Inspiring stories happen every day, but we don't hear so much about them on the news. So, where do you go to hear these stories and find out about what God is doing behind the scenes? Well, the Create Emerge team have a list of great missions news, magazine, podcast & blog sites to get you started.
Every year, thousands of teams set off on short term trips to share the gospel. Language and cultural barriers can make clear communication of the gospel incredibly difficult. What if we could equip them to witness in an engaging and culturally relevant way? Equip makes sure to provide outreach teams with the tools and information necessary for them to be as effective as possible for the time they are on the field.
If you are involved in frontier missions, or you're preparing to go on a short term missions trip, you'll be aware of the challenges that are involved. You may find yourself asking questions like "How do I communicate the Gospel when I don't speak the language of the people I'm trying to reach? What are the cultural differences that I should be aware of? What resources are availble to help me reach out to this specific people group?"
"...RTC currently employs 25 landmine victims who are viewed in Cambodian society as having got what they deserve through karma and most often end up begging on the street or making next to nothing in some sort of labour. Not long after beginning this project a few years ago, her staff began to ask about Jesus, and soon they were asking her about having a church. Now, most of her staff are coming back to their place of work on Sunday mornings for a church service, and deeper transformation is taking place..."
So you've heard the need and want to get out there and make a difference. Now you're thinking that it could be helpful to do a little preparation, learn some skills, and get some training. But where do you start?
"...our team has recently found out about Not For Sale, which is a campaign to fight the global slave trade and end human trafficking. Not for Sale is conducting a tour called Stop Paying for Slavery which is a multidimensional, multimedia, multi-day experience aiming to bring together education, law enforcement, faith communities, corporations, consumers and all justice seekers in the fight to end modern-day slavery..."
It seems that the emerging generation is becoming a lot more aware of social justice issues. That's a good thing - however It doesn't take much to feel overwhelmed by the transformation that needs to take place. So, what can we do to make a difference?
"...I've always loved to draw, paint and create things and it came pretty naturally for me. I continued to develop drawing skills throughout my childhood and teen years. It's quite sad to admit but probably 50% of the time I spent learning to draw was during Math, Science and English class. I had this idea that I was going to be an animator or a children's book illustrator someday and figured I didn't need to worry about subjects that weren't relevant to my future..."
If you have a desire to get into missions, but are a little overwhelmed by the options and aren't sure what your next step should be, we have some good news: the Create Emerge team have put in the hard yards, done a bunch of research, and put together a selection of missions opportunity sites to get you started.
"...I didn't just join this team because of the opportunity to make music. I joined because God, through this team, was opening my heart up to his love for me, and consequently for the world. I didn’t have a lot of passion for the Kingdom or a clear idea of what it was all about when I first joined, but through the relationships that were formed around a great purpose, I couldn’t help but eventually begin to get energized by the Perpetrator towards the purpose of bringing the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven..."
You may have read in the blog article 'Being Frank' that the Create Emerge team recently spent three weeks in India filiming the story of Prem Sewa school and hostel. We have hopes of producing a full length Documentary, but for now we've put together a 16min preview called 'Being Frank - The Story of Prem Sewa Shikshan Sangh'. This video is currently being shown in churches throughout Canada by Prem Sewa Director Bapu as he travels from Quebec to British Columbia. Stay tuned for the completion of the full length documentary - Coming 2011- we hope :)
"...Create Emerge and Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International (MBMSI) have partnered to create a short 12min documentary called 'East West' that focuses on the partnerships between believers from the East and the West as they join together with a powerful vision to see God's Kingdom advance in South Asia. 'East West' is going to be screened throughout Canada over the next few months as part of MBMSI's Celebrate Mission Nights..."
A 6 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Battambang through the ‘rice bowl’ of Cambodia brought to mind Jesus’ words: “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”. We’d heard some exciting reports about what God was doing through the youth-centred ministries of the University of the Nations Battambang and decided to check it out for ourselves. Together with students from our Media2Go seminar, we had the opportunity to capture a few stories from this hotspot where God is at work.
