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NEXT 2015 Applications Due Soon!

NEXT is the short-term, cross-cultural missions program of Frontline Missions International. Experienced field personnel will mentor and guide participants to a greater self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses, a deep respect for indigenous brothers and sisters, and encourage bold, Spirit-enabled audacity in the Kingdom’s advance.

2015 OPPORTUNITIES: 

NEXT: Africa is a 2-month field experience in North Africa and Ethiopia this summer.

NEXT: China is a 2-year field experience, beginning August 2015.

For more information or to apply, visit www.frontlineexperience.org. Applications due by February 1, 2015. 

Dispatches Christmas Sale!

  Since the first episode was released in 2009, Dispatches from the Front has been all about opening windows to Christ’s Kingdom all over the world by seeing Him at work in real lives and real places, magnifying His greatness, and growing confidence in the Gospel’s power to cross every barrier! These DVDs are resources that make great gifts. So here are the best DVD deals of the year!

On the Dispatches Website: 

  • All 7 episodes for $50—one great gift of all the episodes of the DVD series!
  • Day of Battle (newest DVD release) for $10—Extra! Extra! Extra! This episode has Spanish and English subtitles, a short film entitled Prologue which describes the origin of the series, and small group discussion questions—all on one disk! (Other Individual Episodes for $10 each as well.)
  • All with free shipping to any US address!
  • Prices valid through January 15, 2015.

On Amazon.com Website:

  • $10 per individual DVD.
  • $40 for boxed set of 1-5.
  • Remember, if you use the AmazonSmile site and name Frontline Missions as your charitable organization of choice, a portion of these (and any other) purchases will be donated back to Frontline!

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9Marks Reviews "Dispatches from the Front" book by Tim Keesee

Book Review by Alex Duke, Editorial Manager of 9Marks. "All around us, it seems, the sky is falling. America. Australia. The UK. Church attendance is down, cultural compasses are pointing east of Eden, and many so-called “Christian” veneers are vanishing. Once-nominal Christians are now comfortably non-Christian, while many once-amicable non-Christians are now comfortably anti-Christian.

There are many ways we can respond to this. First, we can (and should) understand this news rightly, realizing that in every yarn of destruction there are threads of promise. Lord willing, the articles linked above and below are exercises in that. The sky isn’t falling, and as Christians we know it never will. Instead, we wait for the sky to open, our eyes straining for that white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.

Second, we can (and should) look to history for encouragement, understanding that the church has seen such presumably dire straits before—and carried on with Christ as her architect. We’ve done that, too— both here and here.

Third, we can (and should) commit ourselves to prayer, both corporately and individually.

But that’s not all. We should also look to the present for encouragement. We should take time to learn that the church, around the world and in the unlikeliest of places, is far from vanishing; instead, as people are being called out of darkness and into the marvelous light of God, it’s shining brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter..."

Click here to finish reading the review...

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Tim Keesee. Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 240 pps. $14.99.

"Opportunity" by Tim Keesee

Egg Masthead

The first time I crossed the Atlantic was as a young sailor aboard the USS Denebola. The return voyage found us dodging two hurricanes. For seven days, we tacked across rolling seas with towering waves that broke over our bow, as we pushed through the tempest. After scurrying along the Outer Banks to avoid yet another storm, we at last reached our safe harbor in Virginia. The captain and crew had skillfully guided the ship over thousands of miles of stormy seas and narrow channels, and at last, the port was before us. In the distance, I could see my family waiting at the dock. I was happy. I was home. It’s a feeling sailors have experienced as long as men have gone to sea. Ancient mariners had a word for it—when wind and tide, rudder and sail, all worked together to bring them home, or “at the port.” The word has come down from Latin, directly into our vocabulary—it is “opportunity.” Mr. Webster captured that very sense of convergence in defining opportunity as “a combination of circumstances favorable for the purpose.”

Right now, in terms of Gospel advance, Ethiopia is a land of opportunity. Consider this “combination of favorable circumstances”: a fertile field with willing laborers strategically located for a Great Harvest.

A fertile field… In less than 25 years through the simple preaching of the Gospel, the number of evangelical Christians in Ethiopia has grown from fewer than 2% to well over 20%--despite rigorous opposition and persecution from Islamic and Orthodox groups.

with willing laborers… Ethiopian believers are committed to praying, going, and risking suffering and even death in the cause of reaching every village and people group in their country and beyond.  Ethiopia now sends more missionaries to other countries than are being sent to Ethiopia.  Thousands of young people are willing to be sent as missionaries and evangelists to difficult areas, but there aren’t enough funds to support them.

 strategically located… Ethiopia is strategically located in the heart of the Horn of Africa, and leaders in the church in Ethiopia believe God has called them to reach the difficult surrounding nations of Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, and Djibouti.  Peoples and tribes within Ethiopia have family and ethnic connections within these countries—significant opportunities that others do not have.

for a Great Harvest.  Our Gospel partners in Ethiopia have laid out a plan that is sustainable, reproducible, and missional. We are calling it the Great Harvest Project, and our goal is to expand the reach of the Gospel, especially in Muslim areas, by developing four poultry-related business models. The Great Harvest Project is a 15-18 month integrated plan to develop and test four related business streams:  egg production, feed production, modular chicken houses, and training materials and programs.

