|Question:||Why is missions important?|
|Fields:||Abong Mbang, Cameroon and Baktala, Cameroon (See map.)|
|Missionaries:||Roger Yoda, Russ Simpson, Valerie ???|
People need to hear the good news of Jesus.
God asks us to do missions.
|Bible Passages:||Matthew 9:35-38, 28:18-20, Acts 1:7-11, Romans 10:6-17|
Here in America we have rules. It's illegal to kill someone, or steal a car, or use drugs. All these things can get you in trouble, and you can end up in prison. In Cameroon, those things could get you in prison, but there are some other reasons you might end up in prison too. Sometimes the people who are in charge get nervous that somebody else will take over, so they throw that person in jail as a political prisoner, even if they didn't really break any laws or do anything wrong.
Roger Yoda is a pastor in Abong Mgang, a city in Cameroon [show map]. Nearby, there is a prison, a jail where the government of Cameroon keeps men who have gotten into trouble. Some of the prisoners did very bad things to get into such trouble, but Roger Yoda wants them to know that they can still be saved. He wants to tell them the good news of Jesus. So he has a prison ministry: he goes into the prison and preaches to any of the prisoners who will listen. He tells them what the Bible says: that even if we've been really bad sinners, God still loves us, and that Jesus died for us, to pay for our sins, and that if we accept Jesus, he can save us and change our lives.
This past winter, Pastor Simpson, from Galion, went to Cameroon with two other men from the United States. He went to help teach men who are studying to be pastors, but while he was there, he went to Abong Mbang to visit Roger Yoda, and they went into the prison together, to tell the prisoners the good news of salvation. When they heard what the Bible says, many of the prisoners accepted Jesus. They are sorry for the bad things they once did, and now they want to live for Jesus.
Another time, before Pastor Simpson came to visit, Roger Yoda went into the prison to preach, and a man named Valerie, from Baktala, who was a political prisoner, gave his life to Jesus. Later, when Valerie was released from the prison, he took classes at the practorium to train so he can be a pastor, and he also returned to his home village of Baktala and started telling other people about Jesus. The people there had not heard before. Now there is a church in Baktala, and another church in a nearby village of Demarko. Now Valerie wants to go to the city of Bertoua, a few miles up the road, because the people there need to hear too.
The Point: People Need to Hear the Good News
Romans 10 explains in verses 8-13 that people are saved by believing in Jesus, but it goes on to ask a question:
How can they believe if they haven't heard?And
how can they hear if nobody preaches to them?If they're going to hear and believe and be saved, somebody has to tell them about Jesus.
There are men in the Cameroon who want to do that work. And there are other men, who are already trained and doing that work, and are helping to train more men. In Matthew, Jesus says that the harvest of people who can be saved is plentiful, but there are not very many workers to go and gather them together. The church needs to train more willing workers to go out and share the good news, and gather together those who will be saved, and start churches.
Invitation: Willing to Serve God
Invite any children who would like to stay after the lesson and discuss the possibility of dedicating themselves to do God's work in foreign or local missions.
|Tuesday:||Credited to Your Account|
|Question:||Why is missions important?|
|Field:||Cameroon (The map from Monday can be re-used.)|
|Missionaries:||Pastor Russ Simpson, Paul Chema, Bill & Adele Crabbs|
Missions is valuable for the sending church.
|Bible Passages:||Philippians 4:10-20|
Introduction: A Tired Church
About 6 years ago (in 2001) there was a church with about 45 people who were tired. They had been working for God for a long time and some of their friends had deserted them. It was all they could do to teach Sunday School and hold onto their small faith. Then, something happened that nobody expected, except God. God knew that what would get this tired church excited again. They needed to send missionaries.
In Cameroon [show map] there was a seminary, a school for teaching men to be Pastors, and they needed teachers. In 2001 they got Pastor Russ Simpson from Galion, Ohio to go for a short trip to teach a class at the school. He wasn't supposed to stay long, and he wanted to take someone else with him make the traveling easier. So, a man named Paul Chema said he would go too. The church was scared. They didn't know if they could raise the money for the plane tickets. After all, they were just a small church with only a few members. But, they did! When Pastor Simpson and Paul came back, they were very excited about what God was doing in Cameroon.
