Missionaries still hear God’s call to take the message of salvation to every corner of the world, because every living person needs to hear about the love of Jesus!
The Adventist Church has several kinds of missionaries, including volunteers, Global Mission pioneers, Waldensian students, tentmakers, and fully funded international workers called international service employees (ISEs). It is the ISE missionaries that is the focus of this article.
During the past seven years 524 fully funded international missionary families left their homeland to work in other parts of the world. Even during the pandemic and despite difficult circumstances and many delays, missionary families continued to go. Miracles were witnessed as God worked to arrange visas, work permits, and travel at just the right time. Currently there are 349 missionary families serving across the globe.
These 349 families come from 64 countries and every division of the world church, and they are serving in 80 countries around the world.
MISSION REFOCUS GOALS AND PRIORITIES
The General Conference Mission Board voted at its April 2022 meeting to refocus mission resources. Six criteria will be used to assign international missionaries to positions funded by the General Conference. The aim is that in five years 35 percent of assignments will meet these criteria, and in 10 years 70 percent will meet these criteria.
The goals in voting to refocus mission resources are to:
Send more missionaries to nonentered areas of the world.
Encourage regions that currently have many missionaries to think about not only receiving missionaries, but to intentionally send missionaries to other parts of the world.
Use our best efforts to refocus mission resources.
Renew the church’s missionary movement to what it was when most missionaries were sent to unreached people groups and to unentered countries.
The missionary assignments will be focused on six criteria:
Where the gospel is personally carried to people groups who have never heard about Jesus and where the organized church has little or no presence.
In areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, which include the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
In large cities and nearby areas where more than 1 million people live.
In countries or regions where there has been a lack of religion for so long that any past Christian influence has been mostly lost.
In countries, regions, or people groups where there are very few Adventists.
To manage and train workers to personally carry the gospel and establish work among people groups who have never heard about Jesus and where the organized church has little or no presence.
The time has come for a mission refocus; a time for aligning our hearts and minds, our people, our resources, to reach the unreached with hope. Refocusing mission priorities will be a challenge. We must think how each one can contribute to the mission of the church. This calls for a spirit of sacrifice. What sacrifices can you make so that those who have not yet heard about Jesus may learn of Him and His sacrifice for them? Will you join us and accept this challenge?