CBN News reports that a major shift in world missions is occurring with the new generation. During the last century the primary focus of missionary activity was from West to East and South. Now, increasingly, that is reversing.
Gospel seeds planted in the past have flourished into mature churches. These are now sending out missionaries to new mission fields as well as back to challenge the apostacy growing in the western world.
“So, from countries that used to be the focus point of mission, they have become the major players in mission,” says Dr. Corne Bekker, dean of Regent University’s school of divinity.
The U.S. is still the country sending the most missionaries, but more than half of the total worldwide come from South America, Asia, and Africa. “People are basically going from everywhere to everywhere,” says Baylor University missionary expert Dr. Robert Woodberry.
One classic example is Mongolia. Tennessee-based Mission Eurasia is working with believers in Russia to send dozens of Russian teams to Mongolia holding camps for thousands of children. Many have never heard of Jesus. Mongolia statistics tell the story: At the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, there were only 10 believers in the entire country. Twenty-six years later, there are 60 thousand spread across the vast area.
Mission Eurasia leaders believe that the future of the former Soviet countries, as well as Russia, is more in the hands of the next generation of Christians than the political leaders.
Pew Research estimated that the hunger for God in the entire sub-Saharan Africa is greater than any other place on the planet. Another estimate placed Iran as the country with the fastest-growing underground church. Brazil recently hosted several conventions attended by 140 thousand who pledged to dedicate their lives to the Great Commission. They were joined by three million more online making the same pledge.
More evidence of the progress of the gospel is the increased persecution in India and China. Hindus perceive a threat to their power and are beginning to attack congregations and pastors. Believers in the underground Chinese churches are said to number between 60 and 100 million. The communist government is beginning an open crackdown, jailing leaders and bulldozing buildings.
Intriguing stories are slipping out of the Muslim world of quiet believers who risk their lives if they are known to have left Islam. Many undercover “missionaries” are the foreign workers from the Philippines and other Asian nations, hired as domestics and teachers to the wealthy Muslims.
The danger is so high that even rough estimates are hard to come by. With Satan’s barrier against the gospel so tight, we even have stories of Jesus, Himself, invading the land. Some with an honest and hungry heart have had the Lord appear in their bedroom.
Israel, almost inadvertently, has had a positive effect here. It is a small island of prosperity and freedom in the vast sea of Islam’s spiritual oppression. With the broad permeation of the social media technology, the common people are becoming more aware of their lack of freedom. Many political leaders are attempting to crack down against the threat to their power. They are finding that brutality is no match for Biblical love.
Chick Publications has been pleased to share a small part in this missionary effort. Millions of tracts have flowed into the Philippines, India, and even China before the recent clamp-down. Throughout history gospel tracts have had a significant part in revival and missionary efforts.
Several years ago, tract users in this country kept asking how they could supply tracts to missionaries. We created the Chick Mission Fund for donations and it has grown to supply large numbers to missionaries who found that they greatly extended their outreach.