Global Mission After 20 Years

Countries with no Adventist Presence

  • Afghanistan 
  • Aland Islands 
  • Andorra 
  • Bhutan 
  • Brunei Darussalam 
  • Comoros 
  • Falkland Islands 
  • Gibraltar 
  • Guernsey 
  • Holy See 
  • Isle of Man 
  • Jersey 
  • North Korea 
  • Liechtenstein 
  • Maldives 
  • Mauritania 
  • Mayotte 
  • Monaco 
  • Morocco 
  • Palestinian Territory 
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon 
  • San Marino 
  • Saudi Arabia 
  • Somalia 
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands 
  • Syria 
  • Tokelau 
  • Western Sahara 
  • Yemen

One day while Rajah was holding a Bible study, a mob approached his house, brandishing sticks and swords. They grabbed Rajah, locked him in his house, and threatened to burn it down. With no way to escape, Rajah was terrified. But he knelt and prayed, begging God to save him the way He had saved Daniel in the lions’ den.

Long before the mob came, Rajah was an active preacher every Sunday morning at his 300-member church in rural India. But things changed one day when three Global Mission pioneers knocked on his door. As he studied with them Rajah felt that he must share the good news about the seventh-day Sabbath with his church members. After weeks of Bible study and prayer, Rajah’s congregation decided to switch its day of worship from Sunday to Saturday.

While the congregation was embracing their newfound faith, others in the area were angry about this new brand of Christianity sweeping the area. That’s when the mob came and locked Rajah in his house. As Rajah prayed for God to save him, he heard someone unlock the door, but he was too afraid to open it. Rajah heard a man’s voice, and the crowd quieted to listen.

“This man has done nothing wrong,” the voice said. “He is only talking about his beliefs. You don’t have to listen to him, but whatever you do, don’t jeopardize yourselves by taking his life.”

The door opened and the man invited Rajah to walk out. Rajah saw that it was one of the respected village leaders. Rajah walked out the door and the man led him through the mob to safety.

Rajah was shaken by the experience and considered leaving his ministry, but one of the Global Mission pioneers encouraged him to stay strong and do great things for God.Since that time, some of the people who were part of the mob have joined Rajah’s church. Today, Rajah is a Global Mission pioneer himself, actively involved in giving Bible studies. All around the world Global Mission pioneers are reaching into unentered areas of the world, knocking on doors, and talking to thousands of people about God’s love.The purpose of Global Mission is simple: to start new groups of believers among unreached groups of people and areas of world where there are few or no Adventists. These “unentered” areas range from entire countries in Asia and Africa to unreached areas in large European and North American cities.

Behind the Global Mission Initiative

The Global Mission initiative was crafted 20 years ago as a global strategy for reaching areas of the world where the Church was growing slowly or not at all. Global Mission was launched to find creative ways to tell the world of Jesus’ love to those who otherwise may not hear it. 

In 1993 Global Mission started the Global Mission pioneer program. This program uses local church members as church planters working within their own culture and in places where they speak the local language. They are paid a small stipend, and live and work among the people they’re trying to reach. These pioneers dedicate at least one year to establish a new Adventist congregation. Through their holistic ministry, pioneers often help with people’s basic needs like food, water, shelter, healthcare and education, as well as sharing the Bible. Tens of thousands of Global Mission pioneers have ventured into areas with no Adventist presence and planted new groups of believers.

Since 1990, the Adventist church membership has nearly tripled to more than 16 million, thanks in large part to the work of the pioneers. In the last four years, Global Mission has spent $22 million on projects in 163 countries, and funded nearly 10,000 pioneers. 

Through the General Conference’s “Tell the World” initiative – its strategic plan for mission from 2005 to 2010, and now 2010 to 2015 – Global Mission and its pioneers will work to invite every person in the world to respond to the good news about Jesus.

Three Priorities for Missions

Study Centers

The Adventist Church has historically grown fastest in areas of the world where Christianity is already understood; however, in 10/40 Window countries, such as Thailand, India, and the Middle East, people are often resistant to even associate with Christians. To share the gospel effectively, Global Mission realized that Adventists must first understand the culture. 

Since 1990 Global Mission has started five study centers in various parts of the world to learn about other world religions and build bridges of understanding. These study centers help Adventists understand the beliefs and cultures of other world religions and develop ways to explain Adventist beliefs to others.

Global Center For Adventist-Muslim Relations 
Director: Lester Merklin
E-mail: MerklinL@gc.adventist.org

Hindu Study Center
Director: G. R. Mohan Roy
E-mail: mohanroy@sud-adventist.org

World Jewish Friendship Center
Director: Richard Elofer
E-mail: rielofer@netvision.net.il
Online: www.jewishadventist.org

Buddhist Study Center
Director: Scott Griswold
E-mail: griswold@loxinfo.co.th
Online: www.BridgesForMinistry.org

Center for Secular and Post-Modern Studies
Online: www.secularandpostmodern.com

The Adventist Church has defined an “unentered’ area to be one where there is a ratio of more than a million people to one church. It may be a country where there are no Adventists at all, or only one church for an entire country. Or it may be a place where there are thousands of Adventist members, but none within an entire people group. For instance, statistics show that 77% of Hindus living the United States don’t know a single Christian personally.

