When I read Colossians 1:13-14 and ponder the evil forces that are at work trying to prevent the rescue of souls from the kingdom of darkness, I recognize again the necessity of the team it takes to succeed in establishing thriving churches among the least reached people groups—ethnos—of this world.
It took an incredible and diverse team from around the globe to enable my family to move into the Moi tribe of the Asia-Pacific Region back in 2000. Prior to our moving into the Moi tribe, they were an undocumented tribe living deep in the rugged mountains.
We were dependent on the support of HeliMission, their helicopters and pilots, to get all our supplies into the mountain hamlet. After we moved in, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) used their fixed-wing aircraft to help bring the gospel to the Moi by flying over and airdropping supplies of food and medicine.
A team of national co-workers from a church on the other side of the island flew in to cut lumber and frame up our homes. Other national believers worked with government officials to ensure we had the proper paperwork to live and serve in the region.
We had a team of skilled builders from Ontario come and do the plumbing and electrical on our home in the jungle.
A church in Canada gave an incredible gift of money which God used to pay for much of the supplies and other building expenses.
A couple of American co-workers coordinated the efforts from a nearby town, scheduling radio contact and buying supplies. The older children of our coworkers helped by watching our three children, who at the time were between the ages of one and six.
In addition to the necessary time, skills and finances it took to move into Moi, we were blessed by the spiritual supports God provided. When discouraged by spiritual attacks, God had a co-worker from the home office of Ethnos Canada call us out of the blue on our satellite phone and encourage us.
We also benefited from regular satellite calls with the leadership team of our sending church back in Canada. The spiritual oversight provided not just accountability, but a real sense of stability—we knew we were not in this alone.
We may have been the ones on the front lines of the battle, seeing lives transformed as they were rescued by God from the kingdom of darkness and brought into “the kingdom of the Son of His love”, but we were only there because of a much larger team—a very diverse team. Christ is the Head, His body is the Church, and we are members of that body, each called and privileged to do our part.
In this issue of Ethnos Magazine, I trust you catch our deep appreciation for you and your part. I also hope we can challenge you and others that the ministry is broad and deep and that we are desperately in need of each other if we are going to have an impact on a world that needs Christ.
Please pray for more labourers and let the saints know that there are many skills needed to accomplish this task of reaching the world. It’s doable if we team up!
Yours in Christ,