Missions in a World Gone Wild

Many American Christians are waking up to the fact that the culture has shifted from friendly to Christians to being at open odds with them. Christians in American have enjoyed a cultural dominance as well as political and social control.


Things have changed.


Now being a Christian will cost you something. Now that veil of Christian dominance is gone it is inevitable that Christians feel attacked and weakened by the onslaught of “new” cultural enemies. How will the church respond? That remains to be seen.

Prognosticators have been hard at word saying all kinds of things. A quick scroll down Facebook and Twitter feeds yields a wide array of people decrying the state of the church, boasting about the benefits of persecution, groaning for the second coming, and an urgent call to pray for the country.

Few people though are calling for more missions emphasis in light of the SCOTUS and Planned Parenthood developments. It might seem weird to some to even think about missions when American needs the gospel so badly.

But that is the point!

Yes, things are bad here, but this is nothing like the parts of the world where there are no Christians (or virtually no Christians). In places around the world where the gospel has not made such a dynamic impact on human flourishing like it has in America, there is censorship, institutionalized persecution of non-majority views, violent religious practices, a lower place for women, rampant racism, and exploitation of the poor.

Many countries and regions all over the world where the gospel has yet to be embraced are functionally accepting dictators, corruption, censorship, persecution, and exploitation. Add to the political and cultural difficulties the ultimate danger of every person who has not trusted in Christ alone and the situation becomes horrifying. So many people have no hope!

The prospects for the rest of the world are more dire. How will they hear without a preacher? How will the preacher get there without someone sending?

You have a place in the Great Commission. You have a role to fill in the global spread of the gospel.

Will you play your part or will you let the loss of cultural prominence paralyze your efforts to make King Jesus known among your neighbors, nation, and the nations?

The Lord always provides

I am excited to say that the Lord is steadily providing for us and our desire to go to Ecuador. We have seen new ministry partners joining our support team every month. Moreover, we have also received several commitments that put our total support level around 25%. While we are excited to see the Lord providing for us, we still have a long way to go before we can leave. The gospel of Jesus gives everyone who trusts in Jesus peace with God and hope in a world that is filled with sin. The Quichua people are cut-off from God because there are few churches and virtually no pastors who are capable of teaching the Bible. Reaching and Teaching is actively changing that dynamic, so that as the gospel is shared there will be churches and pastors who assist in the spreading of the saving message about Jesus. Our role with Reaching and Teaching will be to support and deepen the equipping of pastors and church leaders among the Quichua people.

 

Please be in prayer for us as

  1. We continue to raise support.
  2. We share with churches about the vision and ministry of Reaching and Teaching
  3. We raise missions awareness among churches that have little or no history partnering with missionaries

 

Ministry Updates

Good Morning Friends,

I wanted to send a quick update to our prayer and ministry partners.

  1. Firstly, I wanted to say a big thank you to those of you who have been praying for us and staying connected to us. We have stayed encouraged through frequent conversations about missions.
  2. I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who have answered the call to support us. New friends have jumped on board our support team in the last couple of days in ways that show that the Lord is providing for us to go.
  3. We have been busy sharing the vision of Reaching and Teaching with churches and individuals and have a variety of things on the horizon. So if you remember us in prayer please pray that we stay focused on honoring Jesus even as we share about our work.

Resting in His Perfect Peace

Consider the words of this song this week as you think about and pray for persecuted Christians and missionaries serving throughout the world for the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

  1. We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
    We go not forth alone against the foe;
    Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
    We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.
  2. Yes, in Thy Name, O Captain of salvation!
    In Thy dear Name, all other names above;
    Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,
    Our Prince of glory and our King of love.
  3. We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
    And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
    Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
    “We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”
  4. We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
    Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
    When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
    Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

“From Ebola outbreaks to ancient Christian communities on the run, perhaps we are meant to see that
Jesus is risky and Jesus is worth it.”
-Kevin DeYoung


In 1956, this song was sung by five missionaries as they were leaving to go into a tribe of Indians who had never before been engaged by outsiders, or by the Gospel. These missionaries unknowingly went to their death, being speared by the very people they worked for years to contact. Today, more than 50 years later, this tribe has been infiltrated by the truth of the Gospel because of the faithful witness of the family members of those missionaries. The missionaries? Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian and Steve Saint. The tribe? The Aucas, neighbors to the Quichuas, the very people to whom we are going and who still need the Gospel.

Indeed, Jesus is risky, but Jesus is worth it. Will you partner with us?

 sheep


“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot


What is Reaching and Teaching?

What is Reaching and Teaching?

The short answer is that Reaching and Teaching is a ministry dedicated sharing the gospel and training pastors to be able to pass on the faith that has been once for all delivered to the saints. In some ways Reaching and Teaching is very similar to other missions agencies that you have probably heard about. Frankly most of the Christian missionary endeavors have tried to do exactly what Reaching and Teaching is doing.  Solomon’s words can be used here, “there is nothing new under the sun.” In that regard, Reaching and Teaching is happy to stand on the shoulders of many of the great missionaries of the past.

