Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Mission Trip Impossible: Dumb Excuse #9 – Danger

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

african tribal mask“I’m afraid that I might wake up with a witch’s crossbones in my nose.”

Translation: “I’m afraid that it would be much too dangerous for me.”

There’s no question our world has become a much more dangerous place to live since 9-11. It’s no wonder that people are more hesitant about traveling to different countries nowadays.

Still, if we are called to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28: 19-20 ESV), can we really use that as an excuse not to go?

I hardly think so. If Jesus would leave his 99 sheep to find one lost sheep, he would do it, no matter what the cost. Therefore, we can and must assume that Jesus would expect us to be willing to do the same.

Besides, in Matthew 10:19 tells us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

And in verse 29-31, it say, “Are not two sparrow sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Therefore, we can no longer use excuse #9 as a valid excuse.


Photo by Peter Rivera

How to Reach India – From Someone who Knows

by Beverly Cooper |

Famous Missionaries, India, Strategy

revolution in world missionsEver wondered the best way to reach certain countries?  Well, it seems like the people who live there might be the ones to ask. 

K. P. Yohannan grew up in a small village in southern India and accepted Jesus at age 8.  He is the author of “Revolution in World Missions” and is a life-long missionary. Yohannan is well known for his passion for spreading the Good News of Christ to the peoples of Asia. Yohannan credits the prayers and fasting of his mother with the heavy influence missions now has on his life.

When you read K. P.’s writings from any of his many books, you can’t help but understand the love he has for his country. One of Yohannan’s approaches applies his belief in the importance of Indian people hearing this message from other Indians. He believes that it is easier to convince Indians of who Christ is, if the messenger is one of their nationality.

Yohannan doesn’t discourage missionaries of other races or nationalities, but promotes the training of those men and women from India, who feel called to this assignment. K. P.’s belief was so strong that in 1979 he resigned from his pastoral position in America to work full time in missions. Through his work thousands of missionaries in 11 countries have been trained to minister to those needy and suffering in the world.

One of the trademark teachings of Yohannan is that the physical needs of the people must be met, if one hopes to have them listen to the message. So a large part of this work requires funding to provide such things as food, water, clothing to potential hearers of the Gospel. Yohannan’s philosophy is that one would have to ministerto the body in order to focus on the soul.

To read a copy of Yohannan’s book, “Revolution in World Missions,” you can purchase it at Amazon.com along with his many other books, as well.

Real-life Missionaries: A Tale of Two Christians in Japan

by Heather Carr |


japanese cemeteryOf Japan’s 127 million people, less than 1 percent claim to be Christians. Missionaries John and Belinda McBade are trying to change this grim statistic. I caught up with John, who now lives in Japan with his wife, Belinda. Here, John shares a part of their story–a tale of planting the seeds of faith and changing lives one day at a time.


During a short term mission to Japan, previous to our time here now, we were spending the day with our home stay host. He teaches in a Jr. High girl’s school and so he invited us to join them for a field trip to a local sea park. Most of our day was spent with the teachers and staff.

At the end of the day we had a meal with the school staff. The woman sitting across from us asked me, “So, why are you in Japan?” As I began to answer, it seemed suddenly all ears at the table were focused on what we had to say. I explained that we were missionaries and that we were Christians. She was asking me questions about my God.

Then she said, “Would you like to see one of my gods?”

“Sure,” I said. She pulled out a handkerchief and began to unwrap it carefully, producing a small wooden circle that had an ink image stamped upon it. I asked what it was for–their gods are for special purposes.

“This one is for traveling,” she replied.

golden bowIn reply I said, “I mean no disrespect, but your god is a dead little piece of wood. Here, I can make another god for you just as easily.” I proceeded to draw a little “happy face” on a napkin.

She replied, “Yes, but this one is different. I paid the priest for this one and he has blessed it.”

I answered, “Tell me, if you didn’t have this little piece of wood with you, would you be afraid? Is this why you carry it?”

“Yes,” she answered.

