Five years ago, we were sitting in a circle praying and worshipping at a nearby lake during one of our local missionary conventions. Each team member was asked to consider where they would be in five years. After everyone had shared, it was our turn.

“In five years we will no longer be living in China,” we told our local missionaries and foreign staff. They knew that day would one day come because they knew we believed in them and trusted them.

You see, we believe in working ourselves out of a job by pioneering missional outreaches, then giving them away to local leaders whom we have raised up. [CLICK TO TWEET]

That was 2007. In 2012 we gave away most of our belongings, packed our remaining bags, and moved out of China.

When we left, we knew there were only two options:

1. The ministry crashes and burns, or
2. The ministry grows in glorious ways.

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Today, we have 13 local missionaries and 8 foreign staff and interns. By God’s grace, our team and ministry continues to grow.

 

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Since moving out of China, we have proudly watched as our team of local underground missionaries have become self motivated in leading the church planting, evangelistic outreaches and discipleship efforts at Within Reach Global.

Our team has become self sustaining, local led, indigenous, and continues to be a radical group of outside the box thinkers. [CLICK TO TWEET]

Many of our local missionaries are in transition as our families expand together. Some of the members on the team feel like they are unable to “do as much as they used to do when they were single.” But in reality, they are putting down family roots in an intentional ministry foundation.

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We believe in establishing a balance of family and ministry. We also encourage all our local missionaries and foreign staff to do the same. [CLICK TO TWEET]

As the founders and presidents of Within Reach Global, our role has shifted. We are leading and overseeing the ministry, encouraging each of our local leaders, connecting them with international opportunities for fundraising, training and general ministry empowerment.

Our move to Thailand has been a continuance of our transition from China to America to the Philippines; from sickness to health; from a family of two to a family of three.

In 2007, during that pivotal local missionary convention, we also listed five countries that we as a team would like to expand our reach into, targeting unreached people groups and college students. We listed Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.

This year is the year of our growth and expansion beyond the borders of China!

One of our earliest converts turned tribal leaders is moving across the border from China to Vietnam. “I am passionate about reaching the impoverished tribes across the border,” he tells us. He has been studying Vietnamese for months already.

Our first local missionary and his family are moving to Myanmar as church planters in January, 2014.

And we are now settling into Thailand as a base of operations for Within Reach Global, and home sweet missional home.

So how is Within Reach Global doing these days? Expanding. Growing. Dreaming. Living missionally at the far edges of Southeast Asia.

Because we understand that we are simply small parts of the big picture of what God is doing to redeem individuals and communities among unreached people groups and college students.

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Within Reach Global will always be passionate about bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to regions where his name is unknown. [CLICK TO TWEET]

My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” – Romans 15:20, 21, NLT

Please pray about getting behind this ministry financially to empower us to reach people who have never heard of Jesus before.

If you already support Within Reach Global, thank you so much for your continued generosity! We could not do this without you.

Donate to Within Reach Global here.

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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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