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Global affiliate mobilizes despite war and conflict

“Interacting with an unreached people was very edifying for me,” said Jerome after being led through Xplore and visiting an unreached tribe. “It gave me confidence and courage to serve the Lord. I no longer lament insignificant treasures, because now I see that there are those who are suffering more than me.” Jerome was a student at the Summer School of Missions, founded by Eraston, a CMM Global Affiliate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Eraston founded the school to mobilize Congolese believers to take the gospel into conflict zones and unreached areas throughout the war-torn country. The median age of the DRC’s population is 19, and while Eraston believes it is strategic to mobilize these young people, he has also found that they are often intimidated by the violence and financial insecurity they face on the mission field in a country at war. “This is due to the fact that both the church and its youth are lacking information and missionary training.” Eraston said. To provide this necessary training, he started the Summer School of Missions, a multi-week hands-on intensive course on the biblical basis for mission that requires an in depth study of Xplore. The French translation of Xplore has provided Eraston with a platform to share God’s heart for the nations. After leading a group of students through Xplore in just one week last summer, Eraston took the class to visit a nearby Pygmy tribe. The Pygmies have a long history of exploitation by outsiders, and are wary of missionaries. This sort of resistance, Eraston thought, would provide a great atmosphere for the students to... read more

Meet Yussei: How one woman’s mobilization journey is leading to rich partnerships in Latin America

She sat across the room from us, a short girl with a strong presence. We had never seen her at one of our monthly meetings of mission mobilizers in Peru before. The pointedness of the questions she asked immediately caught my attention. Latinos are not usually straightforward or direct in their conversations, and as an American from New Jersey this rare quality in Latin America appealed to me. We had no idea then just how close we would get with her. Yussei (pictured front left) is a youth pastor at a small church in San Juan de Lurigancho, one of the districts on the outskirts of the greater of Lima, Peru metropolitan area. She had been involved with her local church for years, but had struggled with the idea of a global focus in ministry versus a local one. She had some involvement in mission projects before, as they are understood in her church. But she always understood global and local as competing ministries, not complimentary ones. “At the beginning it is feared that by having a vision for the world I would lose my attention for the house (local church),” she says. “We are afraid to invest time, talent and treasure in the global mission because we feel it would cause us to lose investment in the local. But nothing is further from the truth. When we open our lives and ministries to the global purpose of God, we truly begin to fulfill our local purpose as well, and God opens his heart and His treasures.” As we befriended her and began to share more and more with... read more

Breaking the norms to build up the kingdom

In Kenya, it is easy for a student to get stuck in the “cycle of life.” As young adults, Kenyans are expected to get good grades in school so that they can go to a good university, make good grades, get a good job, make a lot of money and provide for their family. Their children are then expected to repeat this cycle, and so on. These very same expectations were upon Alice Kalunda. When we first met Alice, she was a junior at Kenyatta University studying world religions. She had a heart for missions, but life and societal pressures discouraged her from pursuing that calling. Instead, she wanted to study world religions in order to serve as a teacher in local schools throughout Kenya. Because Alice had this passion for missions, she was really excited to meet missionaries from America. We were able to take Alice and her friends through the Xplore study, and it was like she was seeing the world for the first time. She was overwhelmed with some of the things she was learning. She had no clue there were people in the world who have never heard about Jesus. Before the Xplore study, she read the Bible as a random collection of stories with her at the center, instead of reading it as as one story, with one theme: the glory of God filling the earth! All of this information was so exciting for her that she started gathering all her friends to learn these same things. We were overwhelmed with how many people she was inviting to go through an Xplore study. Eventually,... read more

International students catch the vision for mobilization

Nearly 800,000 international students study in the U.S. each year, and more than half of them come from countries in the 10/40 Window with limited to no access to the gospel. While this represents a significant opportunity for evangelism to the unreached without even leaving our cities, there are also students who are already following Jesus when they arrive in the U.S. This creates an entirely new opportunity for mission mobilization. This is exactly what happened in our College Station, Texas, team recently. CMM mobilizer Tori met Lyly when they were paired as conversation partners. Lyly is from Indonesia, home to the largest population of Muslims in the world. She lives in College Station while her husband is attending school there. While Lyly had already been following Jesus, she had never been taught that she has a role to play in the Great Commission. After Tori invited her to an Xplore study, she began to realize Jesus commands His followers to make disciples of all nations and that He had given an her incredible opportunity to share the gospel and make disciples of her fellow international students in College Station. College Station is home to 7,000 international students like Lyly and her husband. Most of them are from countries where people are born, live and die without ever hearing of Jesus. It has been evident to our team that God positions people to seek and find Him, just as Acts 17:26-27 tells us. We believe He has purposefully positioned His sheep from unreached parts of the world in university towns, with Christ followers who will tell them of the... read more