The 4 young people we profiled were all born a decade after the Khmer Rouge genocide of the late 1970s. They represent a new generation which is rising from the ashes of that horrific era. Today, about 80% of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 30. The spiritual direction that this generation takes will have a huge impact on the depth of healing and transformation that occurs in a nation once known to the world as ‘The Killing Fields’. This is a pivotal time in Cambodia’s history.
Excited by a vision to ‘reach a nation in one generation’, a DTS outreach team from Kona, Hawaii, came to Battambang in 2005 to pioneer a YWAM base. It began with a youth centre to teach Bible, English and life skills, and today trains and disciples up to 400 young people daily. Each of the 4 young Cambodians we focused on came through the centre’s doors with their own stories of pain, loss, and struggle. Each one encountered people who loved them, encouraged them, walked with them, and exemplified Jesus to them.
Today, they are all ‘bearing fruit’; discipling others with the unique gifts God’s given them in the areas of Bible and English teaching, dance, leadership, and even café management. As our students listened and documented the stories, they were impacted much more than anticipated by the warmth, gentleness, and passionate commitment to Christ that these Khmer young people showed.
Finishing touches are still being made to the 4 Voices of Cambodia students projects filmed in Battambang. Links to these videos will be coming soon. Stay tuned!
During our recent trip to India we found ourselves at the Good Shepherd School being treated with legendary Indian hospitality by our host, guide, and translator, Moses. He bent over backwards to organize interviews with key ministry leaders, as well as visits to schools, villages, and ministry sites. Squeezing what seemed to be a month of filming into about 10 days, we captured numerous stories of redemption. God is bringing hope and a future to an oppressed people – the Dalits. The 300 million ‘slum dogs’, as they’ve undeservedly come to be known, live at risk of dehumanization, violence, and other forms of oppression every day. They are the largest group of people who are victims of modern-day slavery.
Below is a collection of photos which depicts some of the beautiful people we met along the way.
One month before our team’s ‘first wave’ left for India earlier this year, it looked like we’d have a two week gap between the East West and Prem projects with not much to do except drink chai and bask in the 40+ degree heat of South India. But God, as He so often does, revealed a ‘last minute’ game plan. It came by way of a timely email from Janine, one of the pastors from our church back home. Shortly before our departure, she wrote:
“When you are in India I think it would be SO GREAT if you have time to connect with the Good Shepherd School. This could be an opportunity for you to catch what God is doing through that particular ministry and for you to help them get the word out through media …You’d be cranked by the stuff they’re doing, and possibly changed, as it changed me.”
Six weeks after Janine’s email, we found ourselves at the school being treated with legendary Indian hospitality by our host, guide, and translator, Moses. He bent over backwards to organize interviews with key ministry leaders, as well as visits to schools, villages, and ministry sites. Squeezing what seemed to be a month of filming into 10 days, we captured numerous stories of redemption, as God is bringing hope and a future to an oppressed people – the Dalits. The 300 million ‘slum dogs’, as they’ve recently been labelled, live at risk of dehumanization, violence, and other forms of oppression every day. They are the largest group of people who are victims of modern-day slavery. See Photos
Above: Some of the beautiful people we met while filming in Dalit villages.
True to Janine’s words, we were ‘changed’ and ‘cranked’ by the work of a group of passionate modern-day ‘abolitionists’ as they advocate for the Dalits. We also shook our heads in amazement at the timeliness of our visit. Soon after arriving, we connected with at least three other visiting groups – from Canada, Australia, and Germany – who were checking out firsthand the many community development and education projects so they could more effectively advocate for the Dalits in their own nations.
As a former high school teacher, I’ve attended many school events, but none as special or impacting as the one we witnessed on March 5, 2010. On that warm moonlit evening, we had the opportunity to share in the excitement of seeing a group of students, all from Dalit backgrounds, walk across an outdoor stage to receive their hard-earned graduation diplomas.
