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2bobcraft2We have our fingers on the pulse of modern missions. Mission work is changing rapidly as the world's cultures and global conditions are changing. Ease of travel and communication impact how the Gospel is spread. But at the heart of missions, there is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the obedience of the Church to carry out Jesus' command to go into all the earth.

We want to present challenging biblical truths, insights into today's missions environment, and progress reports on reaching the entire world with the Gospel. Please keep checking our blog regularly for updates, stories and challenging thoughts from Scripture! 

For to Us a Child Is Born

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

While a student at Olivet Nazarene University, I would sing in the annual performance of George Frideric Handel's “Messiah” every December. My choir would practice for months in advance as the yearly event was a proud tradition.

One of the most popular choruses featured this verse from Isaiah. For a good portion of it, Handel focuses on the first phrase of the verse, "for to us a child is born" and places special emphasis on the word "us." With all the power of this prophetic verse, why focus on such a tiny, simple word?

Though the word is just two letters long, the implications are tremendous. God promised He would send a Savior to the world, and the word "us" has implications beyond Jesus' physical birth and His ministry on Earth. He was born into the world for all people, in every place and for all time. Jesus' birth is an eternal gift to all people who will ever live on Earth. His promises are for all time. How truly inspiring it is to think of how a mere two letter word has implications for the salvation of all people!

As you celebrate His birth with your loved ones, let us remember with joy that Jesus came and sacrificed Himself because of His incredible love for everyone who lived at the time of His birth, those alive today, and every single person around the world who has lived or will ever live.

By Erin Menke-Assam

 

erincircle2As Director of Partner Development for Reach A Village, Erin Menke-Assam enjoys engaging people in the ministry and helping them to become part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Erin earned her Master’s degree in International Public Service from DePaul University. Her experience in international non-profit Christian organizations includes research, development, serving as a literacy trainer and helping to implement literacy programs internationally.

I Thank God as I Remember You

“I thank God, whom I serve … as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith …"
2 Timothy 1:3-5a
 

There are many things for which to be thankful, like our faith, family, life, health, peace, food and shelter. This Thanksgiving season, I want to encourage you to also take time and thank the Lord for people He has brought into your life.

When Paul wrote these words, he obviously felt that his life and ministry were nearing an end (2 Timothy 4:6). Perhaps that is one reason why he was so thankful for people like Timothy. While traveling with Paul on some of his missionary journeys, Timothy became a trusted friend and co-worker, and Paul entrusted the care of the new churches to him.

Paul thanked God for Timothy and constantly remembered him in prayer. He appreciated Timothy’s tender heart for Jesus and his sincere expression of the faith. Paul was joyful whenever he saw Timothy. What a moving picture Paul paints of this special relationship!

We should all take time to thank God for the people of faith He has brought into our lives, to remember the relatives, friends, and even strangers, who brought us the story of Jesus, became part of our faith journey, or helped in the ministry God called us to do. Paul’s letters are full of the names of people he met in places where he shared the Gospel.

I just learned of another village in Thailand, Nong Dayang, which received the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the very first time yesterday! A former resident and a team of Christian friends came from 45 miles away to bring the Gospel to them. The people of Nong Dayang will remember the names of these new friends who are committed to helping them grow in their newfound faith in Jesus!

We thank God as we remember you! Some of you helped start the ministry of Reach A Village, others encouraged us along the way, and many have stood beside us to prayerfully and financially help see villages reached with the Gospel. Thank you!   

By Bob Craft

 

bob circleBob Craft is founder and president of Reach A Village. His ministry background of over four decades includes service as a pastor, missionary, and evangelical missions leader. Bob believes that the most efficient and cost-effective way to finally fulfill the Great Commission is to train local Christians, equip them with Scripture materials, and mobilize them to reach unreached villages in their country with the Gospel.

Becoming a Doer

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

I love baking. I recently discovered “The Great British Baking Show” and have watched every episode multiple times. The judges are extremely knowledgeable, fair and good-humored, while the contestants show great creativity and skill. I have learned so much through watching the show.

Yet, if you set me before a mixer with a few ingredients, I would be lost. I do not know the proportions of what ingredients should be used, nor do I understand rising agents. I have never kneaded bread to know the right consistency. For all of my interest, I just don’t have the practice of actually baking in the kitchen.

The experience of learning and mastering something must be hands-on. Isn’t that true of our Christian walk? We may read the Bible, enjoy a powerfully delivered message, and engage in fellowship with others. But what if we do not actually do what the Bible says and implement its teachings in our lives? There are many things you can only learn by doing.

Famously, Matthew 28:19-20a says, “‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” It is wonderful to reach more people with the Gospel and make disciples, but we often seem to forget the importance of the last phrase. In our Christian walk, we must obey the Word and put His teachings into practice. We must be doers of the Word, and then we can really be strong, growing disciples.

It doesn’t matter if I can tell you the importance of baking powder or the temperature of butter when adding it into a mixture if I cannot actually bake the cake. Likewise, we must be obedient and put the Bible’s teachings into practice so others can see the light of the Lord living in us. Then, we can truly be better disciples and live lives that glorify God.

By Erin Menke-Assam

 

erincircle2

As Director of Partner Development, Erin Menke-Assam enjoys engaging people in the ministry and helping them to become part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Erin earned a Master’s degree in International Public Service from DePaul University. Her experience in international non-profit organizations includes development, serving as a literacy trainer and helping to implement literacy programs internationally.

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