Hey gang, newsletter time. This month I invite you to join me on a journey down memory late, as I reflect on my ten years of service with Pioneers. Plus I’ll tell you a bit about current projects and tell you about a Victorian missionary I’ve been getting to know through a research project. Read our March 2017 Prayer Letter (or download the paper-saving print edition).
We took some time over the holidays to reflect on the year. Here’s what we wrote
(or see the paper-saving print edition).
News, my friends… Learn about the fruit and favor Marti is seeing from her communications work, the exciting new opportunity that has opened for Chris, and other ways God has answered your prayers!
See our November Update (PDF edition) or read the email version.
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.” (Wesley Duewel)
Yes, summer has come to a close. We memorialized it by watching the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team play (and lose) one of the last games of their inaugural season. On to autumn!
“[Missions Catalyst] has done more than any of the other stuff that comes to my inbox in helping me and my family find our purpose in God’s never ending story of salvation,” wrote one of Marti’s readers, Debbie: “You have SO changed the focus of our family’s ministry from local to global!”
Read how that’s playing out Debbie’s life, intercede for Marti’s writing projects and speaking engagements, get the latest on Chris’s journey in chaplaincy, and find out why there’s never been a better time to ask for a copy of Through Her Eyes (at least if you’re interested in the lives of missionary women). All that, plus some reading recommendations, can be found in our September Newsletter (see either no-frills edition for printout or fancier version to read on-screen).
I did include a subtle “ask” in this one… yeah, the Pioneers account has gone into the red, and soon my boss is going to ask me to take a salary cut. Am praying that the Holy Spirit will inspire someone to make a gift that could prevent that!
During recent meetings in Orlando I (Marti) spent time with a Pioneers worker who is stepping into a new role coordinating ministry efforts serving refugees in Europe. As a missiological opportunity, she believes, the current flood of refugees is as significant for this generation as the fall of Communism was for those of us coming of age in the early 1990’s (can you believe it’s been 25 years?) When the long-closed doors for ministry in the Soviet Union opened up, I was among those who walked through them, sent by the ministry with which I served. So was Janet.
» Read what Janet says about the refugee crisis and get the latest on what’s up with us in the July 2016 Prayer Letter.
Looking for some light summer reading? (ha!) CIU’s School of Intercultural Studies Published this on on their website:
Cultural Training for 21st Century Mission
What does it take to equip Christian cross-cultural workers—missionaries—to go out into other cultures ready to learn, build meaningful relationships, and be effective in ministries central to the evangelical understanding of mission, such as evangelism, discipleship, and the planting and development of viable, contextualized churches? With today’s pressures and priorities, what are the minimum standards or best practices? The significance of these questions may be clear to the aspiring missionaries, their supporters, and the organizations that send them, as their purpose and ministry are on the line. Answering these questions, however, is more difficult due to factors such as a diversifying mission force, the rising cost of training, and the demand for shorter mission commitments.
How, through pre-field or on-the-job training, can Western Christian missionaries be equipped as skilled cultural learners? More specifically, how might missionary trainers equip today’s and tomorrow’s missionaries to conduct cultural studies that can help them intentionally learn as much as they can for their own sake and the sake of others?
CIU graduate student Marti Wade explores these questions through her recently completed MA thesis (Intercultural Studies). Through synthesizing the recent literature as well as analyzing interviews from cultural trainers from 10 different mission organizations, she helps us move forward on this critical question.
Read Marti’s complete MA thesis HERE.
I let the whole newsletter-writing thing get away from me these last couple months. With five other publications to keep rolling, talks to deliver, and two graduate classes to keep up with, I have felt “all out” of words. Now, though, with a major project wrapping up, I finally feel as if I have a chance to breathe. Besides, I want to make sure our friends and supporters get a heads-up on next steps we’re pursuing while they are still in process.
Read our April Newsletter. I also seized the chance to post a couple of longer pieces about these topics on my personal blog, Telling Secrets. Take a look: