News and Views

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! 

God's Team Doesn't Require Superheroes

“‘For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.’” Matthew 18:20

Growing up in rural Alabama, I was a typical American boy who watched Saturday morning cartoons. Most were filled with heroes like Superman, Spiderman, Batman and the Lone Ranger. The rugged individualism portrayed by superheroes was an important cultural value. I thought that, surely, I should aspire to be that kind of hero in my generation.

When my heart was challenged with Jesus’ Great Commission, I sold my car to buy one-way tickets for myself and my family to Thailand. I wanted to join the ranks of Hudson Taylor, C.T. Stud and Adoniram Judson in spreading the Gospel to the world.

But, it did not take me long to discover that I was no superman. I was in a place where there was a ratio of less than one believer for every 10,000 people. The suffocating heat, the tropical diseases, a difficult language and the spiritual battles were all factors that quickly overwhelmed me. I ended up in a hospital with exhaustion. I hardly felt like a hero, and certainly not a superhero.

I arrived in Asia and had much to learn. Thankfully, I had a wonderful Thai leader who took me aside and shared his life and ministry with me. We traveled together, ministered together, and I began to understand how much I needed and appreciated him. He became a hero to me. I learned so much from him.

Have you ever noticed who the heroes are on Saturday morning cartoons now? My sons grew up watching Ninja Turtles and Transformers. Today, we have the Avengers and the Justice League. We live in a world that has begun to see the value of teams – teams of heroes with special gifts and abilities which, when combined, can defeat the greatest enemy.  

Jesus knew the power of teams. He called and traveled with a team of disciples. He sent them out in pairs and groups, not as individuals. To function well in God’s Kingdom, we need to learn how to be good team players. There’s no need to try to be the superhero in a world where it will take a team, multiple teams in fact, to fulfill the Great Commission.

I now recognize that when Reach A Village comes alongside local leaders and workers as part of their team, Jesus is truly in our midst.

Bob Craft

The Rooftop View

Volunteering for the Values Education ministry in the Philippines was a step of faith for Sister Jenalo. She had always dreamed of being a teacher, but didn’t finish school.

After receiving encouragement from her pastor, she became a volunteer teacher at the local public school! It has boosted her self-confidence, given her greater purpose, and drawn her closer to God. This ministry changed her life, community, church, and especially the lives of the children she teaches about God's Word.

Hearing Sister Jenalo tell about her journey reminded me of my own journey. When I was growing up, my parents were missionaries in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to join my dad, Bob Craft, going from village to village doing evangelism. This gave me an acute awareness of the need for the Gospel.

In between missionary assignments, Dad pastored a church in Alabama and operated a roofing business. I loved spending time with him at work sites, being up on the rooftop, looking out across the horizon and seeing the bigger picture. I also saw the hard work required to build a roof that will withstand a storm.

Upon graduating from high school in the Philippines, I returned home and began university studies focused on the Bible, sociology and community development. This prepared me for jobs working with youth, adults with disabilities, small businesses and government.

During that time, I continued to hear Dad share about his passion, vision, and missions philosophy of training and equipping local Christians to reach their people for Christ. I sensed that God was calling me to aid the Church in advancing His Kingdom. So, I took my own step of faith. I left a job I loved and started seminary.

When Dad invited me to visit the Philippines recently to see how God was moving around the world, I had the same sense of amazement as I had from being up on the roof. I could see the scope at which God was working and the necessary details to do the job well. As I complete my degree at Moody Theological Seminary, I am excited beyond measure to join the Reach A Village team. I have learned about many different ministry models, and I am convinced that partnering with Spirit-filled, God-called local champions like Sister Jenalo is the best one.

As we partner together, we are all building on the foundation that is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. As you partner with us, please continue to pray that the work laid on this foundation will thrive and bring glory to His name.

Ellis Craft

International Ministry Director for Southeast Asia

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

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