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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! 

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!

Press Release About CrossTies Asia and Reach A Village

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reach A Village and CrossTies Asia unite for greater Kingdom impact

PARK FOREST, Ill. – A common vision and burden for an estimated 1 million villages worldwide that have no churches and virtually no access to God’s Word has brought international mission organizations Reach A Village and CrossTies Asia together in a new partnership. Leaders from both organizations announced that CrossTies Asia will now operate as a ministry of Reach A Village.

“This partnership joins together time-tested biblical missiology and the latest technology. It could really be a game-changer in our work to fulfill the Great Commission,” Reach A Village President Robert Craft states. CrossTies Asia Executive Director Dwight Martin adds, “By working together, we greatly enhance each other's ministry and can make a significant impact for God’s Kingdom.”

Through years of ministry experience and research, Craft and Martin have each come to the conclusion that indigenous Christians are the most effective in reaching their own people for Christ. Both organizations are committed to equipping and empowering local Christians to spread the Gospel to unreached villages within their countries.

Reach A Village provides training, Scriptures and Bible study materials and mobilizes national Christians to evangelize, disciple and start churches in nearby unreached villages. CrossTies Asia specializes in supplying Christian literature and resources in local languages, as well as research, data and technology that enables church and mission leaders to collaborate and formulate strategic ministry plans.

In Thailand, Martin serves as research coordinator for the Thai Church’s national plan for strategic evangelism and church growth. He and his team developed a database and mapping system called Harvest that tracks and maps the Body of Christ in Thailand (https://thaichurches.org). In looking at 10 years’ worth of data, Martin realized that the Thai Church was not growing fast enough to meet the goals of the national plan, and he wanted to find a method to accelerate the growth.

“Bob and I have known each other for a number of years as acquaintances,” Martin shared. “He took me to Myanmar and Cambodia, which are also Buddhist-background countries, and I was blown away by the church-planting work they were doing there. I thought, ‘We need to partner together!’”

Now, Harvest system data is available for Cambodia (https://cambodiachurches.org) and will soon be available for Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. With this technology, it will be easier to pinpoint unreached villages, and the hope is that church and mission leaders across denominational lines will be inspired to develop strategic national plans for church growth in these countries.

“While CrossTies Asia is now under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of Reach A Village, it will still continue to function as it has, serving the Church at-large,” Craft noted. “One of the intended consequences of this new relationship is to share the data and encourage a spirit of cooperation and strategic collaboration between mission groups and denominations within a country, making our combined efforts more fruitful in fulfilling the Great Commission in the face of such huge need.”

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