Monthly Archives: October 2014

30th Anniversary

By Jon Hirst with Randy Rosso

As some of you already know, GMI is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Dating back to 1984, Global Mapping International (originally named Global Mapping Project) has been bringing light to decision making and has played a large role in shaping Global Mission over the years through research, mapping, and mission publishing.

In light of our milestone anniversary, we added a new page to our website highlighting ways in which you can celebrate with us this year!

Timeline: Take a historical look at the past 30 years of our ministry and key events that have brought us to where we are today.

30th Anniversary Missiographic: Join us in learning about 5 maps that changed missions and how the maps themselves have changed over the years with new technology and information.

In the Words of Others: See what our founder, our partners, and other missional leaders have to say about GMI and the 30 years of strategic mission and mapping research we have done.

“Global mapping fills a strategic place in the task of world evangelization. We need the kind of global database that GMI can provide.”
- Edward R. Dayton, Vice President, World Vision

Support! Whether it be financially, prayerfully, or in service, we would greatly appreciate your partnership which will allow us to continue to serve the mission community for another 30 years and more.

Special Annual Report: Annual reports can be hard to get through…but not this one. Featuring GMI’s 30 year timeline, 5 maps that heavily influenced Global Mission, retrospective thoughts from the board, and other highlights of GMI’s ministry, this annual report stands out from the crowd with more than just financial information. You pretty much get everything stated above and more, all in a wonderfully created, colorful PDF.

Celebration Events: Who doesn’t like getting dressed up to commemorate an anniversary or milestone? We would love to have you and cordially invite you to attend one of our two 30th Anniversary events. One of which will be in Colorado Springs, CO on November 8th and the other will be in Pasadena, California on November 22. Make sure to RSVP before October 30th!

Thank you for all of your continued support, partnership, service, and love. We couldn’t have done any of this without you, and we look forward to the future!

Praying for the Persecuted Church

By Jon Hirst with Randy Rosso

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is coming up in November. The first two Sundays of November (2nd & 9th this year) are recognized by the church as days to pray specifically for the Persecuted Church.

Hebrews 13:3 tells us, “remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

So what/who exactly is the persecuted church?

The persecuted church represents the 100+ million Christians around the world who are persecuted, or made subject to hostility and ill-treatment, for their belief in Jesus Christ. It is not a physical church or in a certain country, it’s globally.

The top 5 countries facing extreme Christian persecution are North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with around 45 other countries being labeled at least moderately persecuted. The World Watch List has a really interesting map and list of the most persecuted countries right now.

Image source: http://www.worldwatchlist.us/world-watch-list-countries/

With ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq & Syria) declaring an Islamic State, killing tens of thousands of people, waging war against multiple nations, and declaring Christianity to be punishable by death, there is an enormous prevalence for the need to pray for the Persecuted Church.

How can we pray for and help the Persecuted Church?

IDOP.org (website and resources from Religious Liberty Commission and World Evangelical Alliance) provides a list of free downloads for your use and distribution in praying for and helping the Persecuted Church. One of the resources, an extract of a sermon on what Christians can do to help, is very beneficial. A few of them include:

  • Mobilizing prayer (prayer events, email alerts from organizations involved in the persecuted church
  • Stay informed on the status of religious freedom worldwide
  • Volunteer or help with organizations and ministries involved
  • Give financially to an organization that works with the Persecuted Church
  • Be a spokesperson! i.e. social media, petitions, etc.

Operation World, an organization that created a prayer guide for every country and put it in a book, created The Persecuted Church Prayer Devotional. It provides you with one country per day along with the facts about the nation and prayer requests.

Another great way to pray for the Persecuted Church is by reading your Bible. The New Testament was written to Christians facing persecution, so it is a great resource for praying for them as well! Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusades for Christ) explains how to find Biblical prayers for the Persecuted Church along with other prayer resources. Click here to see Cru’s resources.

