Dear Mission Mobilizers across the globe,
Here I am sitting in the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil waiting for a connecting flight to New York where after a 24-hour visit I head back home to London. I have just been in Montevideo, Uruguay on Logos II. Praise God that over 10,000 people visited the ship this past weekend. We had two days of Pastors' and Leaders' Conferences and I was able to present the Acts 13 Breakthrough concept. The response was very encouraging and many took the special leaflet in Spanish. I really believe we will see many new workers sent out by the churches in Uruguay. The weekend has again affirmed that this vision and concept, when presented properly will grab the attention of pastors and leaders.
Many people ask how we are doing in terms of 100,000 churches sending 200,000 new workers. We find it hard to get the necessary feedback and information, and especially to distinguish between short and longer-term workers. Our goal is for 200,000 longer-term workers, but we know for many this will start with an initial term of one or two years. Please remember that our part is very small in this great mobilization. We don't claim that we are making this happen and know only the Holy Spirit knows all that is happening across the globe.
There is also confusion with some of the statistics and the way people are counted as missionaries. Figures for the two-thirds world often count people evangelizing in their own country, but so- called first world countries do not count such people in their statistics. This gives a false picture. At the same time, we include in our basic goal all people going cross-culturally, whether in or out of their own country. Nigerians from one Peoples' Group going to another group are part of our goal, but to get these totals is difficult. I'm sure when the new edition of Operation World comes out that it will be an enormous help. We especially want to see increased numbers in the 10/40 Window. That is still our priority! We have always counted full-time workers who are working in mission sending offices. They are 100% part of God's great new missionary force.
Could it be that three-fourths of the 200,000 would happen without our efforts? I say, `Praise God', but if with this vision, challenge and initiative we can increase the numbers by another 25%, we would be extremely happy. We want to help that which is already happening happen even more.
To do this, we urgently need more mission mobilizers and Acts 13 `Antioch' churches. We estimate that across the globe over the past couple of years, probably over 40,000 people have made some kind of commitment to go into missions. It might be double that, for as Patrick Johnstone says, `The church is bigger than you think.'
A high percentage of these (if we judge from the past) will never make it long-term, mainly due to the lack of a sending church and finance. Without a major breakthrough in that area (we hope the Acts 13 Breakthrough Vision will help bring this change), then we will never see our goals reached. Keep in mind that about 25% of the world has never heard or read the Gospel. We used to speak, back in the `50s of half the world not having heard when the world's population was 2.8 billion. It blows my mind to realize that 25% of today's population would be 1.75 billion. We have made progress but have a long, long way to go.
The follow-up to make disciples and plant churches is ten times more challenging and difficult and takes much larger numbers of missionaries and national workers. Are we willing to pay the price to make this happen? We hope so, so we are sending this letter and e-mail to mission mobilizers who we believe can help make this happen.
More in our next letter. Meanwhile, let us know how we can help. We are enclosing the revised ACTS 13 Breakthrough leaflet. If this is an extra copy, please pass it on to someone else. If you would like more copies, let us know how many you can use.
For those 200,000 workers,
George Verwer &
PS It's hard to keep our lists up-to-date. We prefer e-mail, but must use both. If you have not contacted us in he last year, then we must hear from you or your name will be deleted from our list. We wanted to let you know that your name and address is on a mailing list in our computer. Let us know if you do not want your name and address on our list and we will remove it.
Please contact George Verwer at firstname.lastname@example.org or<> Chacko Thomas at email@example.com for an Acts 13 Breakthough leaflet.
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