Mission movements are gaining momentum in Southeast Asia

Dozens of people were coming forward. The platform at the front was crowded with young Indonesian students, some with heads bowed down in worship, others with hands and faces raised high in surrender. On that summer day in Indonesia, our executive director, Steve Shadrach, and an Indonesian mobilizer challenged 300 students to commit at least three years of their life to take the gospel to an unreached Muslim people group, and more than 80 of them came forward. This was the culminating moment of the Finishers Conference, one of many such events led by the National Unreached Peoples Network in Indonesia. Ananda, director of the Network and a CMM global affiliate, has used these conferences, along with others, as a strategy for expanding the mission movement in Indonesia. At another Finishers Conference, more than 100 people committed to go to the unreached. As part of the Network’s follow up plan, many of these students are placed into Xplore small group studies. After completing the study, they are then connected to training opportunities that will prepare them to go to the unreached. Stories like this are the result of months and even years of groundwork being laid by the CMM’s Southeast Asia Catalytic Team. For the past three years, they have been teaching, networking, and partnering with influential mission leaders and church pastors throughout 11 countries in Southeast Asia. These relationships have created opportunities for new collaboration and partnerships, which have led to initiatives like mobilizer trainings and the Finishers Conferences—all of which spread mission vision to the body of Christ and help launch more missionaries to the unreached. The... read more

Ethiopian families embrace God’s mission

There is no bigger advocate for discipling families in Africa to embrace the Great Commission than Tariku, CMM global affiliate from Ethiopia. As the executive director of Horn of Africa Evangelical Mission Engagers, Tariku knows that to have a sustainable mission movement to the unreached, we must reach families. To empower and train families in living out the Great Commission, our family mobilization ministry, Weave, launched The BIG Story Training in Ethiopia three years ago. Since then, it has been embraced and championed by key mobilization partners like Tariku. Of the eight BIG Story Trainings held in Ethiopia since 2014, six of them have been led by Ethiopian trainers. Earlier this year, Tariku reported that the Amharic translation of the training was complete and had been distributed to 15 trainers from two key regions of the country. Tariku sees The BIG Story Training as a core piece of his organization’s mobilization strategy. He shared with us, “In light of Africa being the youngest continent, and because of the strategic place family and children have in building missional culture, our organization is taking The BIG Story Training as our top mobilization tool of igniting mission movements for the decades ahead.” God has used this mobilization tool to cast vision across the nation of Ethiopia for the role families can play in the Great Commission. Tariku and the Weave team celebrate Ethiopian families like Shemel’s. After attending a BIG Story Training, Shemel and his family began embracing the habits of a World Christian family. The father of two daughters, Shemel and his family continue to pray daily for the unreached, as... read more

Refugee crisis offers unprecedented access to the unreached

The world is in the midst of the greatest migration of Muslims in the last 100 years, and Europe, specifically Germany, is the destination for many of these refugees. They are coming from some of the most difficult areas to reach with the gospel, such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Many of these Muslims are now disenchanted with Islam, and as they have the chance to exercise religious freedom for the first time, many of them are showing up at the church’s doorstep to learn about Jesus. Every ministry leader we have met with agrees this is an unprecedented window of opportunity for reaching many unreached peoples with the gospel. The evangelical church, especially in Germany, is seizing the opportunity to reach these desperate people, but many more laborers are needed. Churches and ministries in the area have asked for the CMM’s help to raise up more World Christians to join in the work of reaching refugees with the gospel. This fall we launched a new CMM team to Frankfurt, Germany to partner with existing efforts to regionally mobilize the European church. The team has already been invited to partner with several churches and ministries, including Africa Inland Mission. AIM has been planting churches among the unreached for more than 100 years and has invited our team to train and coach their mobilizers in three different European countries. Our team also will have the opportunity to train churches that want to welcome Arab Christians into their congregations and begin outreach efforts to refugees. We are eager to join the work God is doing through His people in... read more

