The engagement is growing during our Missions Blabs! People chatting, leaving thoughtful messages, asking pertinent questions, calling in to share their video screen with us and converse about missions topics—it’s been exhilarating!

Steve Schirmer, president of Silk Road Catalyst, and I host the Missions Blab. We have a bunch of great video replays you can check out and always have scheduled conversations on the burner.

I wish all my friends were on Blab!

The topic was “Indigenous Or Foreign Missionaries: Who Is More Effective?” We came to the conclusion (we had a hunch even before we started) that it is not an either/or ordeal, not an us versus them concept, but rather a teaming up through relationship to impact unreached people groups with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“[Our host] culture has enough anti-Christian tendencies without our contributions. God is hoping to keep “ours” from multiplying “theirs.” Our mission, no matter our specific baggage, must be to establish, in the Church, Christlike transformation. – China Source

I encourage you to watch the replay with open eyes and open ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to you today, namely, that regardless of the origin of your passport or cultural upbringing, you have a part to play in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Watch the replay here.

All my live video broadcast replays can be found on my Blab profile here.

Follow me on Blab for upcoming live video broadcasts.

A great article on this topic is from China Source in an article called The Changing Role of Foreign Workers in China.

“Do [foreigner missionaries] still have a place in [missions]? An easy answer flows from simply recognizing that both historically and today, God has, and is, clearly using people from throughout his body to accomplish his purposes.” – China Source

For more information about my live video broadcasts, check out my broadcast page here.

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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  • Loved the blab! I didn’t get to see it live because I was out in rural Mexico last week, but I watched the archived version.

    One thing on my heart that was not mentioned until near the end is the element of God’s call. We could say all day long that either national or foreign missionaries are more effective, but in my experience, we cannot deny that people are called! For example, an American may be captivated by God’s call to India. There are many local workers there already, but that American would be disobeying not to go, correct? How do you compare the lives of two people who are obeying God, whether indigenous or foreign? It’s God’s job to decide what “effective” means. That said, in any case it is absolutely essential that the foreign missionary applies indigenous principles (one of WIM’s core values: to serve and work him/herself out of a job rather than seeking his/her own agenda. This is simply the Christian way, the mind of Christ (Phil 2). I believe it boils down to obedience, humility, and good training. If you have a combo of those three, you’ll be right where God wants you, you won’t think you know it all, and you’ll apply wisdom in your strategy. The reality is foreigners are still being called to countries ALL over the world, even countries not in the 10/40 window. Are they wrong about God’s call? I think not. I love the way Ken addresses this question on “God’s plans aren’t always that pragmatic” ( God doesn’t think like we do! Walt mentioned this aspect in the blab — thanks Walt! It’s God’s job to decide who He wants to send and where. We have to trust that He’ll deal with all of our cultural baggage and mistakes.

    There was also a question regarding the relationship between good works and evangelism — the guy behind the computer asked “Isn’t there a better way?” The way Jesus did it was to walk in supernatural power. He healed people everywhere He went which means that not only was He doing the “good deeds,” but also He was proving that He is God (John 10:38)! Paul echoed this strategy when he said in 1 Cor 4:20 that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. Missionaries like Rolland and Heidi Baker are wonderful models of this beautiful balance between deeds and words. She has said, “We watch Jesus heal the blind, but we also build homes for the blind.” In other words, they may not see 100% success at healing prayers, but at least they have the faith to pray and see what God does. When the healing doesn’t come immediately, they address those needs in other ways. Maybe it’s time for missionaries to believe that God still wants to move supernaturally today, even through our hands. When a person is healed, it doesn’t guarantee they will turn to Jesus — only one of the ten lepers did. But zero of the ten lepers could deny that they had been touched by the love of God.

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