Missions is such a vital part of our denomination. What and where should we place our priorites?

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There is so much that we as christians and americans can do to help others. Often times it is overwhelming when one has to decide where to help. What would you like your church to do in terms of missions?

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2002


God established the church to carry out the work of missions. If every congregation would commit at least 50% of its budget to local and overseas missions, it would help tremendously. There is too much spent on building expensive buildings and not enough on those in need, especially in the third world countries. We in the USA are very selfish. We spend more on an outfit to attend Church then others have an entire year to feed themselves and their families. Every church should adopt at least one church overseas to support. The denomination is not doing as much as it should to assist its own churches in Africa. My prayer is for the universal church to focus highly on the area of missions. Jesus said, what you do to the least of these, you have done it unto me.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Can you believe that 2000 years after Jesus said, "Go into all the world", there are still huge tracts of the earth with virtually no Christians, and no Gospel witness? With all that's happened in that time, with all the technology and wealth that's available, that is still the sad fact of life.

If you're looking for a focus area, consider the 10/40 window. This is that part of the world between 10 degrees north latitudude, and 40 degrees south latitudude. In this belt you'll find the greatest darkness, and this is the area where the church should be focusing its greatest efforts.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002


I'm not looking at a globe right now so I need some help. Can you tell me what land area is covered by your geographic reference to 10 degrees north latitude and 40 degrees south longitude? Thanks. QED

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Sure. It's a rectangle in the eastern hemisphere stretching from western Africa to eastern Asia, referred to by some as the "core of the core", or the "resistant belt". It's where the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Bhuddists live. The list of countries is below.

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, China, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Gibraltar, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea (North and South), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Ligya, Macau, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen.

The situations vary in each place of course. South Korea has a mighty evangelical movement that shames our own. Vietnam has a powerful underground church movement, as does China. My denomination's missionaries have been active in Burkina Faso for years, and have been used to raise up a wonderful mature movement. But generally speaking, this huge area of the world with its billions of souls live in spiritual darkness we have trouble comprehending.

Do a word search on "10/40 window" and do a little surfing on this wonderful web. Let what you read make you weep.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Rob we also have a "resistance belt" in our own country. Just look around at our neighbors, family members etc. Who do not have a personal relationship with God. We must not forget those who are here in our country. Christian denominations are losing more and more members each year. Many of these people have left the church all together.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

That's a true statement Denise, and that's why we have our churches. Even where the church is alive and well it's only one generation away from extinction.

But I must say I'm a missions person. I remember a couple of things that made me this way. One was a missionary who noted that the reason there are very few Christians in Bhutan, is because very few in the west have ever heard of it, prayed for it, or sent missionaries to it. By the way, Bhutan is a small country next to Nepal, sandwiched in the Himalayas between India and China. It's also a stronghold of Bhuddism, and last I heard, closed to missions.

The other was a teacher who pointed out that for all intents and purposes, the Gospel has been preached in America. If our goal is to at minimum make the Gospel available to each person, planting numerous churches and using other means to get the message out, the task is finished here. What remains is maintenance and expansion of what we have.

Certainly Christians need revival here, and many churches are closing. In Europe it's said they have actually arrived at a post- Christian society, God help them. We also need to bring the works that are flourishing on the mission field into full maturity by turning church planting over to native pastors, and focusing on equipping for self-sufficiency through things such as pastoral training. Our work will continue in places like these as well as at home.

But when we look at places like Bhutan, Somalia, Kuwait, and North Korea, where church work has barely started if it has started at all, I get the feeling we're way behind. To answer your question originally posed in the post, if we want to look at an area for emphasis, the 10/40 window is the place to go.

First ask God how we can open the countries up. We've found that our drug treatment program is welcomed by governments worldwide because of its success. That's how we've entered Vietnam. We also have organizations that allow people in the west to sponsor children in poor countries for small monthly amounts. Some of these children in Africa and Latin America went on to become leaders in their countries, and are quite friendly towards us. They prove instrumental in opening their countries to ever greater missionary activity. We also have missionaries working undercover as "tent makers" in hostile countries. One lady I know of works as an English teacher in China. She could never enter as a missionary, but the Chinese government is clamoring for English teachers. I pray for her daily.

When a church determines that it will carry out the Great Commission, doors open supernaturally. God is very pleased with such a committment, because it matches His own.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Speaking of missions, please check out the Women's Missionary Society Web page at www.wmsame.org there is a lot going on!!

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

I recently had a discussion with a freind belonging to another denomination. He receives assitance(covering) from churches in the USA when he asked if we do .I said no.That is the truth.I don't want to complain but the congregations(AME) in our district is one of the poorest in our Conference.The previous Pastor at the congregation I serve hardly received a salary.the congregation lives below the poverty line what makes thing s easier for me is that both my husband and I have secular work and this makes it possible for us not to rely on the local congregation. When I see the poverty in the community my heart goes out but because of a lack of covering there is not much that could be done. I tithe and have appealed to the members to tithe and in turn we intend starting a soup kitchen once a week. Even though the larger church do not support this congregation and we have to pay our obligations just as any congregation we have decided to put our trust in God and not lean on the arm of flesh. I believe that we need to do community profiles and then decide where our priorities lie. Because of tradition in this community, if you do not pay your dues and conference claims you forfiet you benefits.There are many,many "members"who have had to forfeit their benfits because of unemployment and povery.

This I believe is not a isolated case.The other congregation I serve at has 23 people employed in a community of 19000+- ,70% of the pop. is HIV /AIDS + .With Gods Grace we will pay full budget at the Midyear.We will empty our coffers not to be disgraced in public.

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2002

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