Op-Ed: Age-Old Missions in a New-Fangled World

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Have you noticed that being a Christian has become somewhat controversial recently? It’s an interesting paradigm to grasp. The world is adopting a “live-and-let-live” type tolerance, and Christianity is kind of at odds with that. In two ways. On one hand, we have a moral code that is (or should be!) more stringent than that of the world, so don’t want to tolerate ‘bad behaviour’. And on the other, we are called to love our neighbours, even our enemies, which defies mere tolerance. But at least the latter part of that should be attractive, so what is it that’s disconnecting?

I think the problem is that evangelism flies in the face of our larger culture’s “what-you-believe-is-OK-for-you,-what-I-believe-is-OK-for-me” mentality. We are making truth claims, and asserting that Jesus Christ has answers to life’s questions that can’t be found anywhere else. And one of our truth claims is that there are consequences to not adopting the same truth claims. If not handled with great tact, this can come across as very arrogant. (If the truth is infected with pride, it’s not really truth.) It’s a simple switch from “You have to believe what I believe” to “I invite you to follow who I follow”. One is unforgivably haughty, and the other is the ultimate in humility. And as a side benefit, the way that someone follows Christ becomes much less important than the fact that they are following Christ, which is at it should be.

Postmodernism (simply translated: “question everything”) is forcing us to examine the mechanics of our faith. How do we share the love of Christ in a way that can be understood rationally and practically at the same time? How do we stay true to our faith, and still remain culturally in-tune? In the context of global outreach, these questions take on even more significance, because we’re straddling (at least!) two different cultures. Well, mistakes get made, and misunderstandings happen. But we succeed when we honestly admit to them, humbly apologize for them, and even allow ourselves to laugh along with others about them.

Every day stories are happening all over the world that show how invested God is in this. It is His truth, and we seek to share it with the people that He made. And that’s a goal that hasn’t changed for a couple of millenia, or so.

Hungary English Clubs

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We celebrate with our Hungary team the end of a successful fall semester!

Their classes were attended by about 40 adults, 5 teens and 10-15 children. A large part of December was spent making preparations for the English Club Christmas Program. They put on a children’s drama and a shadow play the of Christmas story. On December 10th, more than 100 people joined them for the Christmas program, which also included singing a Christmas carol, a devotional and giving out New Testaments and Christian calendars along with lots of treats and games.

Please pray for our team as they take some time off for Christmas, travel to visit family in Ireland, and prepare for the next set of classes.

Professional Associate Category

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The EFCCM’s new Professional Associate designation opens up opportunities for missions involvement to people with unique skillsets. Perhaps you’re wondering how your experience in the trades, or professional roles could be used on the mission field. Let me assure you, there is a deep need!

For one thing, missionaries need your help to bring their ideas into fruition. If you’re experienced in construction, for example, we need your help in projects that will provide ministry centres, schools and church facilities. Perhaps your skills can be used in education, as we offer in an annual Ukrainian business-training seminar which initiates relationships with key business leaders in the country. And we’re exploring similar opportunities several other places too.

If you have an idea for how your particular skillset might be used in missions, why not drop us a line. We’re always on the lookout for creative outreach solutions!