Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, is November 6-10 (interested in praying during this festival? Click here for a free guide!). Indian neuroscientist Sai Anand communicates about God’s ingenius design of the human body, using it to share the Gospel. He’s written a fascinating article about his time as a Hindu, and how to share Jesus with the Hindustan population.
It’s that time again, y’all–where we corral good stuff from around the world that matters for your journey over there. But we’re not just spewing it out there: We want your dialogue. Check ’em out–and give us some thoughts.
If you’re headed to Africa, here’s a must-read. After my own [Janel’s] time in Africa, I was amazed at how the prosperity gospel was often furthering poverty and hindering the genuine growth of the Church. As Lindsay Steele reports, “As people have become desperate to rise out of poverty, many have looked to churches and seen their ticket to prosperity….This shift in focus is not only affecting believers and the Church, but it’s tainting opportunities for ministry to others, specifically to Muslims.” Read more here.
The International Mission Board gives a critical fly-by on animism, found everywhere from Oprah to Asia. Keep in mind that “People influenced by animism do not usually self-identify as animists, If asked what religion they practice, they are likely to pick the predominant one in their region—Christianity, Islam, Judaism,” author Jennifer Waldrep explains. But “it is the oldest way of seeing the world since Adam’s walk with God.” Could it be a critical factor in your intended region? Read up here.
Headed overseas with a stethoscope in your hand? Check out a few paths of those who’ve gone before, as well as their inspiration. (And don’t miss Go. Serve. Love’s posts on Your Last-Minute Medical Missions Equipment Checklist and Medical Missions: Ordering Your Equipment–as well as this#BestoftheBestFriday.)
Did you know Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light, is November 6-10? Want to join in praying for this critical people group this season, beginning October 28? Especially if you’re headed to a Hindustan nation (read: Indian subcontinent), check out Pray 15 Days’ 15-day guide.
Color me surprised: Until this year, I had no idea Japan was the second-largest (only to Bangladesh) unreached people group in the world. It’s the largest unreached nation open to missionaries.
What keeps Japan from being reached?
Our God is indescribably capable of surmounting any obstacles. But what could be the presenting barriers?
Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn, taking an estimated 1.69 years/2200 class hours to proficiency.
It’s a deeply held cultural value. MTW reports, “One Japanese man, upon converting to Christianity, was asked, “You are no longer Japanese?” In a nation where only 0.2% of the people are Christians, sharing the gospel with a Japanese friend is seen as asking them to no longer be Japanese.” Continue reading
There are some well-aimed critiques being leveled at global work lately, which may make you question the validity of this work altogether. Amy Medina from A Life Overseas addresses some of the most painful and poignant criticism by authors/bloggers/podcasters like Corey Pigg, Emily Worrall, and Jamie Wright–the latter of whom writes, “I came off the mission field with a new mission which is to burn down missions.” This one is a must-read…and may explain a tiny bit of why Go. Serve. Love has recently released our self-assessments. Well done, Ms. Medina.
Amy Medina writes compellingly of the seasons of overseas life. At the beginning,
the remnants of your old life stay with you for a long time. At first, keeping in touch with your friends back at home is a big priority. You get lots of packages in the mail. You grieve the loss of all that you left behind. But you are excited to be in this new place you dreamed about for so long, and that excitement keeps you going for a while. After the honeymoon wears off–which could happen in a week or a year–then it just takes grit. A lot of grit. As in, I’m going to grit my teeth and stay here even though I hate it.
Want to hear the happy ending? Guess you’ll have to click here.
Today we’re excited to hear from Judith, an Australian volunteer English teacher in Cambodia, who sent us her story.
I brace myself for an early morning cold shower before my host family wakes, and grab a quick simple breakfast of banana and bread. My tuk tuk arrives at seven thirty. The driver tries to dodge the pot holes and puddles from the overnight rain as he navigates his way, weaving between the trucks, cars, tuk tuks, and motor bikes. I think of the students’ short journey to school: They tell me how thankful they are to avoid biking for forty-five minutes on the congested, potholed road to the government school where a teacher may not be present, or may ask for money.
All this isn’t just talk: We want you to actually go there–and experience serving Him and loving them well. Enter our brand-new Adventures tab, showcasing experiences to help you get a taste–and a little training–for crossing cultures immersively.
Today, we’re hosting Cafe 1040. They exist to help mobilize the next generation of global workers to the 3.1 billion people have little to no access to the story of Jesus. We invite young adults to come walk alongside long-term global workers to see what their life could look like telling the story of Jesus among an unreached people group. Check out their Go. Serve. Love page here.
Taking his newly-acquired Arabic out for a spin in a Muslim country, Adam* thought he was asking for a large water. What he really said? “I want the greatest water.”
“No, no, no,” said his waiter in Arabic, “You want a big water. God is the greatest. You want a big water.” An excellent distinction.
Wanna know how God’s working around the world–and where you could join him? This just in.
Joe Carter highlights landmarks in Korea’s timeline, to give us an idea what God’s been working on through the centuries. He ends with where Korea is today, including the South Korean church’s commitment to the Great Commission:
Despite having a relatively small population, South Korea is second to only the United States in the number of missionaries it sends across the globe. (In comparison to the United States, South Korea has a population—59 million—equal to California and Florida.)
Here’s a quick look at how the church is expanding way beyond Europe and America. Countries traditionally receiving global workers are now sending them out! One writer gets to meet a couple behind these statistics in Experiencing the Latino Mission Movement in Chile:
Go. Serve. Love is geared up to be hosting John Needham of Sweaty Pilgrims today. John is originally from the UK but lives in Islamabad, Pakistan, with his wife and children. He’s passionate about Jesus, writing, and peacemaking between people of different faiths.
The mega-church was huge. A semicircle of comfortable seats faced a large stage backed with three large TV screens. Cameras were positioned in the centre and on either side, relaying live images to the screens. The worship was led by a Malaysian man with several backing singers, both male and female. There were well over a thousand people in attendance, almost entirely young Malaysians.
I have an instinctive dislike for mega-churches. The kind of slick, prosperous message which they often pump out often seems to be at odds with the humility and simplicity of Christ: rather too much money lavished on TV screens and sound systems, perhaps it would be better spent on serving the poor. Yet this one didn’t seem especially prosperous, just large and energetic.