Global Mission focuses its work in three specific areas:

The 10/40 Window

Stretching from North Africa, through the Middle East, and into East Asia, the 10/40 Window is a high priority area for Global Mission. With relatively few Christians, it is home to many of the world’s major religions, fastest growing cities, and some of the world’s poorest people. Many living within this region have never heard the name of Jesus.

For years the Adventist Church has spent the vast majority of its resources in areas where Christianity is known. Today Global Mission continues to make the 10/40 Window a priority in mission.

Hope for Big Cities - 

As the name implies, “Hope for Big Cities” projects focus on establishing congregations within the rapidly growing populations of the world’s largest urban areas. In 2007, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lived in cities. Today there are nearly 500 cities with populations of more than one million people. In Africa and Asia, the number of people living in cities increases by approximately a million each week.

Global Mission is providing seed money for new churches in cities where the Adventist Church is struggling to gain a foothold.  At least 25 cities around the world are benefiting from this program. 

One of these projects is in Abidjan, the commercial and administrative center of Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. Fewer than 10,000 Adventists live in this nation of nearly 17 million people. Local church members plan to start a three-phase evangelistic effort in an unentered part of Abidjan.

Another project is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where there is just one Adventist for every 1,263 people. Global Mission is helping to fund a community outreach project downtown, where 117 young people are now attending church programs.

Reaching the Postmodern and Secular World

Europe today has the fewest Adventists per capita of any continent. Nearly half of Europeans practice no religion. More and more post-modern people are unable to relate to the Adventist Church in the way it has traditionally been presented.

Global Mission is making secular parts of the world, such as Western Europe, Australia,
New Zealand, and much of North America, a priority. Global Mission is working to plant churches in these areas and come up with creative new programs that interest the non-religious people living there in the love of God.

Be Part of It 

Global Mission’s ambitious projects are impossible to complete without support from people like you. As pioneers request funding for local projects, Global Mission tries to allocate the money to where it is most needed. Even small contributions can make a big difference. It only takes only $50 a month to sponsor a Global Mission pioneer.

Many challenges remain as we seek to “Tell the World,” but with the faithful giving of those who can, and the tireless work of committed pioneers and other laypeople, we can make sure that we follow Christ’s command to go into all the world. Global Mission is serious about reaching every corner of the world for Jesus. There are still millions who need to hear the good news.

Global Mission Around the World

Each year some 2,500 Global Mission pioneers around the world are telling people about the love of Christ. The hundreds of projects Global Mission supports each year are started and planned by people at the local level. This grassroots planning creates projects with a higher chance of success and creates local ownership. 

Each year Global Mission allocates money to every world region. Local divisions, unions, conferences, and missions then make some contribution to the cost of projects within their territories. This helps create a sense of shared responsibility and local ownership of each initiative. Here is a sampling of what you’ve done over the past five years in more than 160 countries in every region of the world.

Euro-Asia – includes countries such as Russia and former Soviet states
Number of pioneers: 300
Number of countries: 13
Cost: $1.8 million
Church growth: -0.2%

North America – includes the Bermuda, Canada, and the United States
Number of pioneers: 135
Number of countries: 2
Cost: $1.3 million
Church growth: 4.3%

Southern Asia-Pacific – includes countries such as Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand
Number of pioneers: 1,472
Number of countries: 13
Cost: $1.3 million
Church growth: 7.4%

Euro-Africa – includes countries such as Italy, Morocco, and Spain
Number of pioneers: 261
Number of countries: 18
Cost: $1.9 million
Church growth: 2.3%

Euro-Africa – includes countries such as Italy, Morocco, and Spain
Number of pioneers: 261
Number of countries: 18
Cost: $1.9 million
Church growth: 2.3%

Southern Asia – includes countries such as India
Number of pioneers: 1,442
Number of countries: 2
Cost: $1.2 million
Church growth: 75.8%

East-Central Africa – includes countries such as DR Congo, Kenya, and Rwanda
Number of pioneers: 1,646
Number of countries: 11
Cost: $1.9 million
Church growth: 23.1%

South America
Number of pioneers: 658
Number of countries: 9
Cost: $1.2 million
Church growth: 2.8%

Trans-European – includes countries such as the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Middle East
Number of pioneers: 513
Number of countries: 29
Cost: $2.4 million
Church growth: 6.4%

Inter-America – includes countries such as Costa Rica, Haiti, and Mexico
Number of pioneers: 536
Number of countries: 14
Cost: $1.1 million
Church growth: 26.3%

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean
Number of pioneers: 391
Number of countries: 12
Cost: $580,000
Church growth: 20.3%

West-Central Africa – includes countries such as Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia
Number of pioneers: 468
Number of countries: 18
Cost: $1.6 million
Church growth: 12.2%

 

South Pacific – includes countries such as Australia, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands
Number of pioneers: 336
Number of countries: 16
Cost: $2.0 million
Church growth: 2.8%

 


Alita Byrd Featured contributor.


Second Quarter 2010

Editorial

20 Years of Mission

Mission DVD

The Power of Prayer

Feature

Global Mission After 20 Years

World News

World News

 


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