By Dr. David Robbins

In the last newsletter I explained the cost of supporting an indigenous missionary through an indigenous mission. A missionary family serving with our partners in Asia needs $165 per month ($2,000 per year).

Mission in the New Testament is the very theme of the church. O. Costas correctly observed: "Mission is intrinsic to the very life of the church. There is no other church than a missionary church. To be the church is, therefore, to live in a crossroads situation; to be constantly engaging the world" (Global Missiology, p. 357).

In fact, incarnational mission more precisely describes our role. Joseph D'Souza reflects with current perception from India. Mission and the latest fads from the West are of nonvalue anymore. "Any methodology that is one step removed from incarnational involvement in the life of our people just won't work" (Global Missiology, p. 404).

In other words, India and many other countries in the world of today are not accessible to missionaries from Canada. However, the indigenous missions and their army of missionaries are effectively planting churches in these limited access nations. In Canada we are called to be senders in this context. In much of the world the goers are sent (without support) by our Heavenly Father to their own people and neighbouring unreached people groups (UPGs).

The following pattern of partnership is one we recommend for coming alongside indigenous mission leaders:

1. Start Small and Go Slow: You may feel that $165 per month is more than you can afford. We have recommended $55 per month (which is one third the total needed), but any amount becomes a helpful part of sending out these faithful labourers into the harvest field. Another idea might be to take on the support of a missionary as a family, with children contributing as well.

2. Build Relationships: Take the opportunity when AIM brings our indigenous leaders to Canada to invest in getting to know them and learning about how you can encourage them.

3. Commit to the Long Term: Carve out time in your calendar for regular prayer for the spread of the gospel and growth of the church. Entire villages and language groups are opening and turning to Christ. "Inch by inch, anything is a cinch. By the yard is hard." The heartbeat is people group movements. Reaching Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Animists and Secularists is jeopardized by speed. Patience, humility, determination and indomitable faith will bring immense harvest.

4. Adopt a Book of Acts Attitude: Luke’s record in Acts illustrates how Jesus will build his church in the uttermost parts of the earth. Internationals, Jews/Greeks and slave/free are all equally targeted with confidence. Male/female, jailed/unrestricted, rich/poor, individual or group are all fields that are white unto harvest. The multicultural call of Christ is not to be limited in any way, shape or form. Jesus shall reign where're the sun doth his successive journeys run!

You are urgently needed. UPGs are waiting. Missionaries and their teams are poised, waiting for believers in the West to walk alongside them. The Body of Christ is interdependent (see 1 Corinthians 12:1-12). Hands, feet, hearts, eyes and ears are all to submit to Christ, our Head.

What is your response? Come this Christmas to the point of engagement. Start small and go slow ... but get started. Let's walk together with the greatest missionary force in the history of the world!

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December 6, 2019
Advancing Indigenous Missions 2019