Welcome to the new year! We are at a crux of time in our busy lives where can look forward at what the Lord may have for us in the coming days, and, at the same time, take some moments to reflect on how he has led us through the past year. We have recently heard from several of our supported missionaries and local partners about how God has worked in and around them this year. Here are some encouraging stories of what God is doing around the world!
PRAISE THE LORD! The Wiesners in Malaysia are thankful for a growing family and Russell’s recent appointment to the position of International Director of ROCKLIN GLOBAL (RG). This is a shift from their association with the Pioneers organization. RG allows for a more specific focus on ministry through international education. They continue to have wonderful ministry partners and are energized to possibly expand their international school into a large, unused mall. The current teachers there are doing an amazing job and continue to be active in the community and build relationships outside of the teaching day to build roads to sharing the Gospel.
PRAISE THE LORD! From the Philippines, Carol Johnson sent recent reports of a mom associated with a local childcare center. She became a believer after some time as a worker there. God allowed protection for one of the center’s leaders from a run of mysterious injuries that could have had debilitating consequences. There has been success in a new reading curriculum at the same center that includes Good News stories!
PRAISE THE LORD! At December’s church family meeting, Linda Reed gave a tremendous report of God’s continuous working hand via the Ambassadors of Reconciliation Ministry (ARM) at our local jail. They are seeing the fruits of many years of sowing God’s love in the lives of inmates. Consistent presentation of God’s love and words of truth are breaking down walls put in place by false religion.
Over the next year, please keep on praying for our world-wide friends. Small groups and ministry teams have been given specific people that can be encouraged and prayed for within group meetings. Might we encourage you individually to clip out the short list below and place it on your fridge, car dash or bathroom mirror to do a quick blessing for one of them as you go about your day?
Also, please make sure to join us as we welcome Dylan Lundberg during his visit home from teaching in Nepal. We’ll be hearing from him on January 19th during service and for an extended time afterward, including a light luncheon of delicious noodle dishes.
Looking forward to a new year with you, our church family!
The Missions Committee
Our EFC Current Long-term Global Outreach & Stateside Partners:
1. Carol Johnson, EFC ReachGlobal, Philippines
2. Emily Hochstetler, EFC ReachGlobal, Congo
3. Gus Peters, EFC ReachGlobal, India
4. Steve & Marlene Shickley, EFC ReachGlobal, Thailand
5. San & Jill Tabiendo, EFC ReachGloba, Spain
6. Russell & Sharla Wiesner, ROCKLIN GLOBAL, Malaysia
7. Ken & JoAnn Warwick, EFC ReachGlobal, USA
8. Neal & Judy Brower, EFCA Western District Superintendents, USA
9. Richard & Keri Nakamura, SEND International, USA
10. Ian Carlisle, ARM, Butte County Jail
11. Linda Reed, ARM, Butte County Jail
12. Joel & Virginia Cook, AWANA, Northern California (and beyond!)
Missions Committee Book Recommendation (a few copies are available for loan in the missions’ window)
WARNING: This book has the potential to radically redirect the course of your life.
Let the Nations be Glad is not a biography, or a riveting missionary story, nor an easy read, but Dr. John Piper gives us an in-depth biblical basis for missions that is very much needed. He challenges our man-centered mindset and, with a God-focused approach, helps us to reconsider the ultimate goal of and fuel for missions. A couple of key lines of the book are: “Missions exists because worship doesn’t” (fuel), and “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is” (goal).
This 264-page book is focused on the supremacy of God in missions. Building on the theological foundation of worship as the purpose of mission work, Piper continues with a valuable chapter on prayer (the power), as well as a moving chapter on suffering (the means) as it relates to missions.
Piper tackles some heavy missiological issues in the second section of the book such as the eternality of hell, the necessity of Christ’s work, and the necessity of conscious faith in Christ. As redeemed children of God, are we longing to see worshippers from every unreached people group? That is what will indicate the completion of the missionary task.
In the third section, the author demonstrates that there is no conflict between passion for God and compassion for people. To do so, he draws from the writings of Jonathan Edwards.
The book, in its third edition, is now a classic on missions and a must-read for anyone interested in mission work.
Do you desire a greater passion for the Gospel, for God to be worshipped by believers from every people group, for your faith to grow and your motives to be challenged? This book is for you as you start 2020.
Review by Carol Hensel (Several online book reviews were used for insight: Danny Pierce on Boston Bible Geeks, Barry Lawrence, Director of Church Coaching, and Robin Weekes of 9Marks.)