How often have we heard, “No one could possibly understand what I’m going through?” In today’s world, the need has never been greater to find others that genuinely understand struggle — and bring us a message of hope. At Missions Door, our mission is to raise up people within a culture, to be missionaries who stay and serve their culture.
We often assume a culture is defined through ethnicity, geography or customs. But a culture can be made of those who suffer from addiction, experience hunger, or carry a birthright or birthplace that denies the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This month, let’s explore how the networks of Missions Door invest and equip missionaries who are culturally authentic to their very own communities and the people they serve.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4 NIV
CAMPUS • Ben was born and raised in a Christian home in Kerala, India, but didn’t come to know Christ in a personal way until he came to the United States as a student attending college in Arizona. It was there Ben gave his life to the Lord and was called to Christian campus ministry. Ben went on to attend Denver Seminary, where he also met his wife Aleyamma, another native of Kerala, India.
The Josephs were appointed by Missions Door and started their ministry as Campus Ambassadors. Now having returned to the campus culture where he came to faith, Ben serves at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The Josephs have the opportunity to minister among the more than 15,000 students who have come to the United States from over 140 different nations. Eighty percent of these students are from the 10/40 window, the least evangelized parts of the world.
Ben says, “America is fortunate to have the world come to her – a foreign mission field at her doorstep. There may be no better opportunity for world evangelization than that of reaching international students for Jesus Christ. Not only do they represent a potent missionary force as they return to their homelands, but the opportunity for open interaction is often much greater on a university campus than in their native countries.”
U.S. AND CANADA • Mottel was born into a Jewish home in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Jewish and public schools there. All four of his grandparents were born into Orthodox Jewish homes in Eastern Europe at the turn of the century. After a careful reading of the Messianic prophecies of the Jewish Bible, it was evident to him that only Jesus had fulfilled these. Mottel was then led to faith by Vincent Morgan, another Missions Door missionary.
Mottel’s wife Deborah was also born in Brooklyn, into a Sephardic Jewish family which had come to America from the Middle East two generations earlier. For several years she attended an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva (Day School) in New York. She came to faith in Messiah Jesus also through an examination of the Jewish Bible prophecies shown to her by Vincent Morgan.
Today, Mottel is the Director of the Messengers Messianic Jewish Outreach of New Jersey, a ministry of Missions Door. He now carries on the work of sharing Messiah Jesus within the Jewish community and leading people to faith. There are over a quarter million Jewish people in the northern New Jersey area.
INTERNATIONAL • Arnold remembers having a dream in which he felt a strong call to serve Jesus. Born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, he resisted this call until Missions Door missionary NT Dellinger invited Arnold to a meeting, and it was there that he surrendered his life to the Lord.
Arnold was baptized in December of that year, and began studying at the Baptist Bible Institute and was ready to go where God would guide him. Julia, Arnold’s wife, grew up serving in her church and met the Lord at age ten. Arnold and Julia met while Arnold studied at the seminary and served as a part-time pastor, and Julia served in the areas of discipleship and worship.
Arnold currently serves as a missionary with Missions Door in the north zone of Honduras and is the founder of the association of missionary Baptist pastors in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Arnold has also served as a pastor of the Baptist church, Un Lugar para Todos (A Place for Everyone). He has participated in many ministries, including a program to prevent youth from joining gangs. He is the co-founder of the first outreach center, Centro de Alcance por Mi Barrio (My Neighborhood Outreach Center) sponsored by the United States government through his agency for international development (USAID).
Arnold partners with UNICEF to prevent the emigration of children and young people to the United States, working with great risk in a dangerous part of the city. They have benefited more than 1500 young people through technical, educational, sports and spiritual training.
In church, Pastor Linares has been preparing leaders for missions and has sent eight couples to direct the eight daughter churches from the church where he pastors in the San Pedro Sula area. Arnold also oversees, trains and encourages others to expand the Kingdom of God throughout the country.
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Building Networks of Culturally-Authentic Christ Communities
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