I looked her in the eye and with a calm reassuring look I answered, “My God is alive. He lives inside of me and He is with me always.”

I then sensed my wife tapping me on the knee under the table. She was signaling me she wanted to say something. She began to speak, “You know when I was a little girl, I had so much fear. It seemed I was afraid of all kinds of things: people, traveling and being successful at things. I was always dealing with and trying to overcome my fear, and it was so hard for me. Now God lives inside me and He gives me the assurance that I can do anything He asks me to do, because He gives me hope and strength.”

It was very quiet at the table. Everyone was listening to us with polite and careful intent. Our home stay host was looking at us with a smile that said, “Thanks. You said it when I could not.” We don’t know that anyone received Christ at that table that day but the seed was planted. Someone will water, someone will harvest. The complete work is up to God and the power of His Holy Spirit. We are just asked to be faithful in the part He gives us to do. For my wife and me, this was a very exciting moment that we will never forget. That was when God started the work in our hearts to come to Japan full time.

Photos by bhollar and  x-eyedblonde


If you would like to learn more about the McBades, and their ministries, visit them on the web at www.mcbade.com or www.gracejapan.com.

Betsey Stockton – All Things are Possible

by Stephanie Colman |

Famous Missionaries

Ethipian Woman PrayingHave you ever considered the obstacles that were overcome by some missionaries in the past? Betsey Stockton is one of those missionaries that did not let obstacles stop her from achieving her goals.

Betsey Stockton was born a slave in Princeton, New Jersey. She was given as a gift by her slave owner to his daughter and son-in-law upon their marriage. The home that she entered as a gift was probably one of the greatest blessings of her life, considering her circumstances. The Reverend Ashbel Green was the President of Princeton University and as such promoted reading and intellectual endeavors. Betsey was even allowed to attend evening classes at the Princeton Theological Seminary. The more that she learned the more her heart was burdened to share her faith. Betsey Stockton expressed her heart’s desire to become a missionary, and her owners granted her with the gift of freedom.Inflatable Ball

(What the Reverend did to free Betsey was a commendable counter-culture move, but we can’t help note the sad facts that slavery was so common in his society, and that he, himself, had a slave in the first place.)

Betsey became a member of the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missionaries and was assigned a mission in Maui, Hawaii. Betsey Stockton was the first overseas single American woman missionary. There, she pressed to not only educate the missionary children and the chief’s children but the common children as well. Betsey believed that everyone had the right to be taught and learn. When she was granted permission to do so, she learned the Hawaiian language and established a school where she taught English, Algebra, Latin and History. After Betsey returned to Princeton she continued her missionary ways, leaving to teach Native American children in Canada and then black children in Philadelphia.

If a woman who began life as a slave can achieve such wonderful things through the grace of God, what is possible for us now in this age of opportunity?

Photo by babasteve

Missions Twitter: Week of 6/12/09

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Twitter

 1040 window

We at MissionsLaunch like to let you know what’s being tweeted about in the world of Twitter surrounding missions. This week our theme is the Great Commission and reaching out to those in the 1040 window.  According to world evangelism statistics: Of the 55 least evangelized countries, 97% of their population lives within the Ten Forty Window, which is mostly Muslim, Hindu, and Communist. @CrescentProject is a great person to follow if you are interested in reaching out to Muslims, specifically. Happy Friday!

sidraz: Sahara Challenge -There are only 2.3 missionaries for every million Muslims.

FJTMinistries: Our primary call is to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the Good News of Jesus with those who have never heard.

