Being Confident of This

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Much Ado about Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B.

We’ve reached  the third and final week of our Much Ado about Missions series – helping you develop a missions mindset in your home!  If you missed the Introduction to this series, you can view it here.  Also, if you need to catch up, you can find all of the posts listed under the weekly wrap-ups:  Week 1 (teaching missions in the home) or Week 2 (missions experiences for the whole family).

In our third week, we’re focusing on praying for the Nations.  I don’t know about you, but I often pray for unsaved friends and family members.  And since my husband is a pastor, I sometimes even remember to pray for the unsaved in our local community.  I also pray for our missionary friends and those we support.  However, one thing I very seldom remember to do is pray for the most unreached people groups of the world!

Today I’m going to share with you the T.H.U.M.B. method, borrowed (with permission) from some new missionary friends.  The T.H.U.M.B. method is unique because it focuses on praying for the largest unreached people groups according to specific prayer points based on the spiritual beliefs of those groups.

Much Ado about Missions, how tonpray for unreached people groups, praying for the lost using T.H.U.M.B. method

One important distinction to make is that unreached people groups aren’t simply unsaved people.  Unsaved people will always exist on earth until the end of time.  However, the Bible is clear that all nations must be reached with the gospel before Christ will return.  Unreached people groups are those who have literally no gospel presence.

It’s not just that they are unsaved, but that they also have absolutely no opportunity to learn of salvation! Whole generations of men, women, and children are being born, living, and dying without ever hearing of God’s provision in the form of Jesus.

As a follower of Christ, I would like to be more intentional about praying for these unreached peoples, that they might have the opportunity to hear the Good News for God’s glory!  My plan is to use the T.H.U.M.B. method and pray for one group each day of the week, Monday through Friday.  One apsect of T.H.U.M.B. that I love most is that it is so easy to remember!

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

T – Tribal groups – as you might imagine, these are people who live in remote locations, some only reachable by helicopter or boat or weeks of hiking.  They have their own languages, cultures, and spiritual beliefs.  Many tribal people live in fear of upsetting the spirits, beings they believe are responsible for the health of family members, the growth of crops, and so forth.  So, when bad things happen, it’s because the spirits are unhappy and must be appeased.  Often these beliefs lead to tragedies such as witch trials, ritualistic deaths, beatings and other brutality. These people live in oppressive spiritual darkness.

H – Hindus – Hindus worship many, many gods.  Therefore, one of the challenges missionaries and believers face in sharing the gospel with Hindus is differentiating between their gods and the One True God.  Sadly, Jesus can easily become just one more god that they add on.

U – Unbelievers in China – they cheated a little on this one to fit the acronym. 🙂  The unbelieving in China are over a billion strong!  One of the unique challenges faced by missionaries to this particular unreached people group is that because of the communist government, believers must be careful about how they share their faith.  China is not fully open to missionaries, so many believers enter as teachers, businessmen and women, and so forth. They work jobs while also trying to learn Chinese and develop discipling relationships with others.

M – Muslims – the Islam religion is spreading world-wide.  Muslims believe in only one god, Allah, but they believe that Jesus was merely a prophet, like so many other prophets.  The Islam faith rests on the pillars of Islam, many of which are based on “good works.” Like China, many parts of the Muslim world are still completely closed off to missionary presence.

B – Buddhists – There are various forms of Buddhism, but most Buddhists do not believe in a god or gods.  They do, however, follow the teachings of a man  named Buddha, who emphasized the need to understand self and the world in a more “enlightened” way.  While I don’t understand all of the Buddhist beliefs and practices, I do know that much of it is based on personal efforts.  Thus, the need for a Savior is a foreign concept.

For more information on the T.H.U.M.B. technique and its specific praying points, please visit Beyond the Bullingtons – the Bullington’s are nearing the end of their training to be church-planting missionaries with New Tribes Mission.

Much Ado About Missions: Praying T.H.U.M.B., praying for unreached people groups, missions, the THUMB method of praying for the

Why not make praying T.H.U.M.B. part of your daily or weekly prayer routine?  As your children, or even grandchildren, grow old enough to understand, you can teach them this acronym so that they might pray for the largest unreached people groups alongside you.

