Joshua Project 2000 Step 2: Cooperating with Church Leaders from Every Region of the World
Joshua Project 2000 is receiving support across the globe, including the Two-Thirds World. Significant portions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are committed toward reaching the least-evangelized peoples in their own countries and sending out church-planting teams to other lands as well. If Joshua Project 2000 was simply the efforts of one church or one mission agency or one country or even one continent, the task would be daunting. But with the combined efforts of Christians around the world, it can be done!
Exciting news from Europe indicates that the International Adopt-A- People Clearinghouse just opened in Norway. Representatives for South Asia and Southern Africa have reported their commitment to the task (see boxes). Current efforts underway by the believers of South Korea, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Latin America are outlined below.
Korea Pledges Its Support for Joshua Project 2000 by Dr. Joon Gon Kim, chairman of the Preparation Committee of Korea AD2000 Korea AD2000 is launching Korea Joshua Project 2000 as a part of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, seeking to mobilize the whole Korean church around the world to reach the unreached by AD 2000. In support of Joshua Project 2000, the Korean Church will help reach the unreached in the 10/40 Window by mobilizing prayer and sending missionaries to pioneer ministries for planting churches. Korea AD2000 will send 2,000 missionaries and 2,000 short-term mission teams to the Joshua Project targeted peoples in the 10/40 Window. These teams will do on-site research, show the JESUS film, form Bible study groups and plant churches. To mobilize and support these long- term and short-term missionaries, Korea AD2000 plans to: (1) promote Joshua Project 2000 among Korean churches in Korea and the USA by encouraging them to adopt and pray for the unreached peoples (2) encourage attendance at the international and national conferences which promote the cause of the unreached peoples (3) relocate missionaries and train new missionaries (4) provide ministry equipment, such as the JESUS film and projectors (5) prepare logistics for pioneer mission project teams and (6) seek partnership ministries with local Christian and mission agencies in target ministry areas.
"One, One, One" Expands to Southeast Asia by Jim Montgomery, president of DAWN (Discipling a Whole Nation) Ministries The One, One, One program of Indonesia has become well known around the world. Now it has taken a great leap to include all of Southeast Asia. One church in every village and every neighborhood of every town and city in one generation [and for every people by the year 2000].
"It has become clear that Southeast Asia One, One, One has become the heartbeat of it all," said Dr. Chris Marantika of Indonesia, AD2000 Southeast Asia Coordinator, at the conclusion of the Southeast Asia AD 2000 and Beyond conference held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in June 1992.
Ninety-five church leaders of Southeast Asia attended the conference where they wrote a declaration of their commitment to "pray and work diligently to develop a mission-minded church-planting movement in every district as well as among every unreached people in all ten Southeast Asian countries by AD 2000."
The declaration continues, "We commit to plant one church in every village and every neighborhood of every town and city in one generation to the end that every person in Southeast Asia be evangelized. In order to reach the goal, we commit ourselves to establish an interdenominational Southeast Asia AD2000 Research Committee; to develop a research center; to do the field research in every village in Southeast Asia beginning in the country of Indonesia; and to have identified the unreached villages, districts and peoples in Southeast Asia.
"We will motivate the members of our churches to embrace a lifestyle evangelism, involving holy living, compassionate service, costly intercession and active witnessing. We will encourage the convening of prayer meetings that are interdenominational, which as such will promote greater unity and cooperation in our task of advancing the gospel in our region."
A Church for Every People in Central Asia by Sam Yeghnazar, Director of Elam Ministries and AD2000 Chairman of Central Asian Region Perhaps the greatest task facing the church as the 21st century approaches is to see the love of Jesus effectively proclaimed in the Islamic world. Indeed, many have labeled it the most difficult task facing the Church, because, to the human eye, the worldwide growth of Islamic fundamentalism has made Islam a formidable force.
Present political difficulties and the persecution of Christians in the 10/40 Window of the Muslim world seem to have caused the very few Christian missions in Islamic regions to have had only piece-meal operations, and therefore, limited success. For the situation to
change there has to be a substantial increase in interest by the Church worldwide resulting in investing more people, prayer, time, resources and finances to deal with the challenge of Islam.
I firmly believe that the love and power of God can reach beyond the strongholds of Islam and that there can be a church for every one of the 200 or so Joshua Project 2000 peoples in Central Asia and the Persian-speaking world by the year 2000 provided: • There is continuous, focused and informed prayer of His saints around the globe. • There is bountiful sowing of the seed. If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. • There is significant re-deployment of resources.
I have a strong conviction that because of Iran's unparalleled influence in the Islamic world, seeing the peoples of Iran (located in the middle of the 10/40 Window) come to Christ is one main key to reaching Central Asia and much of the Muslim world. This belief is based on several points. One of those points is that the most responsive Muslims to the gospel in the Middle East are Iranian. Indeed, even though there is persecution in Iran, the church is continuing to grow. A second point is that many prominent leaders agree and confirm that Persians are a gateway people for reaching a significant number of other Muslim people groups, including those in Central Asia.
In the Bible, God declares, "I will set my throne in Elam [Iran and beyond]... I will restore the fortunes of Elam" (Jeremiah 49:38-39). This is a promise of God which must be trusted and acted upon.
