Martin Lee reflects on the challenges of transition as he nears the end of his 13 years as Executive Director of Global Connections.
Resourcing churches for world mission
Global Connections is a growing network of over 300 UK churches and agencies with a passion for mission. Drawing on this wealth of experience, together we seek to inspire churches to be engaged in mission both in the UK and overseas. Whatever you are looking for - inspiring articles, good practice guidelines, prayer information - you will find a wealth of material and links to others.
7,600 scripture study groups: One of the most effective ways to see ‘hard to reach’ people groups fall in love with Jesus is to have them engage with the scriptures. Sometimes their religious system inhibits or prevents them from having access to the Bible, but when those barriers are broken down, salvation and spiritual breakthroughs will come. In one part of Indonesia, over 7,600 scripture study groups were meeting regularly in 2016, all with ties back to the their local Christian radio stations. As we celebrate that God's Spirit is moving to draw people to Jesus through his word, continue to pray for a great harvest for the kingdom. (Reach Beyond - June 2017)
Under Every Spreading Tree: When I’m trying to describe Myanmar to friends who have never visited, I compare it to how at home we can’t drive anywhere without passing half a dozen churches. In Myanmar, you can’t drive anywhere without passing a dozen pagodas or shrines. The Old Testament talks about people building places of worship on every high hill and under every spreading tree. These verses could well have been describing Myanmar with its pagodas on every high hill and shrines under every spreading tree. Pray that the people of Myanmar may be able to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation without turning it into something to be worshipped that they will seek the one true God who can help them. Pray that God’s true temple may be in the hearts of the Myanmar people. (OMF International UK - June 2017)
Something's Missing: China-based journalist Ian Johnson recently described “the reality of present-day China” as a place “where hundreds of millions of people are consumed with doubt about their society and are turning to religion and faith for answers they cannot find elsewhere in their radically secular society. They wonder what makes a good life and if there is more to it than material gain.” A pastor of a church in Chengdu told him: “We thought we were unhappy because we were poor. But now a lot of us aren’t poor anymore, and yet we’re still unhappy. We realise there’s something missing, and that’s a spiritual life.” Pray for those searching to find answers in Jesus Christ, and pray for Christians to be able to share the Good News. (Chinese Church Support Ministries (CCSM) - June 2017)
Hikikomori: 'Hikikomori are those who shut themselves off from society, reclusive in their rooms, sometimes for years. This acute social withdrawal is a particularly Japanese phenomenon possibly affecting 1% of the population. Similar numbers could be on the verge of hikikomori, meaning well over 2 million people are affected or at high risk. Causes are unclear but individuals with a strong sense of self and independent thinking can feel out of place in Japan’s group-oriented and fixed-expectation society. Please pray that more Christians would want to help sufferers and their families discover their true identity and acceptance in Christ. Pray for those hikikomori who will prove gifted in leading the advance of the gospel will be led to faith in Christ and want to live for Him. (Japan Christian Link - June 2017)