 GC Sunday offering will be used to send Alliance workers to places like North Africa and North and Central Asia, where less than 1 percent of the population has heard the liberating truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.

3) I regularly support Alliance missions. Why should I participate in GC Sunday?

On behalf of the thousands of Alliance workers and churches throughout the world, thank you for your faithful giving! You are making a powerful difference in people’s lives. GC Sunday challenges us to come together as the Alliance family to help initiate something that will change the face of our world for eternity. It’s an opportunity not only for those who have long supported Alliance work but also for those who may not yet have been challenged to help build Christ’s Kingdom here in the United States and half a world away.

4) What if my church recently held its Missions Conference? Do I still need to participate?

GC Sunday complements your church’s Missions Conference. It demonstrates the Alliance commitment to make the gospel accessible to all people. In North Africa and North and Central Asia, access to the gospel is hard to find. A person can travel for weeks—even months—and never see a church or meet a believer. By participating in GC Sunday 2011, church members will maintain their “Missions Conference momentum” by helping to bring the Bread of Life to those living in spiritual poverty.

5) What about Alliance work in other parts of the world? Is it on the decline?

Not at all! Alliance workers and churches in Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the United States continue to “push back the darkness” in urban centers, rural areas and well beyond their own borders. In these regions, the Church has been established and continues to grow and mature—all because, years ago, the Alliance family sent and supported pioneer workers who answered the call to take Christ deep into these spiritually uncharted territories. Today, North Africa and North and Central Asia are among the new frontiers for the gospel.

6) What are the C&MA’s current financial realities and how could GC Sunday impact them?

Since July 2010, we have struggled to meet our reduced budget. Great Commission Fund (GCF) revenues from churches have declined by nearly $1.6 million during the first eight months of the fiscal year compared with the same period in fiscal year 2009. We are currently projecting a GCFshortfall of more than $1.3 million.

Because we are committed to meeting our current ministry objectives, the “first fruits” of the GC Sunday offering will be applied to the current shortfall. The National Office and field teams continue to work feverishly to reduce operating expenses wherever possible. Once our current ministry funding obligations are met, the remaining funds will be used to push back the darkness in some of the most spiritually desolate countries in our world, including parts of our own.

Please use the enclosed envelope for your GC Sunday Gift, or participate through you local Alliance church.

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For all Atlanta Road Alliance Church congregants… we will have daily posts from Jim O’Day giving news on the team in the Dominican Republic. 

Please click here for the posts!

Or you can go to our church website and in the right hand corner click on where it says ‘2010 Trip’.

Keep them in prayer as they serves our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Dominican!

I came across this news today… John Piper and some from the Desiring God team will be in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for a conference called  Por Su Causa.  I’m really excited about this (and e-mailed some of our C&MA missionaries down there about this), since I was able to lead a short-term missions trip down to Santo Domingo last year.  We’re preparing another one in either September or November, and will be an ongoing thing as we will continue to partner with the missionaries from our denomination.  Here is some more info…

This June, John Piper and a team from Desiring God will be traveling to Dominican Republic for a conference in collaboration with our great friends at Integrity & Wisdom Ministries and International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo.

We want to take a moment to invite our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters from all over Latin America to join us. This will be the first annual Por Su Causa conference and the theme this year is “De Regreso a la Cruz.”

John Piper will be the main guest speaker. David and Sally Michael from Bethlehem Baptist Church and Children Desiring God will also be doing ministry workshops. National speakers from the DR will include Miguel Núñez, Oscar Arocha, and Sugel Michelén.

The conference will take place June 3-5 this year at the Port San Souci Conference Center in Santo Domingo. There will be no cost for the general public, although if you are from outside the DR, we suggest you secure seating online with a $20 registration fee before May 15th.

Today, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s also my wife’s birthday!  I bet most of you didn’t know that.  Of course, this means she gets inundated with everything green.

But, St. Patricks isn’t about green things, shamrocks, lerechauns, and the like.  Bottom line, God used Patrick in his role as a missionary and pastor.  Russel Moore writes on what evangelicals can learn from St. Patrick.  A small sample, he writes…

Any evangelical seeking to kindle a love for missions among the people of God will benefit from this volume’s demonstration that the Great Commission did not lie dormant between the apostle Paul and William Carey. Patrick’s love and zeal for the Irish may also inspire American evangelicals to repent of our hopelessness for the conversion of, say, the radical Islamic world—which is, after all, no more “hopeless” than the Irish barbarians of Patrick’s era.

Reid Monaghan, from Acts29 churches, gives a small biography on St. Patrick, and Mark Driscoll writes on why St. Patrick was one of the greatest missionaries to ever live.

Many of you all know from the news the devastating disaster in Haiti from this recent earthquake.  Please pray for them.  And see below for how the Christian & Missionary Alliance is sending relief, and how you can help too.  From the C&MA website

The Alliance Responds to Haitian Disaster

CAMA is gearing up to assist survivors of the 7.0 earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, on January 12. According to a CNN report, the death toll may top 100,000. The hospitals are gone, and medical supplies are desperately needed. About 3 million people—one-third of Haiti’s population—were impacted by the quake.

In partnership with sister organizations already on the ground, CAMA will provide immediate assistance—including clean water, emergency shelter, medical aid, and other necessities—as well as long-term help in rebuilding efforts, integrating Jesus’ message of redemption with practical acts of compassion.

A compassionate response during a disaster tangibly expresses Christ’s love and opens doors for other ministries, says Phil Skellie, CAMA’s president.

You can give to this effort by clicking here.

We’re back from the Dominican Republic!  (Now I’m fighting a nasty flu back home.  Please pray for me.)  For all that went on the trip, it’s safe to say, that it has had an impact on our Christian life in a unique way.  Well, I came across this old post on the Desiring God blog and thought they had some great ways to bless missionaries.  I’ve included the whole text for you below.

       Pray specific Scripture for them and their ministry, and then email it to them.

       Call or email their parents—Christmas might be just as lonely for the ones at home as the ones away.

       Purchase phone minutes for an international calling card through an online service like OneSuite and email them the account number.

       Donate frequent flier miles to them.

       Purchase an iTunes gift card for them. Have it sent to you and email them the account number.

       Commit to pray for them on a specific day of the week for a year.

       Write a song or poem or story for them. Email them the text and a recording of you reading or singing it.

       Get friends and family together to create a holiday video greeting for them using Google Video or YouTube. Include lots of people you know they miss.

       Make a year-end gift through their missions board or agency.

       Western Union—the fastest way to send money.

       Call their local florist (not everyone is in the jungle these days) and have flowers delivered, or their local Pizza Hut and have pizza delivered—with corn and shrimp as toppings!

       Donate to a charity that means a lot to them.

       Make a monthly commitment to support them financially.

If you have your own ideas, respond to this post and let us know what they are. Maybe next year we can offer 50 suggestions, or 100.

(Remember to use discernment in written or video communication if your missionaries work in security-sensitive locations.)

Josh Harris has posted a video and he comments “I love this. Makes me think about heaven and every nation and tribe dancing before King Jesus.”  (P.S. Pardon the title at the end.  It’s not made by a Christian, but the video still illustrates powerfully based on Josh’s comment.)

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