You might even consider praying for a different unreached group at a certain time of day, such as a mealtime or  bedtime.  The acronym is easy to remember, so why not connect it to an easy-to-remember time of day?  As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, nearly a third of the world’s total population remains unreached.  Praying is one way that we can all do our part!

How can you use the T.H.U.M.B. method in your home?

Jen : )

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

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Much Ado about Missions: Week 2 Wrap-up

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We’ve reached the end of week 2 of our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop series, and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone!  If you missed the Introduction, be sure to read it, and if you missed Week 1, all about teaching missions in the home, you can find the links here.

This week we focused less on what to do within the home and more on missional experiences your family can participate in within your community and even the world.  We choose to be intentional about making the most of such opportunities so that our children will develop God’s heart for the nations.  In case you missed any of this week’s posts, I’ll share them here.  I shared about missions experiences for the whole family in The Missions Experience.  Sarah shared about making the most of holidays with Holidays and a Higher Purpose.  Angie shared about involving your children in reaching your community in Get the Kids Involved.

In week 3, we’ll focus on the power of prayer!  You can find Monday’s post right here at Being Confident of This, Wednesday’s post at Love Notes, and Friday’s post at My Four Monkeys.

Thanks for joining us in our endeavor to become more missions minded in our homes and families.  I hope you have found inspiration to do the same in your own homes, whatever your “family” might look like. 🙂

In the meantime, consider what some of the most unreached peoples (now reached, Praise the Lord!) have to say about reaching the lost:

Does your heart hurt, too?

Jen 🙂

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Much Ado about Missions: The Experience

Much Ado about Missions

Today marks the beginning of week two of our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop series.  In case you’re joining us for the first time, in the first week we zeroed in on the need for emphasizing global missions and how we can accomplish that even within our homes.  I shared an introductory post about why the need is so great (and so often misunderstood) and then followed up with a post on 8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home.  Sarah, from Love Notes, wrote an excellent post on how to engage children’s hearts by engaging their hands in The Missional M&Ms.  Angie, from My Four Monkeys, finished off the week with a fantastic craft to introduce the concept of missions in Introducing Missions to Little Ones.  If you missed any of these posts. you might want to catch up before we delve into this week’s topic. 🙂

While we discussed impacting our homes in week one, this week we’ll be discussing how to impact our communities and even our world.  So, week two will be more about missions experience opportunities and outreach opportunities for you and your family no matter what your circumstances!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my husband is a minister in a small country town.  So, by nature of his job, our family experiences a lot of community outreach through our church and even aside from the church.   However, we also want our family to be involved in things that have an impact beyond our community.  We want to be mindful of the needs in that great big world out there and have the Lord’s heart for the nations.  I listened to a sermon recently given by a missionary who said that he drove a single mile  to the church he was speaking at that morning and passed 3 churches on the way! Yet in an unreached people group in China that is 15 million strong, not a single church exists. Not. One.

So, I’m going to start out the week by challenging you to leave the comfort of your own home, your own city, your own state and try something as a family that could potentially change many lives.  My husband and I want our children to understand the importance of global missions as much as they understand community service and outreach, and that requires us to stretch beyond what is comfortable.   Experiencing firsthand is so much more powerful than just hearing about it from missionaries who come to speak at church or your former MK wife/mother. 🙂 So, we’ve put together a very brief list of experiences that could benefit the whole family.

the missions experience

Church missions trips – If your church is offering a missions trip experience, this would be the perfect way for you, and possibly your family, to experience and serve alongside a missionary that your church is already connected with.  While  heading into unfamiliar territory, you would at least have the comfort of travelling and experiencing right alongside other members of your church.  This type of trip helps you to better understand the need as well as the missionaries you help support.

Wayumi – if  leaving your home country to serve in a remote location scares the pants off of you, or just isn’t possible for medical reasons, etc., why not start with a missions experiences available right here in America through New Tribes Mission?  You can spend anywhere from 1 day to a week at Wayumi, a center located in Pennsylvania, and be exposed to other cultures, the trials of language study, and so forth.  Although the experience offers very realistic replications of tribal huts, tribal foods, and so on, some modern conveniences are still available.  It’s a way to learn about missions and perhaps even stretch yourself and your family a bit, but the cost is significantly less than an overseas trip.

