‘Go Tribal’ — Connecting U.S. Churches with Overseas Missions
May 31, 2013
Would you like to walk side by side an indigenous missionary as he follows the grassy path to an unassuming row of thatched roof huts? Lift your voice in joyful song along with other worshipers in a village meeting house? Or perhaps witness dozens of people pray for salvation after an outdoor showing of the JESUS film?
Christian Aid Mission is offering a rare glimpse into the everyday life of native messengers of the gospel, their unique needs and challenges, and the amazing testimonies of these dedicated men and women who serve the Lord tirelessly and wholeheartedly.
Called “Go Tribal! in Missions,” this program opens the door for U.S. congregations to experience firsthand the work of overseas ministries. Christian Aid leaders hope the concept will excite churches and broaden their understanding of the tremendous role indigenous missions play in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
“My passion is to see small and middle-sized churches going wild in mission,” said Raul Hernandez, the director of development and church relations for Christian Aid. “I call it ‘Go Tribal’ because I want them to become tribal in missions.”
Hernandez recently returned from the annual pastors´ conference at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he introduced Go Tribal to several hundred church leaders from around the nation.
Supporting the evangelistic work of native missionaries has been the driving force of Christian Aid Mission since its inception 60 years ago. The ministry partners with hundreds of overseas ministries who have the advantage of knowing the local language and culture. Their vision, like that of Christian Aid, is to lead all peoples from every corner of the world to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“Native missions are the only way we can penetrate lands and places where American missionaries are no longer welcome or able to plant churches—in places like China, India, and all the Islamic countries of North Africa where American church planters are forbidden to go by law,” Hernandez explained.
“At last this removes the political barrier for American churches wanting to reach these groups—since they can now safely and economically sponsor indigenous missionaries who are doing the critical ground work,” he said.
Now through Go Tribal, church groups in the U.S. can experience a week in the life of an indigenous missionary for themselves. Christian Aid is developing “vision trips” for pastors and/or church missions directors who would like to accompany staff on specially-arranged visits to native ministries overseas.
The first trip is being planned for June 2014 in Ayacucho, Peru, where participants will spend time with missionaries who work among the Quechua tribe in the Andes Mountains. Another trip will follow in September, this time to villages in the Amazon basin of Brazil.
In preparation for the excursions, Christian Aid will host one-day orientations at its headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Church teams will learn how the ministry assists native missions overseas. They will also discuss ways their congregations can partner with Christian Aid to support missions among unreached people groups.
Next is the adventure itself in which the teams travel on a five-to-seven day trip to experience firsthand the realities, challenges, and rewards of ministry in a developing nation. Team members will be inspired by the quality and impact of the work of native missionaries in action.
Depending on one´s level of adventure and degree of interest, there are additional Go Tribal program options open to everyone, including children. Two programs will expose individuals and families to the work of indigenous missions without requiring them to travel out of the country.
Go Tribal Light is an educational two-day visit to Christian Aid headquarters. Participants will learn the history of the organization and its mission. They will discover how Christian Aid supports the work of native missionaries around the world. If there is a specific country or region which God has placed on the hearts of the attendees, staff can focus their presentation on the work of those area ministries.
Kids can experience missions too! Through Summer Go Tribal, children will enjoy an engaging introduction to the work of indigenous missionaries. The program also includes opportunities for families to learn about early American history as they visit national historic sites in the Charlottesville area.
Those individuals who go on the vision trips will return inspired and hopefully eager to tell others about their experiences. They can pray for the needs of the ministries they visited. They may also spread the word about the projects they see in the field and encourage their church to sponsor missionaries.
“This is what American pastors are looking for today,” said Hernandez. “They want to find a way to personally engage their congregations in the effective work of native missionaries who are vetted by Christian Aid. These are men and women with real names and faces whom they can meet, and for a short time they can experience the everyday world of their lives and ministry.”
Click here for additional information about Go Tribal in Missions, including how to pre-register for the vision trips. For more details, email Raul Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Go Tribal Light and Summer Go Tribal, also scheduled for launching in 2014, please send an email to GoTribal@christianaid.org.