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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! 

Revealing the Undercover King

“For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Colossians 1:19-20 (NLT)

Perhaps you’re familiar with the reality TV show “Undercover Boss,” where company owners or executives disguise themselves to go undercover as trainees in their own organizations. Oftentimes the bosses find themselves having to do difficult jobs where they get dirty and are outside their comfort zones. Not only do these executives learn a great deal about their companies, but they also are able to see deeper into the lives of their employees.

“What has this got to do with Christmas?” you might ask. How better could the Creator of the Universe disguise Himself than by wrapping Himself in the human flesh of a helpless baby? He came disguised as the child of a poor couple seeking refuge in a humble stable. His mother was even unmarried when she became pregnant. What must it have taken for the King of the Universe to confine Himself to Mary’s womb and then a lowly manger?

Why would He choose to do it? Sin had spoiled the perfect universe He made and the lives of the people He created. He saw their pain and suffering. He embraced their weaknesses and wept over their sin. He saw that they could never solve their problems themselves. He could have used His vast power to wipe everyone out and then remake His creation, but instead He chose to redeem His people and restore His creation by coming to earth in disguise.

Jesus became a human being like us, walked among us, and experienced the human condition, enabling Him to relate with us on a deeper level. He allowed the sin of mankind to come upon Him. And through His suffering and death on the cross for us, the disguise was ripped off and His true identity was revealed – our loving Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord! “Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King!”

We can’t thank you enough for your partnership in helping to reveal our King and the wonders of His love to the nations over the past year! Merry Christmas from all of us at Reach A Village!

Robert Craft

Founder and President

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving meal

When most of us think of Thanksgiving season, our minds go to family meals with turkey, dressing and trimmings. We often go around the dinner table and mention something for which we are thankful. But I do not think I have ever seen a more grateful group of people than the one I was with earlier this month.

I recently had the joy of celebrating the Lord’s Supper with believers in Thailand during a church planter training event. I would not normally have thought of a communion service as a sort of “thanksgiving” meal. But this time was different.
 
I was celebrating communion with many new Thai believers and leaders. I have never been in a communion service with more joy being expressed! Not only were they loudly exclaiming the goodness of Jesus, but they were also sobbing and weeping while thanking Him for setting them free from their past and giving them the hope of heaven. The broken bread and cup of grape juice had truly been received with gratitude and love.

They were grateful for a loving Savior, whom they had come to know when Thai Christians came into their villages with the Good News of Jesus. Most of these people had been living in one of the 70,000 villages in Thailand that have no local believers or local church.

Finally, someone had brought them the hope, joy and peace of the Lord Jesus. They no longer feared the spirits that had tormented them or the “karma” that could not be removed by countless ceremonies, self-discipline, or offerings made in an attempt to gain merit.

During this Thanksgiving, when you and your family “break bread” together, please remember those who are still waiting for the Good News to come to their villages. Thank God for your family, your church and a faith that brings such forgiveness, peace and blessings.

We at Reach A Village are thankful for all that God is doing, and that includes being thankful to all of you who pray for us and financially support the ministry!

 

Blessings in Christ,

Bob Craft

Founder and President

Stand Up for Believers Treated Unjustly Around the World

“Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
save them as they stagger to their death.
Don’t excuse yourself by saying, ‘Look, we didn’t know.’
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.”
Proverbs 24:11-12 NLT 

In some parts of the world, Christians are often treated unjustly, face wrongful imprisonment or other forms of persecution. For example, in July 2016 Russia passed anti-terrorism laws that are unjustly being applied to Christian activities. These laws restrict Christians from evangelizing outside of government-sanctioned churches.

Missionaries are required to have permits which are difficult or impossible to obtain, and religious activity can only occur within registered church buildings, making house churches illegal, among other restrictions. Individuals who violate the law can be fined up to $780, while organizations can be fined as much as $15,500!

I urge you to mark your calendar and join together with us in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted on November 5.

Though many of us in America do not face such strong persecution, God doesn’t want us to turn a blind eye. He wants us to do what is in our power to rescue and save those who are unjustly persecuted. Our options may be limited, but we need to speak up when we can to defend the innocent, whether that means speaking with our politicians or fellow citizens.

Even more importantly, we can appeal to the One who knows, sees and is able to help. We can all pray, asking God Almighty to intervene.

David prayed for God’s help in Psalm 119:154 (NLT) saying, “Argue my case; take my side! Protect my life as you promised.” We can pray that same prayer on their behalf.

Those who are treated unjustly because of their faith are looking to God and us to step in and help.

P.S. Russia’s lawmakers are working on yet another restrictive law expected to be passed this November. This law may include confiscation of property and loss of parental rights. In Russia, evangelical churches are viewed no differently than cults. As a result, believers could lose their children! Please pray for evangelical Christians in Russia!

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