(Photo courtesy of World Mission)
That’s what organizations like World Mission
are seeing happening. By supporting indigenous Gospel workers throughout Africa and Asia, World Mission is using humanitarian aid to open doors the Gospel.
“The way we seek to influence is to help them whenever there are particularly humanitarian needs, even in some of the Hindu areas as well as some of the Buddhist areas that are aggressive against evangelization,” World Mission’s International Training Director Jerry Smith says. “We are finding that some of our partners are having a lot of favor primarily through water well drilling.
“On top of that, they’re going in with the Treasure, with this audio Bible. If they just went in evangelizing, they have no inroads, even as nationals, they wouldn’t have any credibility, but when they come and bring the village aid, and they’re not asking anything in return, generally speaking, the elders will not only permit the Treasures to be distributed, and even Jesus films, but they’ll actually welcome it.”
World Mission is seeing a similar phenomenon in the Middle East. Smith says the trauma refugees have faced has opened their hearts to new beliefs.
“When anybody’s situation is radically upturned, we psychologically become open to different things. We become open to change,” Smith says. “So what they’re seeing in some of these refugee camps is these Treasures are having a dramatic impact. [They’re] beginning to see people that are realizing the religion they’ve been following doesn’t have the answers. In fact, in some of the situations they’re in, it’s sort of the source of their problems.”
This openness doesn’t mean the work is easy, though. Over the coming years, World Mission is looking to develop partnerships with indigenous Gospel workers throughout Southeast Asia. Many of these countries, however, are creative-access countries—countries where open evangelism is unlawful, so missionaries must find creative ways to spread the Gospel.
One such country is Nepal. In August, Parliament passed a bill criminalizing attempts to convert people to other religions and “hurting religious sentiment,”
which has led to an increase in persecution of Christians
. Similar laws exist in neighboring Myanmar, while the “hurting religious sentiment” clause is similar to Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws.
World Mission recognizes that while the Treasures are extremely valuable in aiding the spread of the Gosple, people-to-people contact is needed to make disciples. (Photo courtesy of World Mission)
“In some of the countries that we’re working in, because it is national workers, most of our people do not have a high profile,” Smith says. “One of the things that they’ve been having to do, especially in Nepal, is they’ve had to be very low key, very careful, and they work in very remote areas.”
Despite the dangers they face, World Mission’s Gospel workers continue to find success planting Gospel seeds. Smith asks that you keep them in your prayers as they often face difficult decisions.
“The thing that we’re praying the most, of course we know who to pray for specifically, is really for our national partners, that they continue to have favor, that God watches over and protects them, that he guides and directs them, that they have the resources necessary, because these are men and women that are in the thick of things that we can’t even imagine. And yet they’re going boldly and walking straight into them, and they have a passion for the Gospel and for the people.”
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Int’l (MNN) – Around the world, God is penetrating even the most hostile hearts with the truth of the Gospel.