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Mission ConneXion 2019

January 18-19, 2019
Rolling Hills Community Church
3550 SW Borland Rd, Tualatin, OR 97062

Training Events

Mission ConneXion convenes ConneXion Training Events throughout the year to help people deeply engage in key areas of ministry and mission. Each ConneXion training event is tightly focused and intensely practical so people can gain resources to be more effective in service. ConneXion training events are held in partnership with local ministries, mission organizations and churches.

MC-short term misison

February 23-24

March 16-17

April 6-7

November 3-4

From the Blog

Irrefutable Graffiti

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

Recently my wife and I had the privilege of spending time near the ancient cities of Athens and Corinth among workers serving in some of the hardest places for the gospel throughout Asia. Two individuals had run a bookstore selling Christian literature for many years in a major city but suddenly had to shut it down, fearing for their lives, because of those who fanatically oppose followers of Jesus. Another couple had put a banner up in the market place of their town announcing their new church-plant, and welcoming all in the town to attend, only to have it torn down by a mob that hated anything to do with Jesus.

When the Apostle Paul visited Athens in Acts 17, he wondered how he could address such a pagan culture, until he saw an inscription on one altar that read: “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” which the Greeks had erected to whatever god they might have inadvertently left out of their pantheon. Paul masterfully seizes the occasion to share the one true God.

 

Paul never returned, yet, twenty-five centuries later the pagan deities and structures are magnificent rubble, and, at the base of Mars Hill where Paul spoke, is a bronze plaque in Greek recording Paul’s entire appeal. On the storied columns of the Parthenon, a guide points out an ancient Cross that followers of Jesus in the first century etched in the marble – still faintly visible today.

In the depraved port city of Corinth where 400,000 inhabitants lived during Paul’s day, he founded a church that had more problems than any of the other NT churches of its day. Yet, today, amid the ruins, is a perfectly preserved Cross carefully cut into the stone, bearing indisputable testimony to the followers of Jesus who had formed that first century church.

Reflecting upon his tent-making days in that city, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:12: For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands…
Whether the buildings that once stood, or the human bodies that inhabited them – all have been destroyed. The Christian bookstore run by my friends may never open again, and its writings may never again be read. The church with the banner in the square may have to go underground or may cease to exist.

Yet here we have this graffiti from antiquity to remind us that no matter how insignificant you may feel…Jesus is leaving His fingerprints through you, on those whom you have touched for Christ …because the ink He writes with is the only indelible substance that is able to survive for eternity.

The Power of Combined Force

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

When forces act in the same direction, they combine to make a bigger force. When they act in opposite directions, they can cancel one another out. If forces combine to make an overall force in one direction, the object moves in that direction.

Launching Mission ConneXion in 2001 presented an opportunity to discover what could happen if we combined forces among like-minded church-mission leaders in the greater Portland-Vancouver area. It continues that way today, 17 years later. While it may not always be the best or only way to operate, we have, with the Lord’s help and an army of volunteers, been able to demonstrate how much can be accomplished on little, (including 1.5 paid staff), through the power of combined force.

Much of what I have learned about partnership, i.e. locking arms and linking with other ministries for the success of all, I learned personally from Luis Palau in my almost 40-year relationship with the Luis Palau Association (LPA). It has been our privilege for Mission ConneXion to office out of their headquarters since 2007, and to reap the benefits of mutual collaboration, for the sake of the gospel!
Appropriately, for continued Kingdom-advance, the Palau Association recently developed The Palau LinkCenter in order to take the power of combined force to a new, intentional level…

“Palau LinkCenter is a collaboration center for like-minded nonprofits to share space and
resources to spread the Good News and have greater Kingdom impact.”

We are excited to be on the “ground floor” of this new LPA endeavor and want to welcome you to an Open House Event on Thursday afternoon, June 28, from 4:00 to 6:30pm. At that time you will be able to visit not only the newly-renovated LPA headquarters, but also meet representatives of some of the other ministry tenants like: Compassion First, Firm Foundation in Christ Ministries, Jose Zayas Ministries, Mike Silva Ministries, Public Safety Chaplaincy, Saint Child, Transitional Youth, and visionSynergy.

I believe that by being a part of this new Link Center, the Lord will help Mission ConneXion to combine forces to better fulfill our calling to connect local churches and individuals to mission, so that increasing numbers of believers are actively serving in areas of the world’s greatest need and opportunity.