Serve with New Tribes Mission (NTM) – http://usa.ntm.org/go – this non-denominational mission that focuses on church planting along with scripture translation offerst a variety of opportunties for families and even college students.  Short term, service-based trips last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, while longer stays of a year are necessary for associate workers who go to fill an immediate need.  College students can even earn credits through the Interface internship program in Papua New Guinea.

World Changershttp://www.lifeway.com/worldchangers/index.php/about/ – is a program for youth through college age students.  These trips usually take place in the summer months, when groups travel to specific cities to complete community service projects.  In the past, some groups have gone to inner city ministries, disaster areas for restoration projects, etc.  This is not your everyday community service.  Students complete bible study/training beforehand, including learning how to use evangelistic tools.  If you have or know a youth, this program is an excellent way to teach them how to be someone who changes the world!

These are just a very few of the multitude of opportunities to serve your world beyond your neighborhood, your town, your state, even your country!  What can your family do to stretch and grow beyond what is normal and familiar to you?  How might you consider helping to reach the most unreached peoples of the Earth, the third of our world  population who currently have no hope?

I know that God asks believers to fill a variety of roles in the Body, of which missions is only one.  But I also know that God’s heart is for all nations, not just the one we live in.  I read another missionary comment recently that said what is most needed is not more money.  He reminded us, “Jesus is the fishes and loaves guy.”  What is needed is those who will be willing to advocate for the most unreached people groups and those who will be willing to answer the call of “Whom can I send?”

Deny self

As I mentioned in the Introduction of this blog-hop, I don’t have all of the answers, even for our family.  I believe it is something that all Christians should prayerfully consider. How will you respond?

Jen 🙂

If you know of another firsthand missions experience opportunity, please feel free to share with the readers in the comments!

Want to learn more about the value of a firsthand missions experience for teens?  Read here:
http://www.wordslingersok.com/2013/07/7-reasons-teens-need-to-go-on-short-term-mission-trips-2/

You may find me at any of these lovely blogs.

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Much Ado about Missions: Week One Wrap-up

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We have the final post in our Much Ado about Missions blog-hop live now, so I thought I would put all of the posts together here on a summary page for easy access.  If you are new to the blog-hop, please be sure to start with the introduction.  It contains important information that all believers should be aware of, and it explains the heart behind this blog-hop. 🙂

Much Ado about Missions Week One:

Introduction – they why behind it all

8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home

The Missional M&Ms

Teaching Missions with Crafts

In week two, we’ll be discussing ideas for experiencing missions and serving outside of the home, so stay tuned!  Monday’s post can be found at Being Confident of this, Wednesday’s post can be found at  Love Notes, and Friday’s post at  My Four Monkeys.

Thank you for joining us in making missions a priority!

Jen 🙂

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Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

Much Ado about Missions: 8 Resources for Teaching Missions

Much Ado about Missions

As I mentioned in my last post, Global Missions has really been on my mind and heart recently, so I’ve joined forces with two amazing bloggers to do a series of posts on developing a missions mindset within the home.  This week our focus is on ways to teach or emphasize missions in our own homes.  Sarah from Love Notes and Angie from My Four Monkeys will be posting their ideas later this week!   I can’t wait to see what they come up with since they are both naturally creative. 🙂

When I began researching for materials on missions to use with our four children (ages 4 through 13) in the home, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options available! I’ve compiled a list of favorite finds to share with you all.

Best resources for teaching Missions

Best resources for teaching Missions

1.       Growing Up Wild dvds and websitehttp://thewildbrothers.com –is about a family of missionaries living in a tribe in Indonesian Guinea (check info. to confirm).  This dvd series is unique because the missionary children are the ones narrating and introducing topics rather than the adults.   The Wild brothers even have their own blog! So far, we have only watched the video clips available on the website, but we plan to purchase or borrow a dvd or two from this series.

