“The Jewish Bible promises to send the Messiah. The Jewish Bible identifies how we can come to know that Messiah, where he was born, the unique circumstances of his birth, and all the other evidence. We can explain the Gospel fully from the Old Testament, which was the only Bible the apostles had,” Mottel explained. “We are trying to help people – especially Jewish people— understand the context of the arrival of Jesus.”
Sharing good news from the field
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The college experience is an exciting and enlightening time for young adults taking their next steps of life’s journey. It can also be a time of uncertainty and fear, especially for the growing number of students who come to the U.S. from all around the world. It’s easy to understand why a university can be a fertile mission field.
Mario and his wife, Camille, operate Hope, Room & Board, a ministry which serves people who are grappling with drug addiction and mental illness. Their mission field is the Inland Empire of California, specifically the city of San Bernardino and surrounding communities. Statistically this area has some of the highest percentages for crime, gang violence and drug addiction in the nation.
François Turcotte was born and raised in this mission field of Quebec and embraced Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1982. “People don’t connect the reality that within North America, there is a population that could be considered to be like Afghanistan or Turkey,” he said. “The evangelical church is unknown here. In many ways, locals consider it to be almost cult-like.”
It’s easy to understand why Amoon Sharon and his family, upon relocating to America from Pakistan in 2008, heeded God’s calling to continue their mission work in the suburban expanse of northern New Jersey. Their home in Metuchen, nestled in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the world, sits mere minutes from a burgeoning population of 300,000 people of South Asian descent, mostly Muslims and Hindu.
“I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been.”
Those words inspired Scottish physician and internationally-renowned missionary David Livingstone to devote his life to bringing Christianity to the remote reaches of Africa in the late 1800s. They also inspire Larisa Craig, but she doesn’t travel to a foreign land to serve God and his people. The need hits far closer to home.
Tim Stewart has worked with Campus Ambassadors since 2001. However, he is currently stepping back from his own campus ministry to, instead, minister to other campus ministers. His new official title is ‘Director of Ministry Partner Development’ and his objective is to help new and veteran missionaries find partners to support them in their ministry.
These missionaries will receive coaching and counseling to help them walk through support-raising and most importantly, living by faith as they go through the process.
“I have grown increasingly challenged by Kenyan youth telling me that they feel like their African culture is a mistress that they must leave at home whenever they enter a church," says Curtis Reed. Many Kenyans do not feel that they are truly accepted in traditional churches. They do not feel they can be Christian and African. Curtis realized that God was calling Him to bring a new type of church to the people of Kenya—a church where they can be both. The goal is not to discard traditional church practices, but instead to learn from them and to incorporate new ones. It is to create a church where Kenyans do not feel they must set aside their African-ness in order to pick up their Christianity, but instead, where they can embrace being both—Christian and African.
Freddy didn’t really understand the concept of grace. How could he? The major influences in his life up to that point had not shared or demonstrated that grace. Instead, they told cautionary tales of a harsh world. They warned him to work hard and do well or he would quickly end up in a box under the interstate. Thankfully, his understanding and experience of grace will continue to grow from relationships with people like Tyler, groups like Damascus Road, and the true fingerprint of God in Freddy’s life. In his own words, Freddy said, “There’s still plenty of road to travel but it’s a road I’m happy to travel.”
For many, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. But we all know someone for whom the holidays are anything but merry. For the bruised, battered and brokenhearted, those who are grieving, and those whose circumstances are anything but what they would choose, it is hard to put on a happy face for Christmas.
The good news is that none of life’s difficulties, defeats or disasters are outside of the loving care of our God. In fact, Christmas came because our world was held captive to the sorrows and shame of a world ravaged by selfishness and brokenness, sickness and death.