Representing Jesus Faithfully to Refugees
Ralph and Roberta Winter, the founders of Frontier Ventures, often taught about four Go-Come “mission mechanisms” at work in the Bible and history: (1) the people of God going voluntarily to bless the nations; (2) going involuntary without missionary intent; (3) the peoples coming voluntarily, attracted by God’s blessing-relationship with His people; and (4) the peoples coming involuntarily, as is happening now with the refugees arriving in Europe and North America.
In a season of heated political debate about refugees and immigrants, Frontier Ventures members around the U.S. and the world are making observations and contributing to creative new attempts to represent Jesus faithfully to the stranger.
Antioch Network Seeks to “Engage the Crisis”
In June a team from the Pasadena community of Frontier Ventures participated in a broad effort led by The Antioch Movement to “Engage the Crisis” in Europe. This team had the opportunity to love, encourage and provide assistance to refugees in Berlin and to boost similar efforts initiated by churches and other organizations in Germany. To read about this team’s experiences and the stories of the people they met, go to http://www.frontierventures.org/blog.
Gainesville Churches Survey Munich for Syrian Refugee Ministry
Frontier Ventures member Jeff Moody reports from Gainesville, Florida, that he has been working for months with a group of church leaders in Gainesville to pray and plan for a collective “Church of Gainesville” response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. Seven churches are presently involved, monthly team meetings are underway, and an investigative team went to three cities in Germany in April, visiting refugee camps, offices for social work, and Bible studies for seekers.
Missions Fest Seattle Asks, “Global Disruption: Problem or Opportunity?”
Frontier Ventures and the Perspectives Study Program will be participating in the October 2016 Missions Fest Seattle, with this year’s emphasis “Global Disruption: Problem or Opportunity?” World Relief Seattle is helping to shape this year’s program, asking two prominent churches (Quest Church and Overlake Christian Church) to present their responses. Dan Samuelson, director of World Relief Seattle, comments, “The mission field is now on our doorstep. ‘Missions’ is undergoing a sea change.” For further information, see http://missionsfestseattle.org/.
World Renew Campaign Presents Immigrants as “Blessing, Not Burden”
World Relief and World Renew are two organizations active in the Evangelical Immigration Table (http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/). See http://www.blessingnotburden.org/ to read about World Renew’s campaign to change the public conversation about immigrants inside and outside the North American churches.
New Developments in Joshua Project
- Updated Joshua Project Progress Scale: In the past Joshua Project has used a three-color scale to indicate the level of church-planting progress among a people group. Joshua Project is now shifting to a five-color scale in order to more clearly highlight peoples with many “Christian adherents” but very few Evangelicals.
- New South Asia Peoples Website: Joshua Project has extensive people group data for South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan), the world region with the greatest complexity of peoples. Data on people groups, languages and religions is available at regional, national, state and district levels. This data is partially viewable on the main Joshua Project website but is often overlooked or difficult to find. Therefore, Joshua Project is developing a user-friendly, stand-alone South Asia website to provide better access to this valuable information.
- Photo Gathering Mobile App: Putting a face to data makes it much more compelling. Joshua Project is continually seeking quality, non-copyrighted photos of unreached peopls. A group of college students used their spring break to develop a mobile app for Joshua Project that will greatly assist in gathering unreached people photos. The app allows the user to take a photo and then either tag it with GPS coordinates (if available) or select a country and people group name from dropdown lists. Users can add comments and email the photo and attached information to Joshua Project. website: joshuaproject.net