2.        Caravan Friends websitehttp://caravanfriends.org/ – is about the peoples of Asia – a country in the most unreached sector of the world.  I love this website and so did my four children (ages four to thirteen)! It is colorful and aesthetically pleasing.  The characters they have created help teach children about different areas of Asia, and my children love them!  The videos were interesting to watch and after watching one only twice, my seven-year old was spouting off facts about the people groups there.  The stories are easy to read and not too long.  In fact, I had our seven-year old read several to his younger siblings and he was able.  The website also includes resources for parents and teachers such as: printables, coloring pages, suggested activities (seriously, check out the activities tab for some amazing ideas), etc.  This would be the perfect site for someone wanting to lead a class on Missions for children, for a free homeschool curriculum resource, or for Children’s Church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, etc.
3.       Traiblazer Series of books by Dave and Neta Jacksonhttp://www.amazon.com/Trailblazers-Featuring-Livingstone-Christian-Trailblazer/dp/0764207296/ref=pd_sim_b_4 –  we just discovered this series of books and so far, the kiddos love them, even our thirteen-year-old son! 🙂  This series doesn’t solely focus on missionaries, but also on other Heroes of the Faith, such as Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther, etc.  Each biography is told from the point of a young, fictional narrator.  Right now we are nearly finished with the Samuel Morris story, and we have requests to read more of it nearly every day.  It’s one book that I have actually been tempted to read more of on my own, even!  Our four-year-old twins will usually only sit for one chapter at a time, but older children could easily read several chapters.  I was happy to find that amazon carries used copies of volumes that contain 5 stories each!  We bought several volumes for less than $20.  The volume pictured below features Harriet Tubman, but it also has 4 other biographies in it. 🙂

trailblazers

4.       Kids on Mission websitehttp://kidsonmission.org/ – this website is put out by the International Missions Board of  the Southern Baptist denomination.   This website offers a subscription that will provide you with a quarterly release on DVD.  However, according to the website, if you are willing to download the files from the internet, you can access them for free!  Under the prayer tab, there are even prayer requests from missionary kids themselves.

5.       New Tribes Missionhttp://usa.ntm.org/ – is the organization that my parents worked through as missionaries to Papua New Guinea (PNG).  On this site you can find individual missionary pages and newsletters, as well as general information.  While this website is designed for adults rather than children, I included it because they often upload new videos from various tribes around the world. I know my children enjoy seeing what it’s really like on the mission field or hearing about missions from tribal people themselves.  One note of caution:  not all stories are appropriate for all ages.  Be sure to preview the videos before showing them to your children.  Also, I forgot to mention that NTM publishes a magazine full of brief missionary stories that we often read to our children.  This resource, NTM@Work, is completely free.  All that is required of you is to go to the websitehttp://usa.ntm.org/may-2013-magazine  to sign up for it! 🙂

Go therefore verse

6.       Torchlighter DVD series – is very similar to the Trailblazer books in that it focuses on Heroes of the Faith, but in a dvd format rather than a book format.  We do not yet own any torchlighter dvds, but they are on the wish list. J  You can also find them on Amazon and perhaps on e-bay, as well. The animated features are about 30 minutes in length.  See here for an example: www.torchlighters.org
7.       Windows on the Worldhttp://www.exodusbooks.com/details.aspx?id=7073 – is a curriculum that focuses on specific people groups, and their culture and beliefs.  Some of the information is factual in nature, but there are also stories about the people who live there and ways for children to pray for that particular group.
8.       Missionary Stories with the Millershttp://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0962764345 – This book of short stories about real life events that missionaries have experienced was recommended to me by a friend.  I have not yet purchased a copy, but according to my friend, the stories are shorter in nature.  You can find this inexpensive resource on Amazon as well.

As I shared previously, I sometimes struggle with the question of “Am I doing enough?”  But I know that this is a good start, to teach my children of the great need. (It doesn’t hurt for me to learn more about the various people groups in need, either!)  Who knows?  We could be raising the next generation of missionaries right within our own homes!

The next post in the bloghop can be found over at  Love Notes . Sarah shared more about engaging our children’s hearts in missions in Missional M&Ms!

If you have a tried and true resource for teaching Missions at home, would you please share with us in the comments?  Thanks!

Jen 🙂

Also sharing this post with: Hive Resources

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Much Ado about Missions: Introduction

Much Ado about Missions

I’m very excited to introduce you to a bloghop series taking place here over the next few weeks – Much Ado about Missions! This series has been in the works for over a month now and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the kick-off!  Since I spent the majority of my growing up years as an MK (missionary kid), global missions is a subject close to my heart.  But lately, I’ve been plagued by questions of  Am I doing enough? and What else can I do?

