THERE IS SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR
By the time you read this, the first of two World Outreach International 80th anniversary celebrations will have taken place in South Africa. The second celebration will happen in northern Thailand in July. Such a milestone needs to be celebrated! It is easy to be so consumed by the urgent that we forget to make time for the important. Yet gathering to celebrate is very much a part of Biblical culture!
World Outreach began in Eastern Russia and Europe in the early 1930s. Today, by the grace of God, World Outreach International has ministry involvement in more than 60 countries on five continents. History is a wonderful thing. It allows you to look back and reminisce on what has gone before, and to recognise special times when great things were achieved. We have much to learn from the past, and we should! But as much as the history of World Outreach International excites us, the present and the future excite us even more!
Many ministries within World Outreach International today are experiencing the hand of God on them in a very powerful way. Last year in three North Indian provinces, World Outreach International-trained church planters recorded 12,045 baptisms of new believers from among ethnic communities who had never before heard of Jesus, and in turn, 434 village house churches were started. Fantastic! Then, there are the six Buddhist monks in a Southeast Asian nation who have become followers of Jesus, been water baptised, and are now teaching their congregations from the New Testament. Marvellous! Let’s not forget about the 150 families in one Indochina country village who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour on the same day that a World Outreach International-trained ex-army major stopped in their village to rest for the night. Incredible!
Space does not allow me to share all of the amazing reports from Africa, SE Asia, and the Middle East, of what the Holy Spirit is doing through numerous World Outreach International ministries today. This 80th anniversary year, we have many good reasons to come together to celebrate! The Holy Spirit is breaking out in many regions of the world. It is up to us to see what He is doing and to adjust our lives, activities, and programs so that we can be involved in His work! Some of you reading this may be thinking, Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit break out in my town or country? Maybe He is about to! The key is to never give up praying and believing. The Spirit of God can move suddenly!
It is so important to celebrate God’s goodness, and to worship Him for what He has done and what He will do. We in World Outreach International are designating special times throughout this year to do just that. We also believe the best (in God) is still before us. It is my prayer and hope for our faithful friends scattered around the world, that the year 2012 will be a time where you too can take time to celebrate and see the goodness of God in a new and powerful way.
In the service of the King of Kings,
John is the Present Emeritus of World Outreach. He lives with his wife, Mary, in New Zealand.