DerikOberholzer: 921 MILLION lost people in China who don’t know Jesus. Among another 690 MILLION in the rest of 1040 Window…send me

ProfessorQB: If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa

WorldVisionUSA: – It tastes a little like mutton, but it’s camel meat, a staple of the daily diet in #Somaliland

MissionsLaunch: More churches have been planted in Iran in the past 15 years than in the past 1500 years – John Hull, EQUIP CEO

jasonkovacs :As of yesterday, there were 6,532 unreached peoples (according to JoshuaProject.net)

sidraz: “Missions is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” -D.T. Niles

30dp: God is powerfully at work in Uzbekistan, a Muslim country ruled by one of the most repressive regimes

NationsBeGlad Piper: – I am praying several hundred of you in this room lay your lives down on the mission field

NationsBeGlad: Stetzer – don’t forget that there are people around the globe who don’t even have a word for our Savior.

iChristianLife: Luis Palau talks about the call to sacrifice for the Great Commission

CrescentProject: “Our job is not to make a Muslim become a Christian. Our job is to show them the true love of Christ.” -Fouad Masri

CrescentProject: Presenting the truth of Christ and the Gospel to a Muslim believer takes relationship, dedication and time. Are you willing?

Missions may require disappointing others plans

by Athelda Ensley |

Famous Missionaries

 mt. kilimanjaro

Margaret Engle

Margaret Engle was an ordinary girl born in Industry, Pennsylvania in 1895. At the age of 15 she met her first missionary, and the course of her life was set in motion. The spark and desire for spreading the Gospel to the world were planted. A good friend of hers, a missionary, challenged Margaret to seek God’s plan for her life through prayer. Engle did just that, but did not see the fulfillment of this plan for years. She went on to college at Penn State pursuing a degree in teaching.

Almost everyone who knew her had expectations of what Margaret’s life would amount to. What she experienced is probably what a lot of potential missionaries face. There are people in their lives who have other plans for them. But God’s plans and purposes have to be the most important. Through unexpected events and an invitation to join a friend in Africa, Engle ended up on the other side of the world, far away from home and familiar trappings.

Eventually she settled in a town near Mount Kilimanjaro where she ended up teaching African children. The skills she had acquired in America and her love of teaching were used, but in a different way and in a different place.

Trust in God requires our faith to be engaged! Margaret had no idea what God would do in her life, but she trusted Him. The seed planted long ago was brought to fruition. Her courage to place her trust in God may have caused others concern, but Engle’s heart was fixed. Margaret would also go on to meet her husband in Africa, Tom Marsh a widower at the time. The two, worked as missionaries in the continent for the majority of their marriage.

photo by Stig Nygaard

Taking the Plunge

by Carol Grace |

Should I Go?

taking the plungeWe need to go to the mission field because so few people feel the need or answer the call. A lot of times people will think about going and helping other people but they will use such excuses as:

-I don’t have the time or resources to go.
-Someone else who has more resources will go; they don’t need me.
-I can’t leave my job or family.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Before I went to World Changers I was worried because I am self-employed and when I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I would be gone for a week without pay, plus I would need some spending money there. Well, Jesus said that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can accomplish anything. So I took a leap of faith, sent out letters to friends and customers asking for a few dollars from each, and
I got enough to pay for the trip.

I went and never regretted it. It was wonderful. The fellowship and love that you feel when you’re out helping others can not be bought.

If your excuse is that someone else will do it, then think about what would happen if everyone thought that way. There would be no one going, and no one getting the help they need or hearing about the good news of what Jesus did for us. If you are thinking about going, take the plunge like I did. You won’t regret it.

Photo by notsogoodphotography

Kenyan Artists Contextualize Stations of the Cross

by Heather Carr |

Africa, Contextualization in Missions, Kenya

kenyan jesus and maryArtists have long put paint to canvas, or chisel to stone, in an effort to help us comprehend the sacrifice Christ made for us. Many Christians put these masterpieces to use in a practice known as the Stations of the Cross. Artistic impressions of the hours leading to Jesus’ death and burial are displayed to assist followers in reflecting on the scriptures. In Kenya, one church has used this practice to reach the local Christian community at its heart.

A trained team of young Kenyan artists was asked to paint a set of stations that would reflect the life and environment of the people of Turkana, Kenya. Authentic Turkana people, dress and localities are pictured in the familiar scenes of the Passion. Roman soldiers are replaced by Kenyan warriors. Pilate is shown in the traditional dress of a Turkana chief, and the cross fashioned from a local tree. The backdrop of many of the stations is comprised of local scenery, including the shops and houses of its residents.

