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! 

Bibles, Not Bombs

Matthew 24:6 (NLT)
"And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately."

I was in high school at the height of Vietnam War. I watched the news reports of massive bombings and airstrikes that left deep scars on the face of the earth in the countries of SE Asia. When I turned 18, I was required by law to register for the draft so my name could be placed with tens of thousands of others to face the possibility of being chosen to fight in Vietnam.  It was my generation's war. I felt the responsibility to do something! 

Almost exactly one year before my 18th birthday, my life was totally changed when I attended a youth revival near my home.  I had been a carefree teenager involved with sports, cars and girls. Vietnam was a world away and was none of my immediate concern.

Read more: Bibles, Not Bombs

Compassion for the Dogs

Compassion has truly gone to the dogs. Recently, every national news network broadcast covered the Chicago "Doggy Daycare" drama where 7 dogs were taken in a carjacking.  For 24 hours the focus of news casts and social media was these snatched, lost dogs. There was a great outpouring of compassion about the dogs who might freeze to death in record cold temperatures. Thankfully, the dogs were found, safe and sound, in the abandoned minivan and are back with their anxious owners. Animal lovers everywhere could identify with the tearful reunion of owners and animals.

Jesus told the papable of a lost animal in Luke 15. He knew that this would get the attention of those listening. His audience could easily identify with their inclination to save an endangered animal. But it becomes clear very quickly that Jesus was talking about much more than an animal rescue.

The introduction to His set of parables begins with the words, "Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear Him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." The crowd listening to Jesus that day had a problem with their compassion, or should I say, lack of it.

In fact they had more compassion on a lost sheep than they did on the people around them who desperately needed Christ's love and transforming power.  They even put Jesus down for having anything to do with "tax collectors and sinners." Jesus had come to lay down His life for everyone, including the most unlovable or most inaccessible people on earth. 

It is time for us to take a compassion check up. How much do we care for those people around us, especially people who are not in "our circle" of friends or outside our "comfort zone"? At Reach A Village we are on the greatest rescue mission in history.  We are seeking to reach those people in remote villages and communities in 20 countries who have never yet heard about Jesus.

Jesus' story talks about leaving the 99 sheep to rescue the 1 lost sheep.  In many of the countries where we serve, there is only 1 sheep that is safe in Jesus' fold. There is only 1 sheep that is not lost and we are out attempting to rescue the 99 who are lost. That answers the question, "What would Jesus do?" Luke 19:10 (NLT)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."

Bob Craft

*A special thanks to Katie and her dog, "Duncan" who loves to be near her when she reads the Bible.



Declare the Good News

"The heavens declare the glory of God." These words echoed in my mind as we drove up and up the mountain.

In November, my first international trip with Reach A Village took me to new heights, literally. As we climbed several thousand feet in the air, this woman from the Great Plains thought to herself, "We're only a few feet from going over the cliff." I was also told about the real threat of mudslides slipping down the mountain, washing away roads, cars, houses, and even people.

People in this area can even pose a safety risk, as it's considered the 'Wild West' of the Philippines with outlaws, revenge, and people living by their own rules.

As we traveled while visiting public schools, I was struck by the danger the volunteer teachers face and the complete remoteness of these children. Looking at individual houses dotting the side of massive mountains, I thought, "How will these families be reached with the Gospel?"

But God already provided the answer. In 2007, He appeared in a vision to the founder of the program, Ruth, and she pondered that same question in her quiet time. Ruth had no resources, but miracle after miracle, He supplied every need to reach the most isolated people in this country of 100 million.

Now, this thriving program operates in hundreds of public schools reaching 60,000 children for Christ. Kids are learning Bible stories and how to build character with lessons like patience, obedience, and humility. These children are changing, and even their families are being reached. Dozens of churches are starting, just by reaching kids first. Now, many schools are requesting to start the program because of the great impact!

This is a remarkable program. Even though the isolated people in the mountain are easy to forget, God loves them and wants them to come into the Kingdom. I thank God for those declaring the Good News so that Filipino children can learn about their Savior.

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