In our world of unreached peoples and staggering need for discipleship, sometimes it is hard to know where to focus one’s efforts. As I ponder over the World and its immense spiritual needs, one thing seems to stand out to me as a clear priority; those asking for teaching and discipleship. When I learned about Raymond’s focus with MTM, it resonated with me. MTM’s focus is on answering the “Macedonian call.” There are people scattered across the globe who are ASKING for discipleship and teaching, and this is what MTM focuses on. That priority makes sense.
Recently a Christian leader in India was involved in a court case concerning his baptizing a new believer. One was a young girl who went on to marry a Hindu man. They discovered she was a Christian and she was killed by her husband’s family. Going through her phone they found pictures of her baptism and were able to trace the leader who had baptized her. He faced legal charges in a costly lawsuit, costly in time and money. Another leader in India is also facing a court case involving a tract written using the ministry name. Because the writer used the story of the prodigal son and talked about the fatted calf, the Hindus have taken the ministry to law.
Our energy is feeling spent, but our hearts are full and overflowing with joy at the welcome we received and the gladness with which the teaching from God’s Word was received from the brothers and sisters here in Cambodia.
We were part of two worship services on Sunday; at Myitkyina in the morning, and at another congregation in an outlying village that evening. Monday through Wednesday was spent teaching at the church with about 150 brothers and sisters attending. There were some pastors, deacons, and participants from other congregations also in attendance. Brother Merle taught on marriage and leadership in the home, with the last message on the “headship veiling”. Brother Ward taught on godly parenting. The teaching was very well received.
The gospels give us several accounts of Jesus and his disciples out on the water. This is one you have not heard for it is just now being written. Twelve disciples leave the far reaches of Chin State in northwest Myanmar. Three of them travel by motor bike for a day to join the others. Together they travel south, one day by boat and then 25 hours by bus.
“We’ve never heard this kind of teaching before!” The speaker was an older deacon in the local church. The setting was Putao in far northern Myanmar. The teaching of this MTM Bible School was on two important subjects for the deeper Christian life; “Know Christ and make Him Known,” a study on Holy Spirit inspired church growth and evangelism from the book of Acts, and “the Godly Family.” Important, even critical subjects for the church to examine, if we wish to grow and prosper. Yet this church leader claimed to have never heard them taught.
Year after year, testimonies abound that your investment is impacting the Kingdom of God…by commitments that are made, ministries that are started, churches that are planted among the unreached. And lives that are changed, and souls that are saved at the MTM leadership conferences, Bible Schools, youth meetings, and night revivals!
This MTM ministry trip was marked by four major ministry events all in one trip to India. This included three different leadership conferences in three totally different regions of India. All this was followed by the Burkholder’s officiating in a wedding in yet another region of India. This trip also included hosting three different MTM teaching teams from different parts of the world. After 10 different air flights and one month in India truly this was MTM-Ministry To the MAX.
Where would you fit yourself in this description? Like the Great Harvest Jesus spoke of…some are observing, some are sitting, some are standing, and a few are working…and others are just going on with life as normal. Lu 10:2, Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
Arriving in Indonesia, we deeply felt our dependency on God as we experienced city life, strange languages, dangerous traffic patterns. The cultural differences from America was amazing.