Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Famous Missionary Quotes 1

by Melissa Chang |

Famous Missionaries, Missions Quotes

 floating clouds
Photo by tipiro

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” — John Keith Falconer

“God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply” — Hudson Taylor

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him” — Hudson Taylor

“The Great Commission1 is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed” — Hudson Taylor

“If I had 1,000 lives, I’d give them all for China” — Hudson Taylor

“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.” — Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” — William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions

“To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” — William Carey, pioneer missionary to India

“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” — Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950’s trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador

“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it” — P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

“In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been” — Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” — David Livingstone

“Sympathy is no substitute for action.” — David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

“Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us.” — Keith Wright

tehran sunset
Photo by Hamed Saber

“The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible” — Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” — C.T. Studd

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” — C.T. Studd
“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” — Oswald J. Smith [ more on Oswald Smith ]

“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” — Oswald J. Smith

“The mission of the church is missions” — Oswald J. Smith

“We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” — Oswald J. Smith

“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!” — Keith Green

“There is nothing in the world or the Church — except the church’s disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.” — Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

“If God calls you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a king” — Jordan Grooms (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

“If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn’t it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death.” — Dave Davidson

“World missions was on God’s mind from the beginning.” — Dave Davidson

“In our lifetime, wouldn’t it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?” — Dave Davidson

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart” — Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

“No reserves. No retreats. No regrets” — William Borden

“The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating.” — unknown

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”

“Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved.” — Charles Spurgeon

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time” — Carl F. H. Henry

“Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop.” — Kurt von Schleicher

“Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” –John Piper

“Go, send, or disobey.” — John Piper

“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

“Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence.” — Unknown

Japan: Etiquette, Customs, Facts and Vital Information

by Lizbeth Pereira |

Asia, Cultural Sensitivity, Facts and Stats, Japan

JAPAN: FACTS & STATS

 japan map

Location: East Asia, a group of islands located between North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, and the Korean Peninsula.

Capital: Tokyo

Climate: Cool temperate in the Northern regions to tropical in the South.

Population: 127,288,416 as of July 2008. An almost routine familiarity with high technology in almost all walks of life, a disciplined work ethic, and comparatively small allocation towards defence funds have seen Japan rise to be one of the most powerful economies in the modern world. Agriculture, seafood, electronics, domestic appliance industries, automobiles, and tourism are the strong foundations that rule its economy. Japan has an unemployment rate of under 4% as of 2007 estimates and no citizens below poverty line.

street in japanEthnic Make-up: Japanese 98%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, Others 1.1% (includes Brazilians of Japanese origin who returned in the 1990s).

Religions: Buddhism and Shintoism 84%, Others 16%, Christianity 0.7%. The Japanese Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but no religion shall be privileged over an other not attempt to influence politics.

Language: Japanese

Government: Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government.

Travel Issues: Travel to Japan requires a passport that is valid for at least 3 months beyond intended period of stay, and a return ticket or ticket for onward travel. Countries such as USA require no visa for up to 3 months of visiting. Other categories such as Business, Diplomatic Missions, Sports, Education, etc have specific requirements and current information can be had from the nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Non-US citizens should have a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. They need to submit 2 completed and signed visa forms with 2 recent passport photos, a completed Cover Page and Credit Card Authorization forms, copy of itinerary or return ticket, and a business letter stating purpose of travel if on business.

Health & Safety: No vaccinations are asked for when travelling to Japan. However, it would be wise to check up on specifications close to date of travel in case of epidemics.

SOCIETY & CULTURE

Mount Fuji

The People
The Japanese people are an amazing amalgamation of a millennia old civilisation and an ultra-modern culture, especially so in big cities such as Tokyo. They exemplify a deep respect, politeness, discipline, and responsibility in their undertakings supported by a harmony that pervades social behaviour.

The Religion
The Japanese practice a form of syncretism which means an easy synthesis of elements of various religions. Practitioners of Buddhism have no qualms celebrating Christmas or incorporating Shintoism in their rituals just as philosophies such as Taoism or Confucianism. Shinto is the original religion of Japan but it was more a way of life with no formal founder, holy book, or fixed rules. Buddhism came to Japan from India in the 6th century and easily took over from Shintoism. Protestant missionaries came to Japan in the 19th century and spread Christianity. There is a smattering of Hindus, Sikhs, and American Jews in addition to the main religions.

snow monkeysRole of Family
The conservative family structure involving generations living together has undergone a shift in modern times. But the family ties are strong and the elderly are still considered the responsibility of the progeny. Children are taught the values of interdependence with in families rather than encouraged to strike out on their own. Families are seen as a source of support as well as a unit of pride and honour that has to be maintained.

