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..."
Early this year, I was able to go on outreach with the Birth Attendant School (BAS) from YWAM Perth. Leading up to our departure date, I realized this trip would be a perfect opportunity to make a film about what my wife Hollie and the rest of the team have been doing on the school for the past several years.
A co-worker and I spent some time in prayer and decided to film the project as a day ‘through the eyes’ of a BAS student. We arrived in India, began shooting, and before long the story started coming together. Our times of prayer were especially important in maintaining focus, bringing unity, and renewing passion. (Not that we didn’t struggle with all three of these areas regardless!)
Putting together the first half of the film seemed especially easy. I was very grateful that that part of the story flowed so well. The real challenge came as I started to put together the hospital sequence. We filmed quite a bit, but even so, the process was fairly new to me. Fortunately, I had a couple more months of outreach in a different location where I was able to put a lot of time into editing. Making this film was a challenge at times, but through the process, God has shown me much more about Himself and what He is doing to bring life to those who are suffering.
Since the film has been online, I have had a number of very encouraging comments. I was told of one young girl that heard of the film through one of the BAS staff, watched it, and decided that she wants to be a birth attendant in missions! My hope is that many more people will see the film and discover that it is possible for anyone to get out there where people are in need and make a difference. The kingdom of God is built up through many small acts of selfless love. The women of the BAS are great examples of that.
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.
Create Emerge and Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International (MBMSI) have partnered to create a short 12 minute documentary called ‘East West’ that focuses on the partnerships between believers from the East and the West as they join together with a vision for South Asia. ‘East West’ is going to be screened throughout Canada and the USA over the next few months as part of MBMSI’s Celebrate Mission Nights.
At this year’s Celebrate Mission Nights, there will be opportunities to worship, hear stories and pray together for South Asia, a region of the world with millions of people who’ve had no chance to hear of God’s love and hope for their lives. If you’re in Canada and are interested in coming along check out the dates and locations below to find a Celebrate Missions Night near you.*
Sept 19 – Zoar MB Church in Inman, Kansas @ 7pm
Sept. 26 – Bethany MB Church in Fresno, CA @ 6 pm
Nov. 7 – Bakerview MB Church in Abbotsford, BC @ 7 pm
November 14 – Vancouver Pacific Grace MB in Vancouver, BC @ 7 pm
November 21 – Forest Grove MB in Saskatoon, SK @ 7 pm
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
This month was the second graduation of the Good Shepherd Schools. Again this was an emotionally charged event with the children, the parents, the graduates, staff and some of our partners present. For me it was a fresh reminder of how quickly the time has gone in the Dalit freedom movement and now the graduates are coming out of our schools. The school management brought in the three top students of last year (two girls and one boy) all in colleges now and no one would have believed that these young kids with jeans, t-shirts and sneakers and their great confidence were children of slums and poverty ridden areas and so called outcastes and untouchables. One of our girls is in junior college preparing to go into medical school and wants to come back and serve her own people with us.
The star student this year was Varalakshmi, daughter of a stone breaker Dalit on whom there was a small video showing his back breaking work and the marks of wounds and blisters on his hands and legs as he slaves for more than ten hours a day. We have now graduated two of his children.
Another mother whose second child graduated this year insisted on coming up on the stage and thanking us all in her native tongue. Varalakshmi, our star student, gave the students’ speech in the evening program and said she wanted to become a teacher and come back to teach in one of our schools!
These students definitely know what the movement is all about. The students were reminded like last year not to forget their people now that they entered into a new world to fulfill their dreams and ambitions.
Above: Future graduates receiving valuable education at a Good Shepherd School.
This new school year we will be into our 100th school. I just can’t believe it. We will have more than 20,000 children rescued, cared for, empowered and educated along with the spiritual and social empowerment of their families and communities.
There was a video crew from Australia doing some filming on our movement who asked me how on earth we were going to realize our goal of freedom for 300 million Dalits.
My answer was: One child at a time, one woman at a time, one man a time, one school at a time, one community at a time, one just law at a time and then the inevitable “TIPPING POINT” which will bring massive changes and freedoms in a very short time.
This is more clear to me now ten years into this movement.
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?