"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


Justin Taylor Interviews Tim Keesee

Justin Taylor (from Crossway) interviews Tim Keesee about his recently released book, Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World's Difficult Places:

  • 00:13 – What was the impetus for the book?
  • 01:25 – How did you first get involved in world missions?
  • 03:15 – What are one or two experiences that have shaped you as a Christian?
  • 05:31 – What are some of the myths related to missions that you’ve encountered?
  • 08:04 – What are you asking the Lord to do through this book?
  • 09:22 – An excerpt from the Dispatches from the Front DVD series

Learn more about the book and download an excerpt.

2013 Pastors' Conferences: "Advancing the Gospel in the World's Difficult Places"


  • When: Friday, June 14, 2013, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Where: Colonial Baptist Church, 2221 Centerville Turnpike, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
  • Download or Print the Invitation with Agenda:

  • Registration: There is no charge for this conference, however we ask that you register to let us know of your plans to attend. You can do so by using the link in the above Agenda or by clicking the "Sign Up" button below. Attendees are responsible for their own meals and lodging. Coffee and snacks will be provided during the break.
  • Recommended Hotels: 
    • The Founders Inn and Spa
      • 5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA  23464, 1.757.366.5700 or online
      • Rates: use the rate code “FMI” to receive the discounted nightly rates for Colonial Queen or Two Queen Rooms below: Thursday, June 13: $105 per night + tax; Friday-Saturday, June 14- 15: $115 per night + tax (no booking deadline to get these rates)
    • Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier
      • 709 Eden Way North, Chesapeake, VA 23320, 1.757.312.0020 or online.
      • Two different options: Rate is based on availability at time of booking – so book your rooms ASAP.  All reservations must be guaranteed with an acceptable form of payment. To cancel a reservation please do so by 3pm EST 24 Hours Prior to Arrival. Check-in time is 3pm. Guests may be checked-in earlier depending on occupancy levels and availability of ready rooms. Check out time is noon.
        • Special Nightly Rate of $109 + tax for 1 King or $119 + tax for 2 Queens (using the special code: "G-FRNT" in the box labeled group/corporate #; or by referencing "Frontline Missions International room block rate"; rate available only if booked before May 13, 2013)
        • Special Nightly Rate of $86 + tax (using special code "30857" online in the box labeled group/corporate #; or by referencing the "Chesapeake Churches Rate" on the phone; may not be available for any or all nights, as this is a general region rate)


In 2013, Frontline Missions International will be hosting three Frontline Experience (FX) conferences in three different cities along the East Coast! Choose either a one-day conference in Virginia Beach or New York City or an extended two-day conference in Brevard, NC.

  • FX-VB (Frontline Experience: Virginia Beach)
    • When: Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 9 AM to 5 PM (check-in begins at 8 AM)
    • Where: Colonial Baptist Church and Virginia Beach Theological Seminary, 2221 Centerville Turnpike, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
    • More Details about Applying and Registration Fees at www.FrontlineExperience.org.
    • Applications for this event are now open!
  • FX-TW (Frontline Experience: The Wilds)
    • When: Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, 2013
    • Where: The Fremont Center at The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center, 1000 Wilds Ridge Road, Brevard, NC 28712
    • More Details about Extended Conference and FX-TW Costs Available Soon (Breakout Sessions will include a special "Pastors' Track" at this event)
    • Applications will open on July 1, 2013.
  • FX-NYC (Frontline Experience: New York City)
    • When: Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, 2013
    • Where: The First Baptist Church in the City of New York, 265 West 79th Street (corner of 79th and Broadway, just steps away from the 1 train 79th Street station), New York, NY 10024
    • Agenda for this event is similar to FX-TW. More Details about FX-NYC Available Soon. (Breakout Sessions will include a special "Pastors' Track" at this event)
    • Applications will open on September 1, 2013.

The FX program is designed to equip spiritually mature, ministry focused individuals with the skills needed to minister in places where there is open and systematic hostility to the Gospel. If you have individuals or couples in your congregation who are interested in following Christ, making Him known, and accepting the risks of taking the Gospel to even the hardest places, the Frontline Experience is designed to help equip them for this pursuit.

Contact Us

Frontline Missions International • PO Box 829 • Taylors, SC 29687

(864) 451-5550 • office@frontlinemissions.info • www.FrontlineMissions.info