Ancestors
Japan celebrates Respect for the Aged Day as a national holiday. Old age marks a period where individuals willingly relinquish reins of control to the next in line and retire to less strenuous options. They are then in the care of their kin and treated with respect and care simply due to their seniority. This duty normally falls on the daughter –in-law of the household.

In modern societies however, most pensioners are happy to remain by themselves as far as possible and most continue to work well past retirement age. This has brought about a dramatic rise in the number of nursing homes and retirement centre, a concept which was non-existent about fifty years ago.

Recreational Activities
From manga, anime, ikebana, origami, to karate, karaoke, and video gaming, Japan has a range of recreational and sport activities that have avid followers of all ages.

Anything else important for this culture
Japanese customs may come across as strange to outsiders and this is understood and accepted by them. But it earns you a lot of respect if you attempt to follow their etiquette and manners.

ETIQUETTE & CUSTOMS

 downtown japan

Meetings & Greetings
In Japan you greet people with a low formal bow from the waist down. The depth of the bow depends on how much respect you intend to convey. The more senior the person you’re greeting, the lower you bow. Foreigners can make do with a slight bow or even shake hands instead.

Courtesy
It is considered impolite to introduce yourselves unless pushed to do so. You do not make direct eye contact with seniors. There is a great deal of emphasis on good manners, quiet conversation, and polite behaviour. For instance, it is considered rude to interrupt, disagree blatantly, or argue. There is a subtle play of body language to express these things without insulting or hurting the sentiments of others. There is also a great need to save face or avoid humiliating anyone or putting anyone in an embarrassing situation.

soba noodlesGift Giving
Gift-giving is no spur of the moment thing in Japan, rather, it is a well thought out and planned gesture that speaks volumes about both presenter and receiver. Chocolates wrapped well should do for most occasions. The colour of the wrapping is also significant as they are associated with good or bad fortune. Get advice from a local friend or the shopkeeper to be on the safe side. Gifting flowers can be quite a bother as some flowers such as lilies and lotuses are considered inauspicious. Potted plants are unlucky but bonsai is good. If its something countable, make sure it adds up to an odd number. However, avoid 9 as it is unlucky.

Dress Code
Formal suits are ideal for business meetings for both men and women. Conservative is key.

Dining Etiquette
Wait to be seated at the table for this is based on seniority. And again, do not start eating till the honoured guest or the eldest member has begun. If using chopsticks make sure you do not point them directly at anyone. Place them on the chopstick rest between mouthfuls. They should be placed parallel and never crossed. It is okay to slurp soup

 Japan Castle

Visiting a home
If you’re invited to dinner at a home, make sure you leave your footwear outside and put on slippers provided by the family. If you need to visit the toilets they have special footwear for that. Bring an appropriate gift and give it unobtrusively without drawing attention to the act. Avoid being very late or very early.

geisha in japanCommunication Style
Very few Japanese speak fluent English and it would serve you well to learn a few useful phrases to make life easier. Non-verbal communication is another thing that you should be acquainted with in order to interact better. Japanese people are quick to catch nuances in body language and base opinions on that. Japanese people usually maintain an almost expressionless face as they speak in order to avoid conveying any hidden meaning. If someone is frowning slightly as you speak, it means disagreement. Maintaining eye contact conveys impudence. Inhaling through clenched teeth and scratching the eyebrow are all signs to watch out for.

Dos and Don’ts
As in most eastern cultures, the Japanese have strong beliefs about good and bad fortune. They have definite dos and don’ts where these are concerned and it will serve you well to know what’s taboo and avoid it. Business dealings are decidedly easier if they trust and respect you. So your first priority should be to earn these invaluable credit points. It helps to learn a bit of the language and formalities as it helps to integrate faster into mainstream society.

Click here to take the quiz: How Well Do You REALLY Know Japan?

Geisha photo by ~ezs
Castle photo by Freakland – ???????
Snow monkeys by Marc Veraart
Noodles by ~MVI~
People by tata_aka_T
Downtown by OiMax

ABC’s Nightline Interviews Missionaries

by Melissa Chang |

Missions in the News

Last Monday, ABC Nightline featured an interview with missionaries Timothy Scott and Will Decker of the TV series, Travel the Road.  Tim and Will started out traveling around the globe in 1998 to preach the gospel and reach remote tribes that may have never heard.  While on their journeys, they started taking video diaries of their adventures and their footage has now been made into a popular TV Series called Travel the Road. Lately it has been on TBN at 11:30 Eastern time on Saturday nights.