I’m very blessed to have two other bloggers join me in this missions series, as we attempt to answer some of these questions.

           My sister Sarah, from Love Notes,  not only grew up on the mission field, she also elected to return to PNG  (Papua New Guinea) for a while during her single years.  Currently, she and her minister husband serve at a church in Ohio, as well as at the local city mission.  She is also mama to a step-daughter, an adopted child, and several foster children.

     My blog-savvy cousin Angie, from My Four Monkeys, is a homeschooling mama of four.  Angie writes all over the web for companies like Tommy Nelson and Alex Toys, as well as on her own blog.  She also serves faithfully in her local church, alongside her husband.

So what’s the big deal about global missions anyway?  We’re all called to be missionaries where we live, right?  We should be sharing the gospel in our homes, with our neighbors and co-workers, and so forth.

missions waiting for good news Source of info: The Joshua Project

The big deal is that nearly one-third of the world’s total population remains unreached, meaning these people have had little to no opportunity to hear the message of salvation!  They often live in fear of evil spirits or gods and sometimes even participate in horrors like witch-burnings and ritual killings out of those fears.  Some are trapped by societal boundaries of caste systems or governmental boundaries such as communism.

While we here in America are blessed to find churches on many street corners and  bibles not only in our own language, but also in a plethora of translations, our overseas friends are not.  Even driving down the highway, we often see crosses or billboards proclaiming God’s truth.  And with the rise of the Internet, the possibilities are further increased!  Those unsaved relatives, friends, and neighbors might not know Jesus personally, but most of them at least know of Him.

But for a tribal man, woman, or child in an unreached location, the gospel message is simply not present. By some estimates, the ratio of American churches to unreached people groups  is 140:1.  One hundred forty American churches for every one group of people still waiting to hear the Good News! Are you as surprised by that number as I am?  As a minister’s wife, I know the unsaved are with us here too, but the need for these unreached people groups is even more urgent yet often more easily ignored.  They have no neighbors who believe, no Bibles to read, no billboards, no Internet, no gospel tracts, no revivals, no churches, no outreach ministries… nothing to connect them with life-giving Good News!

We have a responsibility as Christ-followers  to reach out to the unsaved on all levels – within our families, our local communities, our countries, and yes, even our world! Let’s not forget our overseas brothers and sisters who are without hope.

go ye

We must be involved with global missions in some way (even if we can’t physically go ourselves), and we must teach our children the importance of reaching the unreached, whether they live nearby or  halfway around the world. Not to be “good” Christians or to pat ourselves on the back but because…

People.

 are.

 dying.  

without ever having even a single opportunity to hear of the Father’s great love for us, without a chance to experience true freedom.

Please take a moment to view this powerful message from the Joshua Project. I promise it will be worth your time! Be sure to watch it to the very end – the last few seconds are important.

So, what can we do?  We may not all be able to go at this point in time, so how can we reach out beyond what is comfortable to us? How can we foster a missions mindset in our homes?  I’ll be honest with you that I struggle with these questions.   What exactly does the Lord require of me and our family in regards to missions?

I don’t have all of the answers, even for myself.  My husband is a pastor and much of our “missions” work occurs right here in our neighborhood, but I am convinced that I must not forget that there is a world of dying, unreached people out there, as well.  I hope this series will answer at the least a few of those questions for us and for you, our readers.

We are excited to share with you some amazing materials and methods for teaching missions in your home or in your church, as well as ways to experience missions as a family, and even ways to pray specifically for the most unreached people groups of the world.

In addition to my own posts, I’ll be sharing links to the other bloggers’ posts both here on Being Confident of This and on the facebook page. I hope you’ll join us for the next few weeks as we explore the area of global missions! 

The first post, 8 Resources for Teaching Missions in the Home, is live now!

Jen 🙂

For more statistics on why the need is so great, read here:

http://writtenreality.com/209-million-is-a-very-big-number/

http://weheartnepal.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/life-in-the-fll-why-we-do-what-we-do-part-2/

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