From Our President
IS THE GOSPEL TAKING ROOT... OR NOT?
Jesus told the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) to explain to his disciples how it’s possible for a person to superficially receive or accept the “word of the kingdom,” but have no real understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The roots never develop.
Christian Aid Mission supports hundreds of indigenous ministries throughout the world that are sowing gospel seed among nearly a thousand people groups.
How do they know if it’s taking root?
MAKING TRUE DISCIPLES
One of the indigenous ministries that Christian Aid Mission assists in the Philippines discovered that 24 churches on the island of Palawan weren’t actually worshipping Christ. They were worshipping a deity named Damar—a god whom their tradition taught them had evolved from a cave and would return one day. They had heard the gospel, but mistakenly assumed that Christ was Damar.
The ministry we support took on the arduous task of correcting their false beliefs and teaching them the Word of God. Twenty of those churches now worship Christ. The ministry continues working to make true disciples among the remaining four churches. They use a Bible training and discipleship program that takes between five and 10 years to complete.
“We’re not just sharing Bible verses like John 3:16 and then asking them if they want to invite Christ into their hearts,” the ministry leader said. “Tribal people will do that, but they’re just adding Jesus Christ to their gods.”
LOOKING FOR IMPACT
When the gospel takes root in a community, transformation follows. If there’s no transformation, it’s doubtful that people have really understood what it means to follow Christ.
In 1994, a Christian Aid Mission-supported ministry in Peru assessed an Ashaninka tribal community that had supposedly been reached with the gospel. They soon discovered that those Ashaninka people had merely incorporated elements of Christian rites into their existing practices.
One of the more disturbing practices of the Ashaninka people involved child abuse ordered by witchdoctors who often accused children of bringing bad luck or calamity upon whole villages. Parents would cooperate with the witchdoctors by torturing or even expelling their children from their village—banishing them to the jungle.
The native Peruvian ministry leader immediately realized the need for sound, biblical teaching presented in a way the Ashaninka could understand.
Year after year of diligent teaching has resulted in dozens of true churches among the Ashaninka. These Ashaninka believers have abandoned their old cultural practice of child abuse as they’ve grown in God’s Word and been set free from the fear of evil spirits.
CONNECTING YOU WITH EFFECTIVE MINISTRIES
For more than 60 years, Christian Aid Mission has diligently searched for and vetted indigenous ministries that are taking the time to make true disciples. They don’t just preach and leave. They stay and cultivate the soil so the seed takes root.
Finding and evaluating ministries like these takes time and resources. That’s why I’m asking you to help us with this vital work. I’ve included a place on the reply card where you can support our efforts at Christian Aid Mission headquarters.
Thank you for your partnership with us!
Until there is a witness for Christ in every nation,
PS: Our fiscal year comes to a close on June 30. Your “year-end” gift will help us to continue connecting you with effective ministries making true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Click here to see past letters from the President