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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! 

Bob Craft's One-on-One Interview With Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer, a renowned church-planting expert and executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, recently interviewed Reach A Village Founder and President Bob Craft about keys to the staggering number of new believers and house churches being started by Thai Christians. This movement in Thailand was featured in the Christianity Today April cover story.

Craft said that, ultimately, it is the work of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, but he also shared some insights from the Thai Christians’ methods. For example, they keep the initial Gospel presentation simple and relatable to normal Thai life and experience. The Western Christian worldview and “Christianese” are avoided as they can inhibit the spread of the Gospel in Asia. Craft explains that terms like “testimony” and even “sin” can be confusing or misunderstood by those coming from a Buddhist background.The focus is kept solely on biblical truth.

“Keep in mind that in countries like Thailand, we do not leave the 99 to find the one lost sheep. We leave the one found sheep in the fold to rush back and try to rescue the 99,” Craft notes. “Thailand and other countries have vast populations in geographic areas or ethnic enclaves that have less than 1 percent believers among them.”

Click here to view the interview.

You Don't Know What You're Missing

Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it. As a busy working parent, some days seem so long, but there is something that has recently added a bit of unexpected joy to my day.

Every day, I leave at the same time to pick up my daughter. At the same intersection, I see a crossing guard wearing a yellow vest, gray slacks and bright smile each day. She makes it a point to smile and wave at every single car that passes her. No matter how tired I may feel, the crossing guard never fails to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits.

Last week, I was running a little bit late, and she had already left her post for the day. I felt a little disappointed to miss her. I thought about the other people who pass by the same intersection and how they would never know of the joy they had just missed.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the unreached people of the world through my service at Reach A Village. In a way, they are like the people who never get to see the warm, genial smile of a friendly woman. You simply don’t know what you are missing.

Sometimes it’s a matter of timing. Sometimes it’s a matter of location. You only know of the Gospel when it is shared with you, by chance, or by coincidence. The majority of the unreached don’t even know a Christian, and will never meet one. It is our job as Christ-followers to help ensure that everyone can have a meaningful encounter with Jesus.

I am so thankful for our tremendously dedicated ministry partners who are also called in this mission to reach the world for Christ. Through their tireless work, more people are being reached and learning of salvation found only in Jesus Christ. As the International Day for the Unreached is remembered on June 9, I hope you will pray with me that all of the unreached would soon hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

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.

Christianity Today Cover Story Features Reach A Village

We are excited to share that the Christianity Today April cover story "Making Missions Count" features interviews with Dwight Martin of CrossTies Asia, a ministry of Reach A Village, and with Bob Craft. We are so pleased for this opportunity to talk about the role new technology and national Christians, like our Thai ministry partners the Free in Jesus Christ Church Association (FJCCA), will play in the future of global missions.

New technology can show in real time where ministry needs are greatest and help bring organizations together to work toward Great Commission goals. The Harvest database, which is described in the article as “the most comprehensive national church database in the world,” was developed by Dwight’s team to aid the Thai Church’s national plan for strategic evangelism by mapping the locations of all churches in Thailand and identifying unreached villages.

Dwight’s research spurred a partnership with the FJCCA that has turned into a fast-growing church planting movement in unreached villages in Thailand. In just a year and a half, nearly 12,000 people have started their journey with Jesus and engagement in God’s Word through Bible study! Out of 13 mother churches, more than 400 house churches have been started since 2016.

Reach A Village plays a supporting role in the partnership, collaborating with the movement’s leaders to provide new Thai believers with the tools and resources they need to grow in their faith. Our ministry model is to come alongside local, indigenous Christians to help supply access to training, culturally appropriate study materials, and local language Scriptures so that they can reach their own people for Christ, nurture new believers, and start churches in unreached villages.

We believe that you will be inspired as you read this article and see how the Lord is working in new and different ways around the world! Please click here to view the article.

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