Stories are at the heart of the ministry of Ethnic Harvest!
There are amazing true stories like the story of Faridah, a Muslim woman, born in Malaysia, who met God in a new way while reading the book of Hosea.
...and stories that inspire us, like the Seattle-area pastor from India who has started 14 churches, most of them in languages he doesn't even speak! (Read how he does it in Ethnic Church Planting: A Documentation of the Work of Dr. Chris Thomas.)
...and stories of need, like the Middle-Eastern student who spent 4 years at an American university, and later said, ""I have been in America for four years, and these have been the most lonely years of my life. When I walk down a hallway and an American says with a smile, 'Hi, how are you doing?' I stop and try to tell them how I am doing. Instead, they just keep on walking and don't really care about my answer."
...and stories of God at work, like the pastor from the former Soviet Union, now living in Seattle, who has led a number of Russian pilots to Christ, and has been able to evangelize and plant churches in his former homeland!
...and stories of people making a difference, teaching ESL classes with Bible-based literacy materials, or working to resettle the refugees who arrive on our shores so hopeful but with so many needs.
Here's a story from Religion News Today about teams from suburban Los Angeles who are planting churches in the inner-city.
"...Volunteers may or may not be members of the same ethnic group
as those in the new church. Members of Oikos, an Asian church, are
planting a church among Hispanics and Asians. The Oikos team consists of
lawyers, doctors, and college students, none of whom have been in the
inner city before. Zoe Christian Fellowship, a middle-class suburban
congregation, helped plant an African-American church in the Watts section
of Los Angeles by going door-to-door talking about God. A Hispanic
congregation is being planted by other Hispanics. "
Here's a story from Literacy & Evangelism International:
"A woman from Bejing, China, began attending ESL classes and later accepted an invitation to attend church with our LEI ESL Coordinators. One of the coordinators says, "She showed up the next Sunday morning and said she had never been in a church before in her life! She has been attending regularly. During the sermon she listens intently and even takes notes on words she doesn't understand. We gave her a Chinese/English Bible one Sunday and she was thrilled. She said she was going to ask us that day where she could get one for herself!"
I enjoyed the article, Culture Shock. Four Mennonite Brethren Missionaries tell their own experience in learning to fit into a new country. As you read it, put yourself in the place of your new foreign-born neighbors, and all the new things they are struggling to learn.
We want to tell these stories and more! Please return again in the next few months, as we collect stories and photos to share with you the exciting ways that God is blessing and teaching all of us who are involved in reaching across cultural boundaries with the love of Jesus Christ!
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