Ep 20 – Jesus Changed Everything: One Jewish Woman’s Journey to Jesus

She grew up in a Jewish home and only heard the name of Jesus in anger. Later on, though, his name would come to mean peace, joy and freedom. This is the story of one Jewish woman’s faith in Jesus. It’s a story of loss, disruptions, and discovering a new identity in Christ as a Jewish wife and mom. For her, Jesus literally changed everything.

In this episode, Sandy mentions the writings of Jewish Scholar and believer in Jesus, Arnold Fruchtenbaum.  For more on him and his writings, visit  https://www.ariel.org/

 

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Ep 19 – African Americans and Missions

These are the stories of lesser known heroes in the history of missions. Many have heard of William Carey and Lottie Moon. But before Adonirum Judson, there was an African American named George Liele.

Earl African American missionaries and the experiences of African Americans in missions today. That’s the topic on this episode of the Mission Life Podcast.

Featuring: Richard Coleman, former Director of Mobilization and Candidacy for TMS Global

Names mentioned in the podcast:
Benjamin Johnson
Michael Johnson – Surgeon in Kenya for 20 years, “Making the Blind Man Lame”
Jim Southerland – PhD in African Americans in Missions http://www.rmni.org

Agencies:
Ambassadors Fellowship – African American Sending Agency in Colorado Springs
SIM
TMS Global
Wycliffe Bible Translators
SEND International

Books
Profiles of African American Missionaries – William Carey Library
Biography of Lott Carey – “From Slave to Governor”
Hosie Burks – “A New Man” “Timbuktu Revisited”
Montrose Waite – “The Man Who Couldn’t Wait”

Ep 16 – I Only Speak 6 Languages

He’s a Burmese Pastor and disciplemaker, a student of movements and someone who has faced persecution for his faith.  He came here seeking asylum because it was no longer safe to return home.  Now, he’s sharing the gospel and planting churches all over the USA.  This is the story of James Amar.

James’ ministry is a DBC supported mission partner with opportunities for you and your class or small group.

To find out more about James’ ministry, visit www.jmaministries.org

3 Practical Implications for Resettlement Organizations When Refugee Numbers Are Changed

Regardless of opinion, here are three practical implications for refugee resettlement agencies when numbers of refugees brought to the US are reduced or the flow is stopped. 

Based on a conversation I had today with a resettlment organization in Atlanta…I am sure there are many more issues they face. 

1. Reduced Funding: Orgs receive funding based on the number of refugees they settle. The US was slated to receive 110,000 refugees this year. That number has been reduced to 50,000 – where it was roughly 5 years ago (i have been told but not confirmed.)Last year we resettled 85,000 refugees. 
2.  Downsizing:  Reduced funding naturally leads to letting go staff such as caseworkers.  One resettlement group in Atlanta told me today they expect to lay off half their office (10 people) due to the 4 month hiatus and reduction in the number of refugees to be resettled.  An estimated loss of $240,000 to their budget. 
3.  Rehiring or Training New Employees:  When the refugee highway is opened again, these groups will likely have to rehire or train new employees to handle new cases.  Experienced personnel may have found jobs by the time the spigot is turned back on.  

At the end of the day, it’s about how best to help those fleeing war and persecution, not what is best for aide or relief organizations.  Even so, decisions affect not only those in need of help, but the many wonderful people and organizations set up to help them.  

Just something to consider.  If you’re looking to hire people with cross cultural experience, maybe call up a refugee organization having to do layoffs.  Or just call them up and thank them for what they do.  

5 Reasons Jesus Stunk at Evangelism

According to modern theory, the better you are at communication the more listeners and followers you will have.  

And preachers that are seen as skilled at speaking to non-Christians point to the large crowds that gather to hear them.  

But if this is true, then Jesus stunk at evangelism.  Here are 5 reasons why:

1.   He often confused people.  He spoke in parables and riddles intentionally designed to leave people searching.  No good evangelist confuses people. 

2.  He often did not answer questions. In fact he often answered questions with questions.  No good evangelist would leave a question unanswered.  

3.  He only ended up with 12 committed followers after 3 years of ministry – maybe 120 at most.  An evangelist today would struggle to keep their funding with such numbers.   Especially if they performed miracles as well.  Why sabotage momentum that a miracle produces with confusing, inflammatory preaching?

4.  He made high demands and showed impatience with those who had legitimate excuses. Telling people to sell everything and not letting people go to a family funeral is a bit much.  A good evangelist knows when to lower the bar.

5.  He lost more followers than he gained.  Success in a ministry equals growth of numbers not decline.   But Jesus was suspicious of crowds and often said things that thinned them out. A good evangelist would adjust their technique if they lost masses of people all at once.  

And I’ll add one more…

6. His preaching cost him his life.  A good evangelist gets booked for conferences and writes books.  They don’t create riots and end up being killed – especially by religous folks. 

If only Jesus had been more nuanced and skilled maybe his evangelism would have led to something.  He could have retired comfortably and been a sought after speaker. 

But alas, we’ll never know what could have been.