The Great Harvest Project for blog

The goal of the Great Harvest Project is to build a simple, sustainable proof of concept for each of the four business models. These businesses can then be started independently or in any combination, depending on market conditions and ministry objectives.  Our driving purpose is that these efforts will have a dramatic impact on strengthening and expanding the Church in Ethiopia through:

  • Generating funds with which we will be able to purchase Bibles, support missionaries and church planters, and train future leaders in the church.
  • Give access to areas in Ethiopia that are now inaccessible due to religious persecution.  Businesses create a platform for believers to live and work in these areas.
  • Provide a way for Muslim-background believers to support themselves.

All proceeds from the Great Harvest Project as of September 30, 2015 (15 months) will be invested in the purchase of much needed Oromo Bibles and to support missions work in Muslim areas.  A full report of the project effectiveness, expenditures, and investment of the project proceeds will be provided to all donors.  Our goal is to equal the amount donated for this project in direct investment in Gospel advancement in Ethiopia.

Believers in Ethiopia often express their belief that God has placed within their country the resources they need to reach Ethiopia and beyond.  Their heart is to sustain their own movements and support their own pastors and missionaries.  By providing multiple, reproducible models of economic empowerment the Great Harvest project can make a major difference for years to come.

This is creative-access missions on the frontlines of Gospel advance in the Horn of Africa! Please consider being part of this effort by designating a gift for the Great Harvest Project. Thank you!

 

 

"Running with Jonah" by Tim Keesee

 

"On the plains of Nineveh Erbil, Northern Iraq

"I feel a bit like Jonah — only instead of a great gourd, I have found a gnarly old poplar to shade me from the scorching noon-high sun while I scribble a few lines. From the citadel of Erbil, I have a commanding view of the plains of Nineveh, which in some ways seems to have changed little since Jonah dragged his briny sandals through here on his way to a late appointment in nearby Nineveh...."

Read the rest of the post here.

The Great (American) Commission, Part 3 of 3

This third post (part 1part 2) in a 3-part series on the role of American missionaries in the 21st century by Tim Keesee (author of Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places) is available on Crossway's blogHere's a sneak peek: "My copy of Zwemer’s book is battered and yellowed, its statistics and even some country names outdated, but Zwemer was a pioneer missionary to Arabia, and his words have both the weight and the glory of the Cross about them. With 40% of the world yet unreached, with vast lands and teeming cities 'unoccupied,' his words still speak forcefully:

The challenge of the unoccupied fields of the world is one to great faith and, therefore, to great sacrifice. Our willingness to sacrifice for an enterprise is always in proportion to our faith in that enterprise. Great victory has never been possible without great sacrifice. . . . The unoccupied fields of the world must have their Calvary before they can have their Pentecost."

Zwemer book cover

"So is there still a place for Americans in pioneer missions today? Thankfully, the answer is absolutely yes! With vast regions of the world still unreached, there’s more than enough work to go around—and more than enough joy to go around. It’s the joy of telling people for the first time that Jesus has made a way so that they can live forever...."

"Our motivation is not thrill-seeking or fame—it’s Christ. His grace and mercy are so beautiful and abundant in our own lives that we want to find others who were like we were before we met Jesus—blind and shackled—and see them made new. This is what sustains the pioneer and draws others to take up the hard, unfinished task."

Read the full post here:

Related Posts

The Great (American) Commission, Part 1 of 3

"The Great (American) Commission" is a three-part series on the role of American missionaries in the 21st century, written by Tim Keesee and published this week by Crossway. Special thanks to Dana Thompson for his illustrations.

"There is a spot near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, a little marble circle that marks where the ancient Chinese believed was the very center of the universe.

"Today this cosmic bull’s-eye is just a place for grinning tourists to stand and have their pictures taken. Many other ancient peoples had similar beliefs about their realm being at the center of things. Why else, for example, would one say, 'All roads lead to Rome'?

"When it comes to The Great Commission, I’m afraid that for too long, many of us here in America believe (or at least behave) as if we are at the center of the missions universe. Whether spoken or unspoken, the attitude is that our heritage, resources, seminaries, organizations, and obedience are critical to the breadth and depth of gospel work throughout the world. ..."