In closing, the Persecuted Church definitely needs our help and prayers. Two days a year is not even close to enough time dedicated to praying for the persecuted church, but thankfully we have the ability to pray for whatever we want, whenever we want. I encourage you to take a look at these resources, do some of your own research, and come up with your own ways of helping and praying for the Persecuted Church. Our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ need us, so let’s do something about it!

RSVP for Open Doors’ IDOP webcast here.

Also, stay tuned for a GMI Missiographic focused on this topic being released next Tuesday, October 28! Make sure you subscribe to the e-newsletter so you won’t miss it. http://www.gmi.org/newsletter.htm.

Missionary Retention: Going the Distance

By Jon Hirst (with Randy Rosso)

“If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” - Emil Zatopek

Missionaries who are called to cross-cultural service want to make a significant difference in the lives of those they go to help. They intuitively know that it is a marathon, not a sprint. But too many are being pushed to sprint and aren’t making it to the most productive times.

In a world where everything is expected to speed up and get more efficient, spiritual transformation and incarnational ministry still require long-term investment. You can’t speed up God’s work, as He works apart from time; however, we all seem to be trying to do just that: hurry Him up. With attention spans decreasing by the year, our modern world thrives off of quick, interesting, and constantly new ideas and processes.

Somebody once said to try to do things the right way the first time, because otherwise you will probably end up having to re-do it later. The same could be said about missions. Some agencies seem to be focusing on getting more and more missionaries sent, and not properly selecting, training, and supporting their current missionaries, causing them to leave. Efficiency is not always effective.

The cost of sending a missionary cross-culturally is significant, and sadly, too many aren’t making it to the 8-17 year window where statistically missionaries see the most fruitful service. High turnover has far reaching and widely spread effects, from the missionaries themselves, to the organizations, to the people they were serving, to other missionaries and staff at that agency. US agencies were found to have a varying 38-78% 10 year retention rate. This proves further the importance of the problem at hand.

So, how can we look at field service as a marathon and support these key field workers in their long-term service?

Our missionary retention infographic along with the reflection and application will provide you with some ways to go the distance and increase your missionaries’ effectiveness, rather than their efficiency.

 

Know & Go: Informing and Inspiring Global Mission - Click Image to Close

By Jon Hirst (with Randy Rosso)

GMI is coming out with a new book, Know & Go: Informing and Inspiring Global Mission. It is a brief and practical look at why KNOWING is important to your GOING on mission. Our team hopes this resource will allow you to make better, educated decisions in response to your calling as a Kingdom worker.

What is the purpose of acting without knowing what you want to act upon? You see this unfold in our personal lives, business, ministry, college, everywhere. So many people dive head first into things before learning about them. Learning from experience is not a bad thing, but the resources spent in trying to figure it out can be frustrating. Imagine researching something before attempting to act upon it. The time and resources saved would be enormous, and the outcome could be a lot more rewarding and effective. We try to highlight the importance of knowing what you want to do before you do it in this novel.

Besides providing insights about the role of information in mission, this book is also an inspirational call to action. I state in the final chapter, “God does not give us the grand gift of knowing for ornamental purposes. The reason we know is so we can go.” The question now remains: What are we going to do about it?

We all know the verse that holds Jesus’ instructions for us. Matt. 28:19 - “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations…” The Great Commission, as it is dubbed, is not a mere suggestion. It is our call, our mission, our goal. But so many of us go on mission knowing so little about the places and people we hope to reach with the Good News.

We can work at this in many ways, and one of the ways is going on mission. If you allow him, God will lead you to do great things for the Kingdom and will work through you in the lives of people around the world. What is God calling you to do?

This quick but motivating read will help you explore the power that KNOWING has in effective GOING on mission. As Matthew West says in his song, Do Something – “It’s not enough to do nothing. It’s time for us to do something.” We are the hands and feet of God’s work, if you allow yourself to be.

You mission, should you choose to accept it, is knowing what to do with all the information that surrounds us and then responding in obedience and going on God’s mission.

While this book won’t be available till November 1, you can pre-order your print copy today to receive 25% off. Click here!