Greetings from Jay Bell,
Director of Internationals USA.
Director of Internationals USA.
What an opportunity!
Churches in the U.S. are uniquely postured to do pioneer, cross-cultural ministry among the nations right at home!
No plane fare necessary! No U.S. passport necessary! No inoculation shots necessary!
In fact, “I’m convinced that the single greatest un-tapped resource in accelerating the Great Commission is the people sitting in our local churches!” Why? God is bringing the nations into our communities.
It all began when God initially “scattered” the nations (a group with its own language and culture) over all the earth. In fact, listen to the account written by Moses in Genesis 11:9 “…the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.” And that scattering is still taking place today!
As our country continues to grow through the influx of immigrants and refugees, and as international students continue to flock to our universities, we have an opportunity to accelerate Matthew 28:19 right where we live. The ethnic and cultural diversity of America is giving churches an opportunity to do international, cross-cultural outreach right at home.
We often assume that this diversity is a “big-city thing.” On the contrary! The “nations” are living everywhere in our country – in our smaller towns, burg’s and ville’s. Of course, there are a greater number of nations living in our large urban centers, but they, too, are desiring to escape the “crunch of the city” (crowds, congestion & crime) just like others who move to more rural areas.
We also assume that only bigger churches can do significant local cross-cultural ministry. That's not true! It's not about attendance size. The mega-church and the smaller church are on equal footing when it comes to seeing the nations in their community and reaching out to them.
Dallas Center, Iowa is “Exhibit A.” It has a population of slightly fewer than 2,000 people.
Pastor Randy Todd invited my wife (Jan) and me to present our Internationals USA workshop in the Dallas Center Grace Brethren Church. Included in the workshop was a Temple Trip – a short-term mission trip to a Hindu Temple. We drove in a car-caravan through the Iowa countryside and eighteen minutes later (!) we rounded a curve and gasped at the sight of a towering Hindu Temple surrounded by corn fields. When we stepped into the “worship center” and observed the idols of the twelve gods, plus the idols of the planets of our planetary system, we were standing smack in the middle of India. We concluded our weekend at Dallas Center at a Mexican Restaurant eights minutes from the church building. As Randy was paying the bill, I asked the owner where she learned English. She responded, “At a church in South Carolina.” I then asked if she wanted to continue to learn English. “Of course,” she replied. With that “open door” Pastor Randy offered her the opportunity to continue to learn English through the Dallas Center Grace Brethren Church.
18 minutes to India! 8 minutes to Mexico! In a city of less than 2,000 people! Oh, one more thing. A few doors from the Tres Amigos Mexican Restaurant was the Shanghai Restaurant. 8 minutes to China!
Well, how about it? Do you want to begin your local international ministry right at home? If so, Jay & Jan Bell, through Internationals USA, are more than ready to help you get started.
Here are some suggested steps:
- Ask God to give you “eyes” to see the nations in your community - physical eyes and the eyes of your heart.
- Pray about scheduling an Internationals USA workshop. This four-hour experience will open God’s Word and God’s world in a new and exciting way. This workshop will give you all the “in’s & out’s” to begin your local cross-cultural ministry among the nations.
- Go for it!
Remember, the mobilization of your local church to reach your local nations is the greatest way to accelerate the Great Commission!
Interested in starting an ESL program at your church? Click here for some helpful resources and ideas!