Chinese missionaries are the missing link

The towering mountains of southwest China are home to thousands of Himalayan Buddhists. Flat-roofed village homes nestle in the lush green river valleys below, and on the outskirts of town, yak herders live in tent dwellings as they have for thousands of years. In this remote region, where many Buddhists have never heard the good news of Jesus, God is moving in surprising ways. In one such village of 70,000 people, a Buddhist temple gleams white in the sun. Overhead, strings of colorful prayer flags flutter in the breeze. Large Buddhist prayer wheels line the outside walls, awaiting worshippers who will spin the wheels in hopes of gaining merit. In the monastery, young boys live together as monks-in-training. They receive a basic education, as well as training in Buddhist scripture and practices like meditation. The man in charge of their education is called a Living Buddha, who is highly respected by the people and has great spiritual power and authority in the community. For more than 20 years, a Western missionary team has made yearly trips to visit this Living Buddha and build a relationship with him and others in the village. As their friendship developed over time, the Living Buddha began to trust this group of missionaries. Although they have shared the gospel with him, he has never professed faith in Jesus. But a couple years ago, this Living Buddha made the surprising announcement that he wanted the 300 monks under his tutelage to become Christian. He requested that his monks be trained in the Bible, English, Mandarin Chinese, health, and math. So at his request and under... read more

Living a new Kenyan dream

When the CMM team in Kenya met Peter, he was studying at the most secular and prestigious university in Nairobi, in full pursuit of the Kenyan dream. He hoped to someday work for the U.N. and help support his family in the village, as any good, educated Kenyan is expected to do. Peter was born in central Kenya, where his family raised him as a Muslim. But at the age of 15, Peter discovered the words and teachings of Christ, and began to fall in love with Jesus. Soon after, he decided to follow Jesus and leave behind the teachings of Islam. As our team began getting to know Peter, they went through the Xplore and Go Mobilize studies with him. At first, Peter clung tightly to his personal dreams and his idea of being a good Kenyan. But over a two-year period involving life-on-life discipleship and a cross-cultural training project in Ethiopia, Peter’s heart began to change. After the training in Ethiopia, Peter realized his life purpose was not just to get a good paying job, but to participate in the Great Commission Jesus gave to His church. He began sharing this new passion with his fellow classmates and inviting them to live their lives in obedience to God’s mission. But even with his new passion, Peter still didn’t know his most strategic role in the Great Commission. So when the CMM team planned a trip to northern Kenya to visit a missionary school, he immediately signed up. This missionary school is located in a town that is a well-known stronghold of Islam in Kenya. It is the... read more

Xplore introduces Brazilian teen to his strategic role

The CMM is committed to getting the gospel to the unreached by igniting mission sending movements from outside the western world—where 80 percent of evangelicals live, places like Brazil and many other Latin American countries. While the U.S. still remains the largest sender of missionaries in the world, Brazil has has been experiencing massive growth in mission sending and is among the largest mission senders in the Global South. Tiago is a Brazilian believer who is a mobilizer at heart. As director of the mobilization division for a Brazilian mission agency, he became a friend and co-laborer of the CMM team that was based in Sao Paulo for several years. One of the tools Tiago has adopted into his mobilization strategy is the CMM’s Xplore study. Like many of our friends around the world who use Xplore, Tiago has formed his own way of presenting the study. Mobilizing mainly throughout the state of Sáo Paolo, he speaks and teaches at numerous churches, sharing about missions, recruiting mission workers to be trained, and raising prayer warriors and financial partners to undergird the missions movement. For many Christians, engaging with Xplore is the first time they have the chance to hear about unreached people groups and God’s global plan to bless all the nations. Tiago is committed to introducing believers to new ideas like this. Last summer, Tiago and his team planned and coordinated another Xplore study. They decided to promote the study on Facebook, which is how Wilson, a 16-year-old high school student, heard about it. Wilson lives in Sáo José do Rio Preto City in Sáo Paolo Brazil with... read more

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