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Articles Tagged with: Issue 2

The Kingdom Impact of Your Prayers

Pray bold prayers for kingdom work. Expect big answers

What do you really believe about prayer?  Do you pray like you truly believe God will move through your prayers?  Do you pray like you believe the Great Commission will move forward when you get on your knees?

Too often we think that prayer is nice but not in the actual category of doing something about the Great Commission. Yet author E.M. Bounds writes, “The story of every great Christian achievement is the history of answered prayer.”

When you see God at work in the world,  He is moving in response to the prayers of His people.   You need look no further than Bethany itself to find an example of God’s acting in response to prayer.  Our ministry did not begin with a checklist, or a mission statement, or a board meeting.  It began with prayer. Ted Hegre, one of Bethany’s original founders, offered up a simple prayer, “We give ourselves completely into your hand to do what we can to further the gospel throughout
the world.”

Many of us will never be called to the ends of the earth.  But that does not mean we are not called to the battlefield.  In fact, for many of us, the impact we make on the edges of the Kingdom is through prayer.  For this reason, I am calling for our readers to commit to bold intercession for Bethany missionaries, for their work and for the people groups they work among.

It is a profound mystery and a profound truth that God works through the prayers of His people.  Never underestimate the impact of your prayers in encouraging, supporting and uplifting Bethany missionaries.

Today I urge you to reflect on God’s heart for the nations, His gift to the nations (Christ Jesus), and His great mission to which you have been called.  Let these thoughts inspire you to a new level of prayer.

Will you be willing to pray daily for one or more Bethany missionaries?  Will you be willing to faithfully intercede for an unreached people group?   If your answer is yes, you will open a window for God to move through you.  If your answer is yes, then pray bold prayers.  Expect lives to be transformed.  Expect the kingdom to advance into dark places.  Expect our God to answer in a big way!

This article was taken from the spring 2016 issue of the coMISSION Magazine.

The Old Story in a New Tongue

Fulfilling the Great Commission by Accelerating Bible Translation

In 2015, a group of Zambian Christians attended a church service they will never forget. Their pastor was reading John 11 from a newly completed New Testament translation. It was the first time the church had heard the story of Lazarus in their heart language of Nsenga.

As the pastor read about the resurrected Lazarus stumbling out of the tomb towards Jesus, the church members started laughing out loud with joy; they had read this Bible story plenty of times, but had never heard it end like this. Cobbling together the story in foreign tongues for so many years, they had never comprehended its dramatic climax. One of the Zambian believers explained to the pastor, “Now we understand that it is about Jesus—his power to raise the dead!”

While one community in Zambia gleefully emerged from generations of Bible poverty, millions of Christians around the world aren’t so fortunate. In fact, only nineteen percent of the world’s languages have access to a complete New Testament. And only seven percent have a complete Bible. That leaves more than a billion people without access to God’s Word in their heart language. Like the Nsenga-speakers in Zambia, they have no idea what good news they’re missing.Poverty-02

Bible agencies and translators, including American Bible Society, Biblica, Wycliffe, The Seed Company, and SIL International, have come together in the Every Tribe Every Nation alliance to eradicate Bible poverty around the world.

Bethany is seeking to support these efforts through our Publish4All (P4A) print-on-demand system. Kenneth Hopson, a P4A partner working in Northern Uganda, wanted to get Bibles and Christian resources to those who had nothing. He was approached to provide the Gospel of Luke to the Thur and Ma’di Okollo tribes in northern Uganda. Up to this point it had been impossible. The P4A system enabled Kenneth to easily produce this scripture portion for the first time in these Ugandan and South Sudanese languages!

Every Tribe Every Nation’s goal is to accelerate Bible translation into the heart languages of unreached peoples and distribute them through electronic and print-on-demand formats like Kenneth produced in Uganda. Once a Bible translation is complete, it gets uploaded to the Digital Bible Library, where it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Thanks to these advancements in Bible translation and technological advances such as Publish4All, the future looks bright. Although a billion people are still desperate to engage God’s Word in their heart language, Bible translation and distribution is being revolutionized, much like Gutenberg’s printing press did more than 500 years ago. Through technological innovation and persistent prayer, it is plausible that in our lifetime, the Bible will be accessible to every person on earth.

Through Publish4All, Bethany has deployed 89 digital print systems in 55 countries.  Bibles and Christian resources are now reaching the neediest places of the world.

This article was taken from Issue 2 of the coMISSION Magazine. You can download a free copy of the magazine, by clicking here.

Where Isn’t the Thai Church?

Man’s List or God’s List

In Matthew 24:14 Jesus said “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  Most Christians understand that when Jesus said this, the word nations is not referring to countries or nation-states. Instead Jesus is referring to different ethnicities (from the Greek word ethne).  However, what Jesus did not do was give us a list of who these people are and where they are located.

Because Jesus did not provide a list, mission organizations have created their own.  These lists attempt to classify every group in the world. When you focus on a specific country, it is not difficult to identify problems with its data.  Some of it is incorrect or incomplete and at times very old.   However, the biggest problem arising from these lists is that millions of unreached people are ignored.   A missionary will drive by unreached villages to arrive at a village that is on their list of unreached peoples.  In the process they bypass thousands of other lost peoples to reach that one group.

In Thailand there are many different peoples and the goal of the national church is to reach every one of them, both those on a mission organization’s list, and those on God’s list, and those we don’t know about yet.  The goal of the Thai church is to plant a church in every province, district, sub-district, and village in Thailand.  By reaching every village the opportunity is much greater that every ethne will have heard the “gospel of the kingdom.”

Though the gospel has been in Thailand for 188 years, 75% percent of the sub-districts still have no church.  Sixty Percent of the country’s population lives in these sub-districts. The accompanying map shows the situation clearly.  The green indicates there is at least one church in that sub-district and red means there is no church.   The three northernmost provinces have only 5% of the population in Thailand yet 51% of the Christians.   For decades missionaries have bypassed millions of lost people to reach those on their list.  This needs to change if every ethne in Thailand is to be reached.

If they don’t have a church how are they going to know who God is?  Who will teach them?

Thailand Infographic-01

 

This article was taken from Issue 2 of the coMISSION Magazine. You can download a free copy of the magazine, by clicking here.

coMISSION Magazine – Issue 2

Our second issue of coMISSION Magazine is out and should be hitting a number of mailboxes now.

The coMISSION magazine is a biannual publication if Bethany International that seeks to help others see the need and hear the call of world missions. The great commission is not a task for a select few, but an assignment to work together on as the body of Christ. The magazine seeks to illustrate the current state of missions and the current needs on the field. It’s articles also provide real examples of how others are taking action to meet these needs to inspire readers to do the same.

In this issue:

  • “All Nations Blessed”—Still Not a Reality by Kerry Olson
  • Off the Couch and Into the World by Tim Freeman
  • Where Isn’t the Thai Church by Dwight Martin
  • Rethinking the American Dream by Dan Sanchez
  • The Old Story in a New Tongue by Andrew Hood
  • The Kingdom Impact of Your Prayers by David Entler
  • The Power of Short Term Mission Trips by Mary Edwards
  • Strategically Engaged for Long-Term Impact by Doug Goodmunson

Click here to download a digital copy of issue 2.

 

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