This is a big year for World Outreach. We’re celebrating our 90th anniversary as a Mission Agency. To celebrate this anniversary, we’re going to be looking back at our heritage through our 2022 Nations Issues.
We enthusiastically invite you to join us as we take you on a journey from our humble, faith-filled beginnings to be poised at one of the most pivotal moments in modern-day missions.
World Outreach turned 90 earlier this year
The Beauty of a Faith Heritage!
World Outreach turned 90 earlier this year (2022)!
Throughout this year, ‘Heritage’ has been the theme in all three editions of the Nations magazine. In this particular publication, we’ll be continuing our journey through the decades by focussing on the development of World Outreach during the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. This was a momentous time of expansion.
Have you ever forgotten something really important? I have! For example, my youngest son once rang me asking for a lift home from youth group. I answered that I couldn’t. He indignantly asked, ‘Well, why not?’ I told him I was in India. ‘When did you go to India?’ he asked in a surprised tone. ‘Last night at midnight,’ I sheepishly replied. ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were going away?’ he asked. It then dawned on me that I had forgotten to tell my kids I was going away for the week to speak in India.
Sometimes we forget what we should remember and remember what we should forget. The Lord knows how easy it is to forget important things. So, in the Old Testament in particular, we read of the Lord instructing his covenant people to purposefully and intentionally remember the great things he had done for them.
This is especially brought to light in the story located in Joshua 4:1-9. The conquest generation had just miraculously passed through the dried-out Jordan River. Joshua instructed chosen representatives from each of the 12 tribes to go into the middle of the dried-out river and take a stone as big as they could carry from beside where the priests were standing with the ark of the covenant on their shoulders. They were to carry them back to shore and lay the stones on top of each other as a memorial.
To Serve as a Sign for you
Why were they directed to do this? To “…serve as a sign among you. In the future when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:6-7).
In short, they were to do so for two reasons. Firstly, to set up a perpetual reminder to future generations of what the Lord had done in the past. It was to prompt the current generation to communicate to the next about the miraculous way the Lord had made a way through a flooded river to get his people to the other side. Each generation has a responsibility to tell the next about the greatness of God (see Psalm 71:18; 78:4). The lesson being that we, also, must take time to tell the new generations all that God has done in our lives so they know the mighty, miraculous and marvellous things he can do.
Secondly, it was to be a memorial (vs. 7). In other words, it was to serve as a sign to stop, pause, reflect, recall and remember what God had done for them. This generation were to develop a grateful and thankful heart. They were to remember over and over what God had done. Tragically, ungratefulness is a sign of a short memory. By way of application, we too, need times of reflection (like the Israelites had the memorial stones) so we don’t forget what God has done, but remind ourselves and give thanks.
Just as we in World Outreach reflect back on the incredible ways the Lord has faithfully guided, provided, protected, empowered, strengthened, and directed us over 90 years, I encourage you to apply these two lessons. Firstly, tell the new generations all that God has done for you. Secondly, regularly take time to reflect on all that God has done in, through and for you over the years, then give him appropriate thanks and praise.
Thank you for partnering with us in evangelising and discipling unreached people groups.
Author: Bruce Hills
We pray you will be encouraged by these stories! Will you join us in praying for those facing trials around the globe?