After the ceremony we were privileged to interview Dr. Joseph D’Souza, one of the major driving forces behind the Dalit freedom movement. His comments were insightful, passionate, and authoritative. Like any proud father, he gave a glowing report of his kids’ accomplishments. The following blog article ‘Second Graduation‘ is an update Joseph wrote shortly after that special night. Read Article
My Sobering Reality: The Slumdog Millionaire’s India
Written by Joseph D’souza, January 29th 2009
The movie Slumdog Millionaire and the Booker Prize winning novel White Tiger have highlighted the non-shiny part of India. Far from exploiting poverty, these are stories about India which demand a global response – especially for the sake of the children.
This is the India of 80% of the population — the India of the slums, the outcastes, the exploited, and of abject poverty. The India where Dalit, tribal, and poor children are sold into the sex trade. Where fully healthy children are maimed into becoming beggars. Where children become victims of religious communalism. And where the elitist classes keep them out of prosperity and development by not being willing to change a system that disenfranchises the children of the downtrodden.
I have worked with the disenfranchised and marginalised for most of my life. I’m a citizen of India who is proud of my country’s progress in recent years, yet I must point out the obvious again. The movie is not about selling the poverty of India as a British newspaper alleged (“Shocked by Slumdog’s poverty porn”, Alice Miles, The Times, Jan. 14, 2009). Instead, it is the story about the real India of the majority where children become the primary victims of all that is dysfunctional in society (as The Guardian pointed out).
As the movie is released in India this week, expect another barrage of attacks by a section of the elitist Indian media. Likely there will be heavy emphasis on the simple fact that this is a movie made by a white Brit! All this while forgetting that this movie — which has won Golden Globes and other awards and was nominated for several Oscars — is far truer to Indian reality than the popular fantasized Bollywood movies.
But isn’t this the time for truth-telling about what ails India and our world?
Are not the children of our day the primary victims of caste and racial discrimination, human trafficking, war, poverty, and religious extremism?
The world has about 1.2 billion children — with India and China accounting for more than a fourth — 400 million children. The vast majority of India’s roughly 250 million children are affected by dire poverty, caste discrimination, and exploitation.
Millions of children living in Africa, Latin America, and the Muslim world suffer the same plight. Many of these are in similarly desperate situations. Is it crystal clear to you like it is to me? The slumdog of our generation is the boy or girl less than 14 years old.
I have a sobering, reoccurring thought these days. Is the main sin of our generation what we are doing to children — both born and unborn? What is our part in changing the conditions of the slumdog kids of the world?
Inspiring stories happen every day, but we don’t hear so much about them on the news. So, where do you go to hear these stories and find out about what God is doing behind the scenes? We have a list of great missions news, magazine, podcast and blog sites to get you started.
To get informed about what’s going on in the world of missions, check out our Get Informed page.
Engage is a multimedia package designed to inform, motivate, and encourage a new generation to engage in the world of missions. It contains inspiring missions videos, an informative stats and facts slideshow, comprehensive teaching notes, a booklet which contains the stories behind the stories, and handy hints on how to use these mobilisation resources effectively.
Engage – Voices Full Presentation
A 50 minute video presentation that will take you on a ‘big picture’ journey presenting the needs and challenges in the world today, and show how we’re doing as the church in meeting those needs. Hear encouraging stories of what God is doing in the places we usually only hear bad news about, and meet some inspiring people who have said the 100% ‘yes’ to Jesus; impacting the planet one day at a time.
Engage – Voices Short Presentations
For a shorter time slot, use one of the three 20 minute video presentations that also represent the ‘big picture’ of missions, but feature only one missions story each. Another alternative is to use one of the Engage – Bonus Videos as a stand alone.
Engage – Slideshow Presentations & Teaching Notes
This is a supplementary tool for teaching the stats and facts of world missions in a classroom or meeting setting. Choose between the shorter or longer version depending on your time constraints. The longer version can be used as background information for the presenter, or can be taught one section at a time over the course of several classroom meetings. See ‘How to use the Engage Package’.
Get Engaged PDF – Additional Research Material
A list of websites that lead to more information in the following areas: missions news and media; global awareness and action; missions mobilisation resources and networks; missions opportunities and training. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does represent a wide variety of ministries and organizations to look into.