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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Winter 2002

 


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Mission Views and News

The most encouraging news in the world

Patrick Johnstone's "Top Seven" answers to mission prayer in the 90s

The new edition of the Operation World global prayer guide includes, country by country, God's sometimes spectacular answers to prayer for focus areas that were identified in the 1993 edition. At GMI's request, Patrick Johnstone has chosen and described seven of the most remarkable of these "God-things." Read, enjoy and try to imagine what further answers our great God-on-a-mission may have for us as we pray through the new Operation World!


1 The 1990s have proved to be the decade of the most massive growth of evangelical believers of any in history. This conclusion is based on the meticulous gathering of denominational details in our massive database covering 1960- 2000. (Ed. note: see page 4 concerning research methods.)

2 The AD2000 and Beyond Movement was the most effective, focused, global network for world evangelization that has ever existed. It straddled the decade of the 1990s and was catalytic in helping define how many peoples are still without a church planting movement, in synergising the activities of Christian bodies, in launching numerous local, national, and regional initiatives and in linking many key media agencies in cooperative programs.

3 The collapse of the Iron Curtain and ending of the USSR meant the demise of its anti- Christian ideology and an opening for unprecedented mission advances (not all good!) into hitherto unreached countries of Central Asia. Brother Andrew's challenge in 1983/4 for a sevenyear prayer warfare campaign to tear down the Iron Curtain was achieved-to the astonishment of a largely unbelieving Church!

4 In the 90s we saw the firstfruits of a harvest of followers of the Lord Jesus from among Muslim peoples. A movement of thousands to Christ is emerging among the North African Kabyle, Central Asian Turkic peoples, Jordanians, some Indonesian peoples, Bangladeshis, Bosnians, and among Afghan and Iranian refugees. In 1991 Brother Andrew issued a further call for a 10-year prayer effort to open up the Islamic world to the Gospel. It is likely that the September 11, 2001 Twin Towers tragedy may prove to be a key kairos moment for the distraught and divided Muslim world to open up for alternatives to their present belief system.

5The world watched the continued growth of the Church in China from the paltry 4 million in 1949 to 90+ million in 2000 despite increasing persecution in the late 1990s. The emergence of a truly indigenous expression of Christianity in China is one of the major factors in global Christianity in the 21st century.

6 The largely undocumented and astonishing growth of the Church in India was incredible. Official census figures (2.34% Christian in 1991) are heavily disguised to minimize Christian size and growth. The true figure, both from our denominational data and from well-authenticated anecdotal sources, would indicate well over twice this number already, and this may be only the beginning. In direct response to the new political power of extremist Hindu movements, the Dalits (untouchables) have begun a movement to renounce Hinduism and embrace Buddhism or other religions. This could lead to immense church growth in India if handled wisely by Christian bodies and leaders.

7 There was a significant impact of media on changing the worldview and even faith of millions during the 1990s. Of special mention is the JESUS film and video, SAT7 television broadcasting to the Arab World, radio into China and India, and the explosion of interest in the use of the Internet for evangelism and discipling.


    So much has happened in our world as a direct result of prayer. Can you imagine what can happen during the next decade if God's people never give up? Operation World helps us all join with God in accomplishing His mission.


 

The new edition of Operation World, by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, is now available. Get your copy as soon as possible and join in praying for God's worldwide mission.


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