Continue Reading...

The Great (American) Commission

 

Sorrow in South Sudan

By Michael A.

  Michael Alemu with child   mother and child

Editor’s note: In December the world’s newest nation became the world’s latest war zone, as South Sudan plunged into a merciless civil war between rival tribes and militias. 10,000 or more have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have fled for their lives—most ending up in squalid and hopelessly overcrowded refugee camps. Readers who have seen “Father, Give Me Bread”  (Dispatches from the Front: Episode 5) will recall Michael and how he pours his life into mercy ministries for orphans and the disabled as well as wide-ranging efforts in church planting and pastoral training in Ethiopia and South Sudan. He and his team of pastors are now in South Sudan and northern Uganda to minister to the pressing needs of the refugees—both physical and spiritual. The following is a first-hand report from him from the frontlines of South Sudan.

Thank you for your continued prayers for the current situation in S. Sudan. As you know, the conflict in just three weeks has resulted in the death and injury of thousands and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese.  We are partnering with the local leadership to reach out to the displaced people both internally and outside the borders of the country.

Our team was overwhelmed when we met nearly 2,500 children and women who were dumped in a small compound and languishing under the intense sun.  The refugee desk officer told us that they are praying that there will be no rain. He is terrified of the devastation and sickness if it rains.  He is working with local schools and churches to try to move the current refugees fast enough so that he can make room at the processing center for those arriving daily.  The biggest challenge he has right now is for water and sanitation.

We watched dozens of children sleeping under the sun. Older siblings, mothers, and grandmothers are holding babies, waiting for a miracle.  Some suffer from cuts, infections, and illnesses. Some children are resilient, smiling and goofing off. Others look lost and confused. Teenagers put on brave faces. Young girls who are supposed to be in school have to learn to spend nights sleeping under the open sky, vulnerable and afraid. They may be outside the country, but they are not safe.  These are somebody’s daughters, granddaughters, nieces. What will be their future?

We seek to focus our response to groups that are most vulnerable and are in geographic regions where we believe we can make a difference and have a legitimate responsibility and capacity to respond. Specifically, we want to focus on five geographic locations that support approximately 17,500 people: Revival Conference Centre, Kajo-Keji County, South Sudan—3,000 people; Rajaf—2,500 people; Bari Parish in Central Juba—3,500 people; Kuda Refugee Settlement Centre, Juba County—2,500 people; and Zaipi Refugee Centre, Adjoumani, Uganda—6,000 people.

refugees

The above centers are chosen with the understanding that we already have established presence and we have the human resources and coordination capacity to implement relief and development care.  The needs are urgent, specifically in Kajo-Keji and Juba where there are no United Nations emergency assistance programs in those centers.  Our plan is to provide support by 1) Assistance in providing Food, Shelter, Medicine and Essential Supplies, and 2) Evangelism and Scripture Placement. Predictable, scheduled, equitable, and transparent approach to distribution of emergency aids will be ensured, and evangelism and Scripture Placement programs for children and adults will be established in existing shelters and newly erected tents to provide spiritual care and counseling.

One of the most critical needs we have at four of the five centers chosen is installing water systems. We are estimating $65,000 to install clean drinking water in four locations with priority given to Zaipi Refugee Centre, Revival Conference Centre in Kajo-Keji, and Kuda Refugee Settlement Centre in Juba.  For example, the Zaipi Refugee Center in Adjoumani, Uganda has an extreme shortage of drinking and cooking water. The current water supply was meant for 500 people. However, there are currently 6,000 people who have camped there. Most of the people are young children and women.  There is sufficient water to bring across from Adjoumani town’s water system, but we need pipes, generator, water tanks, and water distribution points. We have checked for prices in Kampala and for just under $10,000 we can purchase, transport and build large water storage tanks and install distribution pipes and taps throughout the compound of the refugee center.  The supplies and installers will be transported from Kampala to Adjoumani.  When this crisis is over, the water system will be used for Christian conferences and training events that will be hosted at the center and will be used for many years to come.

refugee camp         refugee children

It is my firm belief that God has a perfect plan for South Sudan.  This setback is not the end of the work of God or this nation. It will take us time to get things back on track and planning will need to be adjusted. Such is God’s work, and He is not caught by surprise. He will continue to reveal to us the next chapter for this nation.

Please consider helping Michael and these pastors in this urgent mission of mercy by designating a gift to provide clean water in these refugee camps. This is a plea to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction” with the love of Christ. I’m grateful for Michael and a strong team of pastors and evangelists who are the “boots on the ground” in this crisis. Thank you for helping in this time of pressing need.