However, Reaching and Teaching’s approach to missions has some unique features that distinguish it from other ministries. First, Reaching and Teaching is trying to fill a gap at the bottom of the missiological spectrum. Seminaries have been started all over the world and Christians are receiving top notch training from those institutions. Unfortunately there is a large portion of the world that is never going to be able to attend a seminary. The main barrier preventing formal training is that 80% of the world does not possess the literacy skills to get a seminary education. Moreover, people who have families and farms in rural parts of the world are rarely able to travel to seminaries even if they could keep up academically. This is where Reaching and Teaching steps into the gap. Reaching and Teaching partners with local pastors and church leaders to offer non-formal theological training. The course of study includes 9 sessions that cover everything from Old and New Testament survey to Theology to Church History to practical ministry challenges like preaching and counseling. The 9 sessions are broken up over a 3 year period (3 sessions per year). Teams from all over the world are welcome to go the training site to teach the different sessions in a week long intensive setting. Reaching and Teaching also includes spiritual and practical aspects to each session by starting each day by teaching about an aspect of the personal spiritual disciplines and ending each day with a practical issue like qualifications of a pastor/elder.

Pastors Studying

Ideally Reaching and Teaching has full-time missionaries in the area of the training sites in order to follow up with the trainees and to assist in new outreach and evangelism efforts. So what is Reaching and Teaching? It is a holistic approach to non-formal theological training that seeks to train pastors and church leaders who will share the gospel more faithfully, plant healthy churches, and pass on their training to their churches.

Please pray for Reaching and Teaching. As the ministry continues to grow there are countless needs for more and more people to go on short term trips and there is a constant need for new missionaries to be sent out by their local churches to help follow up with the trainees.

You can join with Reaching and Teaching on a trip to check out the ministry firsthand any time by going to their website. You can also partner with Reaching and Teaching by supporting the ministry financially so others in your church can go. Lastly, you can join with Reaching and Teaching by helping to send one of their missionaries.

Mission Impossible

We have just come back from the very first annual Reaching and Teaching Orientation. What a wonderful time of fellowship with other missionaries and believers! We were so encouraged- and challenged- by the task that was lain before us.

whichway

The task, however, is impossible. It is too large and too dangerous. We do not have the ability or the willpower to complete it. It is too much for us.


But we serve a GREAT God who is able, who is willing, who is Almighty. He is our King and He equips us every step of the way to do what He has called us to do.


Philippians 2:13 says that God is the one who works in us, to will and to work for His good pleasure. Praise God that we are unable. Praise God that He is able!

Please pray for us (and other RTIM missionaries) as we begin to raise support in the coming weeks and months. Specifically:
*Pray that the Lord will provide the resources we need while raising support and for our time on the field.
**Pray that the Lord will strengthen and establish our relationships with those we will meet in the coming months. Pray that He would provide spiritual mentors for us upon whom we can rely while on the field.
***Pray for those who desperately need the truth of the Gospel. Every day, millions of people die to an eternity apart from Christ’s favorable presence.

If you would like to partner with us, please email us at beharfamily@reachingandteaching.org. We also will be glad to come to your church and speak, or help you and your church go on short-term trips. To view a list of upcoming trips, please visit Reaching and Teaching’s website here.

For His Glory,
Summer

Between Two Worlds

One season of our lives has ended and another is beginning. Sam has just graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with his MDiv. What a glorious thought! Anyone who has been through seminary knows exactly how glorious it is. However, I’m not really sure what we expected to happen after that cold May morning when Sam walked across that stage and received that piece of paper that represents the last 4 years of our lives. Perhaps something magical! Perhaps a season of relaxation before the storm of life overtakes us. In any case, nothing magical happened. Our lives are just as busy as they were when Sam was in school. Life continues. But I’m reminded that we are not called to be lazy. We are not called to seek after our own desires whatever the cost. We are called to strive after God’s glory, no matter the cost. We strive toward that last day when our Savior, the Lamb of God who was slain for us, will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

In the meantime, we are between two worlds: our world of strife and pain, and heaven, where our prize will have been won. Paul encourages believers to continue striving toward this end in Philippians 3:12-14:

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

So, what are our plans? We have begun the process of joining Reaching and Teaching International Ministries to serve the Lord in Ecuador among the Highland Quichuas. We will soon begin raising the funds necessary to go, then we will go to Costa Rica for language school. After this we will, Lord willing, be in Cuenca, Ecuador, training pastors and their wives, ministering to the local people and seeking to spread the name of Christ among the Quichuas.

If you would like to partner with us in this great work, we soon will have information regarding how you can do that. Feel free to contact us by email or phone in the meantime. We would love to share our vision for ministry with you!

Also, please follow our blog for updates as we travel this journey. As we near our departure, we will try to update our supporters monthly.

Please pray for us!
~Pray that we would be faithful to the Lord in all seasons.
~Pray that we will prepare ourselves in bible study and prayer, always being ready to give a defense of the hope we have in Christ.
~Pray that the Lord will provide the full support for us to go to the field soon.

We thank you in advance for praying for us and for supporting us.

~Summer