- Sunday: 9:00am-10:15am & 10:45am-12:00
What comes to your mind when you think of the word "missionary"?
Let's be honest, it's probably not the image that you see above. Why? Well, for years the western church has been the one sending out workers - to Africa, Asia, South America, Europe, the ends of the earth. You're used to seeing pictures of a lone white guy sharing the Word with a crowd of black faces or a couple white kids amidst of sea of black kids chasing after a soccer ball. I hope you're not offended by what I'm saying here, I mean, we ourselves have sent out such pictures in the past on our updates. On top of that, I'm of mixed race, so you can't accuse me of being racist in my above statements! So what's my point in all of this?!
Above is a picture of [name removed], along with their children [names removed]. They have now been in Chad just over a year, having been sent by their church in Ethiopia to serve in partnership with our organization to reach the unreached peoples in Chad. [Names removed] have transitioned amazingly into the local context - learning language and culture, and are often mistaken as Chadian. They boldly share the gospel and pray with passion for the salvation for the people they live amongst.
It's an increasing reality that this family is more representative of the face of modern missions. As the shift in the Church has moved to the global south (think South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia) and the number of believers there greatly outnumber the Church in the global north (think the U.S.A. and Europe), the missions force is also changing.
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in how the Church is accomplishing the Great Commission. It's no longer the West reaching the rest. We are not the Great White Hope. Rather, the global Church is the hope of the world. God is raising up cross-cultural workers from every country to go and reach the unreached. This does not mean that there is no longer a place for the western missionary on the mission field - if I believed that, I wouldn't still be sitting here writing this email! But maybe it does mean that our role in the mission field is changing. Where there is a mature, reproducing church, we must be actively involved in mobilizing it to fulfill the Great Commission.
Ralph Winters, the late renown missiologist said it well: "Mission mobilization activity is more crucial than field missionary activity. Wouldn't it be better to awaken one hundred sleeping firemen than to hopelessly throw your own little bucket of water on a huge fire yourself?"
Be praying with us and for us as we help guide our people here in Chad to know how we continue to engage the many unreached of this country - both in doing it ourselves and in mobilizing our Christian Chadian brothers and sisters.