By: Dr. Troy Sammons
Its five hours into a long first day on the road to Lotimor, a very rural Toposa town in South Sudan. The trip has been an enjoyable time of connecting with fellow missionaries who share my heart for reaching the Toposa people.
From the time of departure around noon, we had stopped periodically as both the journey and the destination are the mission on this survey. The land is beautifully sparse of infrastructure –no cell coverage, no running water, no technology. The road however is largely impassible because of the gullies and stones that litter the loosely packed bitumen. As we drove, villages, or bomas, peak out periodically on both sides of the road with the characteristic multi-layer thatch roof on round stick homes.Read More
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. Matthew 18:15
This article closes out our series on the way abounding love is lived out by Christ followers. Today we will look at the profound way that the sincere seeking of reconciliation with opponents can truly magnify the gospel to a watching world. I will start with a tremendous personal example that has been in the news lately. Next we will look at scriptural guidance for both the offender and the offended. Finally, we will explore going to our brother in the right spirit and how we need to be prepared to courageously speak the truth in love without being offensive.Read More
Our perspective shapes the way we think, and consequently, how we are moved to act. Our background, our individual personalities, past choices and experiences all comprise the lens through which we see the world. In this part of the Christ’s Place in the Workplace series, I’ll urge you to change your own perspective about the worth of your work: making a shift from focusing on financial rewards to considering your usefulness. Stick with me, I think you’ll like what God has revealed. If you need a refresher on fellowship, image, or adornment, be sure to click on those links and check them out.Read More
By: Dr. Fred Van Gorkom, CVM Regional Director, Africa
You get a card in the mail. “Change of Address! We’ve moved!”
Only this time, it’s addressed to the global Church, from world-wide migrations that have become the new norm, part of God’s sovereign plan. Over the past 10 years, 45.8 million immigrants have come to the United States, from nearly every country in the world.
The US is the world’s number one destination for Christian and Buddhist migrants, and for those of no particular religious affiliation. It’s the world’s second leading destination for Hindu migrants after India, and for Jewish migrants after Israel. Leading countries of origin include Philippines, India, China and Germany.
God is bringing the nations to us, often from countries where missionary access is forbidden or extremely difficult, like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and others. And get this: these diaspora communities are not just a mission field, but contain believers that are themselves evangelizing their own people in their new communities, and back in their homeland!
Many churches are experiencing tremendous growth after intentionally welcoming immigrants into their faith communities; it’s challenging at times, but extraordinarily rewarding! God loves and provides for immigrants (Dt 10: 18-19). He calls for His people to share His heart, extend hospitality (literally, the love of strangers) to people He’s making accessible.
Christian Veterinary Mission challenges, empowers and facilitates veterinarians to share the love of Christ through their profession—often overseas. But what about vets who can’t go? Health issues. School debt. A spouse who doesn’t feel called. What about countless vets in private practice? What if we all responded?!! International, cross-cultural missions on our doorsteps!
Anyone can build friendship, share a meal. We can help immigrants get settled, learn language, adjust to culture, go grocery shopping, figure out health care. We can invite them to church, mobilize a church to care for them, maybe even help plant one that reaches them—and encourage them to reach their own people, better than we ever could!
Discipleship is a great need. We are called to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). Imagine! One day people from every language and nation will worship around the throne. Throughout Scripture, God encourages us to care for the stranger and the alien and as Christian veterinarians, we should be finding ways to embrace this missional opportunity.
It’s not that we abandon international missions. But are we willing to only make great sacrifices to reach a people on some other continent, and not walk across the street?
Here are some ideas how veterinary professionals can intentionally reach cross-cultural people groups in their own communities:
1. Pray about what God would have you do. Pray for an ethnic community or even just a neighbor God could help you befriend. Cross-cultural groups may include Native Americans, resident Hispanic or other populations, as well as recent immigrants. Pray!
2. Create displays in your clinic reception room. Host Bible studies there (eg. Alpha courses). Recruit someone qualified to help you (e.g. hire a Chinese vet also able to reach Chinese). Even move your clinic somewhere in N America, to a strategic location for cross-cultural outreach. Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness (Mt 6:33).
3. Many migrants are university students. Invite them for a meal. Offer to host them over weekends or holidays. Arrange to speak on campus. One vet couple bought a house and moved across from campus to intentionally reach international students.
CVM would love to help. We have resources for workplace ministry tools, cross-cultural training, language acquisition and more. Comment below, or visit our website for more information.
1. JD Payne, MissioNexus “Anthology” Vol 2, No 1, Apr 2014
2. Jenny Hwang Yang, MissioNexus “Anthology” Vol. 1, No.1
3. For example, Ex 22:21, Ps 146: 9, Mt 25:34-36, Ro 12:13, Heb 13:2 and many more!
My pastor once said that outside of the power of God, the most effective thing for the transformation of any person is another human being. I found great conviction in that, because I grasped its truth- we influence one another in our daily actions, probably more than we realize or are able to control. If you’ve been following along with us, we’ve been going through a series about Christ’s Place in the Workplace, and so far, we’ve discussed the importance of fellowship, and reflecting the image of Christ.
The next step is realizing that our daily actions provide adornment for the Gospel, or conversely, can detract from its glory. To adorn means, “to make more beautiful or attractive, to enhance.” Our work itself is not the Gospel, but it can make those truths more evident as people observe our words and witness our actions.Read More