The Turkana people now share an intimate connection with Jesus’ presence among us. Through the work of these Kenyan artists, personal relationships with Christ are strengthened through an intimate understanding of the suffering of our savior. Remembering that Jesus knows the pain of human suffering offers hope to a people who regularly face the burdens of disease and hunger. To view all of the Stations of the Cross in Lodwar Cathederal, Kenya, check out the Africa: St. Patrick’s Missions magazine article Through Nomadic Eyes.

Missions Twitter 6/5/09: Advice to New Missionaries

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Quotes, Missions Twitter, Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues

compass trinketHere at MissionsLaunch we decided to ask all of those missionaries out there, who use Twitter, to give us their best advice or words of inspiration to those just starting out or thinking of starting out on the missions field. Here is what they had to say:

YWAM Missionary: billhutchison
Words for Missionaries – Don’t let others tell you that you are crazy to go into missions. God will provide in amazing ways.

Missionary to India/Pastor: stevehutto
Know that you have a very, very special calling and that God will move mountains to uses you! Also know that the hunger for God “out there” will sustain you through every circumstance

Wycliffe Missionary: woodwardmw
Time spent learning language and culture is vital. Also important to realise generally you’ll learn much more than you teach

Missionary to Peru: CharXime
The word I want to give to new missionaries is,”Remeber it is easier to change one person than it is to change thousands, so start with yourself, adjust to where you are.”

Missionary to Tanzania: mamaafrica
To those starting out on a mission field: People will let you down all over the world. God will not. Take time to listen.

E3Partners Organization: carolw70
Remember your calling! Satan will attack you in many ways to get you out of the field. Fight him w/ scripture and God’s call.

Christian Quote: lyka_m
“There are three indispensable requirements for a missionary: 1. Patience 2. Patience 3. Patience.” Hudson Taylor

1040 Window Proponent: Angelamz40
Take a Perspectives class b4 you go! www.Perspectives.org or @PerspectivesWCM

Missionary in Africa: christfollower
If I’d wanted to do something easy, I wouldn’t have answered the call to the mission field (found not sent in)

Christian Marketplace Proponent: money_ministry
“advice…those just starting out on the mission field” Study and understand fully God’s gift economy.

Missionary in Latin American: chrisleake
Be a learner of language, culture, and of what God’s doing and has already done *before* trying to do things.

Missionary in East Africa: missiondiary
that it Is God’s ministry and That they need to trust Him. And trust In God power. Acts 1:8 :D

Former South American Missionary: simpleorange
“language learning” – a great excuse for frequent stops at corner markets/street vendors for pastries & other yummies :)

Preacher: preachershane
Missions is not about sending missionaries, but about sending the truth of God to a people (found not sent in)

Story4ALL Organization: bt4jc
Gen 12 says that Abraham followed not knowing where going; don’t expect ducks in a row! Won’t happen! Hear God about your choice of ministry, record the words and stand on them. At times that’s all that will keep you there. After the honeymoon and nightmare periods you will come out to meaningful effectiveness; stay the course! Make sure it is his word that guides you; not mammon (support raised). He who called you is faithful and will do it! NEVER let the need determine your investment! Your ability to invest daily is linked to intimacy with Jesus ONLY! Hudson Taylor said ‘God’s will done God’s way will never lack God’s supply’. It’s true!

Photo by psd

QUIZ: How Well Do You REALLY Know Japan?

by Melissa Chang |

Asia, Japan, missions quiz
question mark Introducing our newest quiz!

How Well Do You REALLY Know Japan? 

Whether you are a Japanese expert or just starting to get interested in learning more about this amazing country and its culture, take the quiz to find out how much you REALLY know about Japan. You might just learn some more along the way.

Click Here and get started.

Also, if you are interested in Japan you might enjoy our article on Japan: Etiquette and Customs.

Photo by OCLS

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