The church is God’s greatest means of touching the world’s greatest needs. Indeed, the vessel chosen by Christ’s own hand is without question his living body.
I have stood in mud-saturated refugee camps in Haiti, where people are mired in despair and hopelessness. Then I was led to a dilapidated, makeshift tent where a young pastor had recently planted a church. Amid the desperation, he and his young wife joyfully serve an unceasing stream of humanity. In this ministry, I see Christ reaching the poor and the lost with God’s incomparable love.
I have landed in a tiny, four-seat propeller plane onto what looked more like a goat path than a runway. Here in Africa, ancient tribes with strange tongues—people who had never heard the name of Jesus—now gather under a vast tree to hold church services. Through the efforts of Christ’s church, unreached people are being healed and delivered and come into the saving knowledge of Jesus.
I have been driven at night through unlit alleys and urban squalor in a Communist country where a small house shelters an underground church from its persecutors. Within these four walls, a pastor speaks Christ’s love into hearts that are more than ready to hear good news.
In the 40-plus nations where World Challenge ministers, I have seen one thing stand out in the midst of unspeakable suffering, sorrow, sickness and starvation: the marvelous, unmatchable, God-empowered church of Jesus Christ.
With your partnership, World Challenge has in the past year planted 10 new churches in unreached regions of Cambodia. You have assisted an amazing work in impoverished areas of Northern Uganda where 80 churches—given ministry resources and training—are growing by leaps and bounds.
In poverty-stricken mountain regions of El Salvador, support to churches has eliminated malnourishment almost completely. Clean water is now available where the populace was once stricken with water-borne diseases. Since then the infant mortality rate has dropped dramatically.
All of this has been accomplished not through government programs, international aid agencies or the United Nations—but through the touch of God’s church. This is why World Challenge takes the vast majority of its outreaches and ministries first to the local church. We know it is through the persistent, prayer-filled efforts of godly people that deep and lasting impact comes to communities around the globe. We believe our greatest mission impact will come by empowering local churches that serve amid the poorest and least-reached people of the world.
As we enter a new year, the global population has reached the 7 billion mark. Surely in 2012 we will see an increase in international crises, calamities, chaos and confusion. There will be more orphans to care for, more starving children to feed, more civil conflict waged than ever before. Yet amid all this, the church of Jesus Christ will shine the gospel light brighter than ever, offering love and aid to even more poor and suffering people through God’s mighty reach.
At World Challenge we want to be part of God’s solution to the world’s growing need. We pray that your heart will be open to pray for and support local churches serving in the world’s most difficult areas. Will you join with World Challenge this year in helping precious local churches advance his kingdom work?
Here Is What Your Prayers and Financial Support Can Help Accomplish in 2012:
- The planting of 10 new churches in the most unreached regions of Cambodia.
- Ministry to nearly 500 pastors in Vietnam.
- Support to dozens of churches in Haiti that care for the over one-half million people still living in tent cities.
- The launch of a new endeavor to assist churches in war-torn Southern Sudan.
- Support to young church planters in Communist and Muslim nations, where they establish underground churches in nations closed to the gospel.
May 2012 be the year that Christ’s church in North America awakens to its great opportunity: serving churches around the world in extending the good news of Jesus Christ.