 

She Prayed

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

Dorothea Clapp lived across the street from Ramsey High School, Ramsey, New Jersey, and for seventeen years prayed faithfully for the students at Ramsey High to know the Lord. When sophomore George Verwer came across her radar screen, she put him on her prayer list and prayed that he would trust Christ and become a missionary someday. She sent a Gospel of John in the mail to him as a gift.  I always love hearing George tell the story…“she never asked me for my permission to pray for me, she just prayed!”

The faithful prayers of Mrs. Clapp allowed the Holy Spirit to begin a mighty work in the life of young George Verwer. Today, 63 years later, Operation Mobilization, the organization he founded, continues to take the Gospel and Christian literature around the world, even utilizing ocean-going vessels in the process.

Who prayed for you? Who are you praying for? Whose prayers have resulted in the person you are today? Whose life is impacting the world because YOU prayed?

This May 18-19, Prayer ConneXion will bring together those, who like Mrs. Clapp, desire to be used of the Lord in the area of prayer. Dr. Mark Jones, the Prayer Pastor at City Bible Church, Portland, will be speaking, and ten workshops covering various aspects of prayer, will be led by prayer mobilizers from the region. Register here. 60 years from now, who will be saying “____ prayed.”?

Workshops Include:

  • Prayer Walking with the Holy Spirit. James Autry
  • How Does Compassion relate to Prayer? Doug Hazen
  • What are my “Next Steps” now? Lindsey Wenzlick
  • What’s the best way to pray for missionaries? Dennis Fuqua
  • iPhone God: What are the Possibilities and Pitfalls of Personal Technology? Ahshuwah Hawthorn
  • What kind of Prayer drives movements? Paul Watson
  • How can healing prayer renew my mind? Cal and Julie Tadama
  • How do I develop a personal prayer team? Mark Jones
  • Establishing a Prayer Room in your local church. Renee Boucher
  • How can we engage kids in prayer for world missions? Leng Halstead

 

Is Jesus Some Person Living in Your Village?

A message from our friends at SEND International.

….“I have personally met people who, the only image that they have of Jesus is what they’ve seen on TV in American movies. I have met people in the Philippines or in China who don’t know Jesus’ name at all. They’ll ask me, ‘Is Jesus some person living in your village?’”

Folks like these, whom International Director Warren Janzen meets as he travels to SEND’s fields around the world, live in unreached people groups. SEND International workers are part of a global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached. Today, we’ll explore what “unreached” means — and what it doesn’t.

Unreached means outside help is needed.

As SEND considers where to focus our efforts, we primarily rely on the Joshua Project definition: “An unreached or least-reached people group is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.”

“The unreached are people who have little or no access to the gospel,” Janzen explains. “They don’t know where a local church is. They don’t trust a local Christian because there are no local Christians that they know of in their setting.”

Mathematically, SEND considers a people group unreached if it’s less then 2 percent evangelical Christian. Add all the people in all the unreached groups up, and you have 3.11 billion people — 42 percent of today’s world population — with little or no access to the gospel. The need is great. The opportunities are enormous.

A people group is based on barriers.

“For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the gospel can spread as a church-planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance,” according to the Lausanne Committee. Language tends to be the main barrier, but caste, religious tradition, location, and common histories and legends can also act as primary boundaries.

A people group is not a country.

SEND just opened a new field. It’s in North America, where Christianity is the largest religion. It may seem nonsensical — but Joshua Project reports that 85 unreached people groups have populations that live in the United States, and 50 live in Canada. Our new field — Diaspora | North America — intentionally seeks to reach people from these unreached groups with the gospel.

This is the case for SEND’s work throughout the world. Though we refer to our teams by geographic region, our missionaries often minister both to the majority population and to minority groups. SEND Europe, for instance, has contacts with members of 29 unreached groups — only a handful of which are majority populations.

There are nearly 200 countries in the world; there are about 16,600 people groups. More than 6,700 of these groups remain unsaved. God’s Kingdom still has plenty of room for growth.

 

A people group is not a religion.

Joshua Project reports that:

One in five people on earth live in the 50 largest unreached people groups.

22 of these groups are Muslim, 18 Hindu, 5 Buddhist, 3 Ethnic Religions, 1 non-Religious, 1 Sikh.

Fifteen percent of the Islamic people groups today are considered reached. Praise God! But Islam is a religion, not a people group. There are thousands of Muslim people groups that still have little to no chance to hear the Good News.

