Be A Small Part Of The Big Thing God Is Doing

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The Honor Academy  at Teen Mania Ministries selected me and Within Reach Global as one of the encouragers for their Life Transforming Event (LTE) in September, 2013. This event is called The ANVIL LTE, which is an acronym for The Amazing Nonstop Victorious Invincible Legendary life Transforming Event.

Side note: I’ve heard some amazing acronyms before, but this one takes the cake!

I am honored to encourage the interns to be a small part of the big thing God is doing in the nations, reminding them to focus on cross cultural missions among unreached people groups.

I hiked up a mountain in Thailand to shoot this video. Hope you enjoy.

In 1997 I was smuggling Bibles from Hong Kong into China, and as I went through customs, the Chinese border police recognized that I had Chinese Bibles in my backpack, called me over, and slapped me on the face. It was my first time to receive persecution like that.

In 1999 I was apprehended by police as we were sharing the gospel among the Pumi tribe, an unreached people group in China near Tibet.

In 2001 I was hiding on the side of the road in a muddy ditch with local missionaries as police cars sped by in search for us as we were sharing the gospel among the former headhunting Wa tribe on the China / Myanmar border..

In 2002 I was interrogated from 11:pm until 3:am in a rural corn field among the Buyei tribe after we shared the Jesus Film to over 300 Buyei people who had never heard the gospel before.

In 2005 I was interrogated until 4:am on my birthday as we drove back from the China / Vietnam border, sharing the gospel to the Yao people, an unreached people group on the border. One man got saved, and came up with us to be discipled, and the police found out. so there were, being interrogated until late in the morning hours.

In 2009, my wife and I drove down to the China / Myanmar border and almost slipped off a cliff into a 500 deep ravine because the roads were so slippery. I ended up getting food poisoning, was hospitalized—I don’t remember much after that. I woke up in the morning, and said Satan is not going to get the best of us. We’re going to go up to that Buddhist temple and try to find someone to share the gospel with. We ended up meeting a young man who led us to 3,000 students in his school where we had a chance to share the gospel. That was the beginning of our outreach to Wa children on the China / Myanmar border. At the same time, our local missionaries were caught by the police, beaten up and interrogated for 3 days. We didn’t know where they were.

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The whole time this was happening, I thought of the words of pastor Samuel Lamb, a Chinese Christian who had been in prison for 21 years of his life. He said, “More persecution, more growth. That is the history of the Church.”

“Be thou faithful unto death,” Jesus said, “and I will give you the crown of life.”

“Be thou faithful unto death,” Jesus said, “and I will give you the crown of life.”

You see, all these things were happening because we were actively sharing the gospel in regions that have yet to hear the name of Jesus in the 21st century.

One third of the world’s population—that’s over 2 billion people—have yet to hear of the name of Jesus in the 21st century. [CLICK TO TWEET]

I’ve lived half my life in Southeast Asia. I’ve eaten in huts and homes with the poorest of the poor, getting Mao’s revenge with them. Which makes me consider the Great Imbalance of Global Missions, that 90% of the missionary task force is sent to Christianized areas—places where the gospel already exists and churches are planted. But only 10% of the missionary task force is sent to those unreached, untouched regions, unevangelized areas that have yet to hear of the name of Jesus.

We see this highlighted at The Bridge, our 6th outreach center in China. There’s over 100,000 college students living and studying in this area, and we only know of 30 people working in that area.

Those statistics really suck! We need help!

We have over 100 college students coming every week to hear the gospel. We are discipling the unreached people groups coming to Jesus. [CLICK TO TWEET]

One girl from a devout Buddhist family got saved and so set on fire by the gospel that she led her mother to the Lord. Her mother said, “We need to smash all our Buddhist idols.” So they picked up a hammer, spent all day smashing their idols, and came to Christ.

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You see, that’s what happens when the ripples of salvation flow from you to those who have yet to hear of Jesus, flow from you into open hearts.

God uses the weak and the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and strong.

God uses the weak and the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and strong.

I’m just like you. I am nobody. I’m just a Christian guy who is passionate about bringing the gospel to the far edges of the world, every corner of the planet that is yet to hear of the name of Jesus, living missionally in a cross cultural context.

Missions exists because worship doesn’t. God’s redemptive plan calls us to bring his salvation to the far edges of the earth where his name is not yet known. [CLICK TO TWEET]

That’s the motto of my life: “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and make a trail.”

Blaze new trails for the kingdom of God. Think outside the box. Dare something ridiculous for Jesus! [CLICK TO TWEET]

Blaze new trails for the kingdom of God. Think outside the box. Dare something ridiculous for Jesus!

As a part of Teen Mania Ministries and the Honor Academy, you have a huge open door in front of you. It’s up to you to ask, “What am I going to do with this open door?”

Don’t be a big part of something small. Instead be a small part of the big thing God is doing in the nations.

In that way it won’t be about you. It will be about God’s redemptive glory flowing through you as a conduit, bringing his blessing to the ends of the earth.

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global

David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.


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