Inspired by his first overseas missions trip, Pastor Joe Caruso has been working steadily on the global outreach efforts of Grace Church of Akron.
Sometimes, the hardest task the Encompass Crisis Response Network must undertake is deciding when and where to expend their efforts.
IT’S A WELL-KNOWN FACT that the majority of followers of Christ are now located in the global South and East. Not long ago, these regions were the primary destinations for missionaries from Europe and North America. Today, they are sending out their own cross-cultural workers. For our network of churches, the scales ‘tipped’ many decades ago. Primarily because of the explosive growth of our churches in Africa, the ‘majority Grace Brethren world’ has long been located outside of the USA. What’s especially exciting is that many of these ‘mission fields’ are now sending their own missionaries. Praise God that we’ve been successful in passing an important part of our DNA to our spiritual offspring – a commitment to reaching the nations for Christ. This new reality presents us with an unprecedented opportunity.
God isn’t limiting his call for cross-cultural workers to the 9% of our churches located in North America. Instead, he’s raising up a new wave of ‘from-anywhere to-anywhere’ workers from across our global network. Many of these workers are choosing to join existing Encompass teams; others are forming teams of their own. There is something very special about multicultural teams. To succeed, they require us to set aside our own cultural preferences in pursuit of something higher – a ‘Kingdom culture.’ The Good News of Jesus Christ becomes very real when outsiders witness men and women from different cultures living and working together in harmony. We celebrate the special partnerships we’re creating in the complex arena of multicultural teams. In many ways, we feel we’re only beginning the journey. Will you join me in praying for God to raise up a new wave of ‘from-anywhere to-anywhere’ workers?
Originally published in November 2010
By Dave Guiles