Tim and Will have been to over 55 countries and faced many sorts of dangers on their way. ABC Nightline asks many hard questions, such as if they believe that in preaching the gospel they are changing cultures.  To view the interview, please click in the box below.

Don’t Be Discouraged

by Melissa Chang |

Famous Missionaries

 Turn Back
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik  

Once we get that excitement that we are called to missions of any kind, immediately we often face those voices that try to talk us back into “reality.” Well, before you give in, you should know that even the most famous missionaries of long ago faced these voices of doubt and discouragement.

Below is a portion of the writing of James Hudson Taylor, famous missionary to China in the 1800s.

j. hudson taylor bookFrom “The Call to Service”
“Within a few months of this time of consecration the impression was wrought into my soul that it was in China the Lord wanted me. It seemed to me highly probable that the work to which I was thus called might cost my life; for China was not then open as it is now. But few missionary societies had at that time workers in China, and but few books on the subject of China missions were accessible to me. I learned, however, that the Congregational minister of my native town possessed a copy of Medhurst’s China, and I called upon him to ask a loan of the book. This he kindly granted, asking me why I wished to read it. I told him that God had called me to spend my life in missionary service in that land. “And how do you propose to go there?” he inquired. I answered that I did not at all know; that it seemed to me probable that I should need to do as the Twelve and the Seventy had done in Judea — go without purse or script, relying on Him who had called me to supply all my need. Kindly placing his hand upon my shoulder, the minister replied, “Ah, my boy, as you grow older you will get wiser than that. Such an idea would do very well in the days when Christ Himself was on earth, but not now.”

I have grown older since then, but not wiser. I am more than ever convinced that if we were to take the directions of our Master and the assurances He gave to His first disciples more fully as our guide, we should find them to be just as suited to our times as to those in which they were originally given.”

Put on Your Spiritual Armor

by Beverly Cooper |

Missions Training, Spiritual Issues

suit of armorDo you believe that there is a war for your soul? Do you believe that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”? (Ephesians 6:12)

Sound like something from a horror movie? Yes it does, but this is real. Satan does not want us to succeed in advancing the Kingdom of God. He will attack you while on a mission trip, so just expect it and put on your spiritual armor to defend yourself against it.

Satan does so love the sneak attack. We can put in place safeguards to protect ourselves from the obvious attack, and we should. We may get vaccinated to prevent disease and drink only bottled water and we never travel alone. These are good things and offer physical protection, but Satan will sneak in and attack where we are not prepared.

One of his favorite things to attack is team unity. He will detect and zero in on areas of rivalry, jealousy, discontent, discomfort, and bad habits. Let me give a real life example.

blue dragonThe first mission trip I ever took was to Romania in 1999. Our mission was to plant a church in a tiny town that had been praying for 50 years for a building to worship in. The trip was planned out expertly and every detail in place.

As the team worked, it became more and more obvious to me that an enmity had developed between two members, a man and a woman. Actually, It would be more accurate to say the enmity was totally one sided. The man had no idea why the woman was treating him so rudely. It was very uncomfortable and distracting for us all.

Satan, seeing this, ran with it. Soon there were two women treating this man and all who would act friendly towards him, rudely. Does this sound childish? Absolutely and there is no room for it in kingdom work, at home or abroad. Was it embarrassing? Absolutely.

So how do we fight this attack? Here are three practical things to do.

sword of iraqKnow your enemy
As the Bible tells us, our fight is not against flesh and blood. It is in the spiritual realm and it is against Satan. He merely uses us against ourselves. The best way to recognize Satan is to know God and His character. Then you will recognize what is not of God.

Dress for Battle
God has given us the spiritual armor that we need, both defensive and offensive. We have the breastplate of righteousness to protect our heart. With the belt of truth we can discern truth from the lies that will be hurled at us. We have the shield of faith to deflect fiery darts and the helmet of salvation to guard our minds. Our feet are fitted with the readiness to serve. And best of all, we wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Fight back
Fight back by praising God. On another trip I took when team unity was threatened, we gathered the team together for deliberate praise and worship, and a miracle happened. As we sang and prayed, division became unity, strife became harmony, and the entire place was flooded with peace. Everything changed. I will never forget it and still today I call on that time to remind me of God’s faithfulness and power.

So anytime you are working for God, expect an attack. Be prepared and fight back. You have the Book and know how the story ends. Jesus wins.

Armor photo by  wili_hybrid
Dragon photo by Gaetan Lee
Sword photo by jamesdale10

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