The unreached are not the unsaved

You might live in a North American neighborhood where not a single one of your neighbors are Christian. They might not yet be saved — they might never be saved — but they aren’t without a gospel witness or access to the Word in their own language. They have a chance to know a Christian. They have a chance to know you.

Unlike your neighbor, many of the world’s unreached will never meet a Christian. Worldwide, there are 300,000 Muslims for every one Christian worker; only 13.3 percent of Muslims personally know a Christian.

By all means, reach out to your unsaved neighbor! But, as you consider how you will use your resources and direct your prayers, don’t forget the unreached.

Find more information about the unreached and understand how you can be a part of reaching them by visiting SEND.org.

 

When Journey Becomes Call

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

I did not plan on it. I was reading the Book of Genesis for an assignment in college, and as I was closing in on the final chapters, suddenly I had a country on my mind that had not been in my thinking 48 chapters earlier.  When these thoughts did not go away, I sought counsel from a veteran missionary who happened to teach missions at my college, and nine months later found myself being sent out by the college to this country as a summer missionary…

God has so many unique ways to get our attention as He graciously leads us to fulfill His purpose in our lives, and He often uses others in the process.

The Journey Deepens (TJD) is a two-day event Mission ConneXion hosts annually which allows those to whom God has been speaking, to join others who, like me, sense their journey with Christ may be turning into something more serious. Veteran missionaries who have followed a similar path are able to listen and provide one-on-one input.  Here are just two stories of people who experienced the Lord lead them after attending this weekend:

“When I was seven years old I felt the strong call of God to be a medical missionary in Asia. Many thought this was a strange thing and even told me I would change my mind. However, I became a nurse and prepared in every way I could for missions work. During my first year of work I started praying through missions organizations and Asian countries, seeking God… I felt I needed something like the Journey Deepens to help me refocus and to obtain advice and wisdom from experienced missionaries about what to do next… The prayer, advice and wisdom I received at this event helped me to cut through the fog of noise and distraction…  In the next two years, I repeatedly went back to the tools and counsel I received at TJD … Now, I am a missionary in Papua New Guinea working as a nurse supporting Bible translation…”

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“During TJD retreat I was able to learn practical next steps and came to realize that God would take me one step at a time. I didn’t have to know everything at that exact moment. Once home, I followed each of the steps I made for myself and as God brought me through each step, His plan began to unfold before my eyes. A few weeks after the retreat, my church had our annual mission conference and I connected with a couple who works with the organization I was looking into. They encouraged me to attend a 9 month ministry internship they have in Portland with this people group. Then I got in contact with the organization and saw God’s clear path. Finally I moved to Portland, began the internship, and now, two years after starting this journey, I am headed overseas to work with this people-group…”

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If you have been reading this and saying to yourself “this is me!”, or if it sounds like someone else you know, I would invite you to check out The Journey Deepens coming this weekend. Sometimes opportunities come quickly, and you have to make a decision…that could change the rest of your life.

If you think this might be the freeway entrance on your journey you’ve been waiting for, then please register hereand prepare to go deeper toward your calling…

 

 

 

 

I Was a Spiritual Midget

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

Al Fadi is a former Wahabbi Muslim from Saudi Arabia who writes for several ministries including “Answering Islam” and runs an outreach ministry designed for non-Muslim and Christians. He is also a keynote speaker for Crescent ConneXion next weekend.

Al’s religion informed him from an early age that he had no hope to be accepted by God without doing things for God. His highest hope to have his sins forgiven would be to go on jihad, and at 16 he was inspired by a charismatic, dedicated neighbor who lived only three blocks away –Osama Bin Laden.  However, his parents forbade him to go.

So, he decided to go on a mission to America to invite people to join Islam; and through an international student welcome program, Al befriended an American family to learn more about American culture and practice his language skills. He thought that just by virtue of their relationship, the family would convert to Islam.

It turned out to not be that simple because the family were Jesus-followers. He was baffled asking, “Where do they get this moral value from?” They began studying the Bible together, and he said, “I felt like a spiritual midget next to them – as if I [was] lacking something!” More and more he began to think that “Islam may not be the religion that I grew up thinking it was.”  His pilgrimage toward Jesus continued after he completed graduate school and went on to his first job in America. To hear the rest of Al’s story, you will want to register, and plan to join us for Crescent ConneXion – Loving Your Neighbor from the 10/40 Window!

 

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Mission Connexion

  • P.O. Box 91338
  • Portland, OR 97291

 

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