Latin America Focuses on Unreached Peoples By Valentin Gonzalez-Bohorquez, AD2000 Movement Director for Latin America. How can Latin America be an active and creative participant in Joshua Project 2000? We believe that Latin America will be able to participate in a decisive and positive way because many of the Hispanic countries already possess the vision and have in place a movement for frontier missions to the unreached. This movement has already been in existence nearly a decade. However, since 1992, when COMIBAM (the Iberoamerican Missionary Cooperation) organized an Adopt- A-People Consultation in Costa Rica, the degree of involvement of the evangelical churches of Latin America has accelerated dramatically. Numerous national missionary organizations have already selected a number of unreached people groups which have been proposed for adoption by the churches and mission agencies in their countries.
During the month of August of this year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Fourth Venezuelan Congress on World Mission which was held in the rich petroleum port of Maracaibo, situated on the western- most part of Venezuela. Four hundred pastors, leaders and Christians from throughout Venezuela came together for this congress. The theme of the congress was "A church for every people and the Kingdom of God for all creation." The central goal for the congress, around which the workshops and plenary sessions were focused, was an attempt to encourage the adoption of 67 unreached people groups which had previously been selected during a National Adopt-A-People Consultation in 1994. Of the people groups selected, 34 were ethnic Venezuelan, 10 were from other Latin American countries and 23 from countries located in the 10/40 Window. Daniel Guerrero, the president of a sponsoring organization, is making preparations to go and serve among an unreached people group in the state of Andra Pradesh, located in southeast India. There are Venezuelan missionaries who are currently serving in northern Europe with the Riffs and with unreached groups in Turkey as well.
Another country where the movement toward cross-cultural missions has shown an accelerated growth is Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island with one of the largest evangelical populations per square mile in the entire world (1,200,000 evangelicals in 367.5 sq. mi). In 1990, a consortium from different missionary organizations founded the Puerto Rican Center for World Mission (CPMM) with the goal of mobilizing the evangelical church in Puerto Rico toward a cross-cultural awareness in mission, providing training to the emerging missionary force and sending missionary pioneers to the unreached. Since then, in only five years, the CPMM now has four regional centers located in strategic cities throughout the island, each operating with its own individual promotional programs, training and sending strategies.
In 1994, the CPMM selected a total of 55 unreached people groups from Latin American, Europe, Africa and Asia which are in the process of being adopted by churches and councils from this Caribbean island. At present, the CPMM and other missionary organizations from Puerto Rico have missionaries working among the Muslims and Aucians from the south of Spain, among the Galicians from the northeast of Spain, and have a missionary in France. This coming December, a Puerto Rican family, in coordination with WEC, will serve among the Wolof tribe of Gambia in northeast Africa. Several Puerto Rican churches have already adopted people groups. In addition to the many missiology courses which have been offered during the past decade, the CPMM is in the process of establishing a postgraduate missions school in order to respond to the increasing needs for training of their emerging missionary force.
The last example which I would like to mention is Costa Rica, a Central American country know as "the Latin American Switzerland" for its democratic traditions and for having abolished its army in 1948. Together with Brazil, Costa Rica is probably the country which has been able to most effectively develop a missionary program in terms of participation and of having a representation from the majority of the churches and evangelical organizations which exist in the country.
Much of the progress made thus far is due in part to the Costa Rican Evangelical Missionary Federation (FEDEMEC) and the Costa Rican Center for World Missions (CCMM) through which congresses, seminars and workshops have been offered focusing on the mobilization of cross- cultural Costa Rican missionaries. These organizations have as their goal to enable 500 missionaries to go to 60 unreached peoples groups by the year 2000. As part of this program, FEDEMEC and the CCMM currently have more than 20 families working among the unreached peoples, mainly in countries of the 10/40 Window. FEDEMEC is one of the Latin America organizations that has worked the most in the development of missiological research of the unreached peoples groups and as of now has produced over 200 ethnolinguistic profiles, which are being used in Costa Rica as well as in other countries for prayer and in the process of selecting and adopting people groups.
Other countries where there are vigorous projects for adopting peoples are Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. In general terms it could be stated that the vision has been communicated and endorsed in all the countries of Latin America where there are diverse levels of involvement in the work toward unreached peoples. Along with the AD2000 and Beyond Movement and COMIBAM, there are other organizations at the regional and national levels which are promoting work toward the unreached. With this climate of enthusiasm, fellowship and desire to serve in the evangelization of the world, there is little doubt that Latin America will play a decisive role, placing as a priority the mobilization of its missionary force toward the nearly 2,000 peoples selected by Joshua Project 2000. To participate competently in this task is one of the greatest challenges which the Latin American church is facing during the remainder of this decade.
South Asia Rises to Play Its Role in Joshua Project 2000 by Dr. Vararuchi Dalavai of India, AD2000 Regional Coordinator, South Asia
Having reviewed the list of 227 peoples in the countries of South Asia, it is my conviction that by the enabling power of God it is in fact possible to see a pioneer church-planting movement resulting in at least a minimum of 50 believers in reproducing fellowships by December 31, 2000. I believe in God's sovereignty that Joshua Project 2000 will enable the most people in the regions beyond, the peoples yet to be evangelized, to be able to know and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord by 2000 AD.