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From Our President

Pioneer Missionaries: Whatever the Cost

November 2015

Dear Faithful Partner in the Harvest,

Our hearts are burning with powerful testimonies of our Lord’s Kingdom advancing among the nations through pioneer missionaries—men and women of God who blaze a trail for the gospel where it has not been known, no matter the cost.

Consider Pastor Dil, born into a family of Hindu priests in Nepal. His son, Milan, told us about him in our Chapel service.

Dedicated into the Hindu priesthood at a young age, Pastor Dil trained to become a priest. It was his destiny. He studied devotedly and served diligently as an ‘acharya’ (Hindu priest).

Then, one day, someone handed him a New Testament.

“And that was it!” said his son, Milan, the next-generation director of an indigenous mission.

Pastor Dil read the Scriptures and the Spirit of God fell on him. Immediately he began speaking out the truth. He wrote verses by hand on little pieces of paper to share with people as he told them about the cross of Christ.

“He didn’t know he was a Christian until he was arrested,” Milan said. “He was just trying to tell people about God because that was his job as a priest. He felt he owed it to people to tell them the good news he had learned.”

But he still had to spend one year in prison for preaching “a foreign religion” in the Hindu kingdom of Nepal. So he preached Jesus Christ crucified in a cold, damp, unlit, bug-androdent- infested dungeon, and many people from multiple tribes came to saving faith.

When he was released he walked through 72 of the 75 districts of Nepal sharing the gospel. Injured by beatings in prison, he limped with each step. He bore the scars of Christ Jesus.

He was a pioneer missionary.

Despite his limp, Pastor Dil had an advantage. Because of his Hindu background as a priest he knew exactly what people believed and how he could share the true God with them. He should have been the last to come to faith, but God used his experience as a priest to give him access to communities which otherwise wouldn’t have listened to him.

Traveling with another evangelist, and with absolutely no support, Pastor Dil gives a true picture of the kind of missionary my husband, Dr. Bob Finley, Christian Aid’s founder, describes in his writings.

Native pioneer missionaries went on faith; they ate if someone gave them food and slept under a roof if someone invited them in. They didn’t own anything; their sole purpose in life was to share the good news of Christ at any cost. They didn’t have an organized mission; they were simply evangelists called by God to share the gospel in a country where most had never heard.

What Pastor Dil began, Milan, his son, is carrying on, preaching the gospel, training leaders and reaching many tribal people in the urban areas of Nepal. They’re still pioneering new territories for the Kingdom of God.

What does pioneer missions look like? Sometimes it’s when people believe and are moved by the Holy Spirit to reach out without even knowing the full context of their faith. They overflow with the uncontainable, unstoppable, glorious gospel of life – no matter the cost.

This is His heart. Our Lord Jesus left His throne to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. Then He sent his disciples. Pioneer missionaries are like those in Acts 4:20, who said, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

The Lord compels us to help these pioneers go.

Thank you for your pioneer heart.

Together we can help native ministries like Milan's equip and strengthen their missionaries and pastors in a country where just 1.4-percent (official number) of the population professes faith in Christ.

Together—with the pioneer missionaries—we can reach new territories as prayer warriors and Kingdom sowers with the pioneer spirit of the Lord.

Until there is a people for His name in all nations,

Cynthia Finley

P.S. Join us anytime for our wonderful Chapel services (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.). Call Ivy (434-977-5650) to let us know you're coming.

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