When the people in the church heard that so many African men were being trained to be Pastors in their own country and that so many churches were starting they started to get excited about what God was doing and they forgot that they were so small and so tired. Before long, another family, the Crabbs, was sent to Cameroon to help out at the seminary for a short time. The church didn't know how they were going to raise enough money to send all these missionaries to Africa. But, they remembered that the money came in last time and decided to try again. God provided and all the money came in. The Crabbs got excited too and when they came back to Galion they asked to return for a longer time. They wanted to go for months not weeks. Again, the church needed to raise money, this time a whole lot. And again, God provided. Pretty soon, the church was raising money to put in an elevator that they had wanted for a long time but didn't believe they could afford for such a small church. Now, they had the faith to do it — and also, now the church was growing.
The elevator has served a number of people. Some would not be able to come to church without it. Now, the church is involved with more and the people are excited about what God is doing. Their small faith has grown big. Pastor Simpson went back to Cameroon in 2007 taking two other men along with him and he is teaching more classes to a whole new group of men who are being trained to be Pastors and to start more new churches. The Galion church is also looking at other mission fields: Brazil, Vermont, Germany and maybe India.
The Point: Getting Involved
The Galion church in 2001, was tired. They weren't ready for what God wanted them to do. God knew how to get them ready: he had them send missionaries. Sending missionaries is important because people need to hear the good news, but sometimes it's also important because we need to be involved with telling people the good news. If we don't go, God can send someone else, but it's better for us if we go. If we don't send missionaries, God will find another church to send them, but it's better for us if we send them.
|Wednesday:||The Power of God|
What is it important for missionaries to do?
What is it important for missionaries to teach?
|Field:||Uberlandia, Brazil (See map. There is also a map of the neighborhoods.)|
It is more important to teach the good news of Jesus than anything else (e.g., cultural norms).
It is more important to start churches than to do physical works.
|Bible Passages:||1st Corinthians 1:17 - 2:2|
Introduction: Resolved to Know Nothing
Paul says that while he was in Corinth, he forgot everything except Jesus Christ crucified, because nothing was more important than telling the people that Jesus had died for their sins. So the most important things for a missionary to do, are to teach the good news, and to start churches that will continue to teach the good news after the missionary moves on to another place.
Example: Project Timothy
The church in Uberlandia, Brazil, wants to teach the good news to as many people in Brazil as they can. To do this, they need to train more men to be pastors and missionaries - more men that they can send to start churches. They have already started several churches, and trained several men to pastor them. They don't want to start churches and have no one to be the pastor, because the whole reason for starting the churches is to teach the good news of Jesus, so there has to be someone to teach - a pastor. They don't want to just teach the people in their own church and keep them there, because then the other people in the other neighborhoods would never hear the good news. So they want to train men and send them to start more churches in more neighborhoods and cities.
That's a big job! Uberlandia is a big city, and they want to reach beyond that city too, to other cities. Brazil is a big country, with many people. How can they train enough pastors to start enough churches to reach them all?
The Point: Teaching the Good News
To train the men, the Uberlandia church started a Bible Institute. The Bible Institute meets at the Tubelina church, the first one that was started in Uberlandia, by missionaries from the United States, years ago. This church trains men, and sends them to other neighborhoods, to start more churches.
One of the other cities they're going to is Araguari. Magno is a school teacher, and the school gave him permission to teach a Bible club after school. Magno is also a Christian, and was trained in the Bible Institute at Tubelina. Magno knows that all the children should be able to hear about Jesus, and without his Bible clubs, they wouldn't be able to. Magno was sad, because he could only do a few Bible clubs, because he was too busy with work. So now Magno doesn't teach school all day: he teaches school only part of the day, so that he can have more Bible clubs. But that means he doesn't make as much money. Some of our churches here in the United States are helping Magno with money to support his family, so that he can continue to teach the Bible clubs, because that is more important than teaching school.
Magno knows what's important to teach. The good news of Jesus, from the Bible, is more important than anything else that people might want to know. And the church in Tubelina knows what it's important for them to do: they are training more men like Magno to go to more neighborhoods, because it's more important to start churches than anything else they can do.
They want to send men to other neighborhoods, to start churches there. In 2006, they sent a man to Orange Grove. In 2007, they will send someone to Westermon. God is working in Brazil.
|Thursday:||God Chose the Weak|
|Question:||For whom is missions important?|
|Field:||Port Harcourt, Nigeria (See map.)|
Sending missionaries is important for all Bible-believing churches, of all ages, in all countries.
|Bible Passages:||1st Corinthians 1:18-29, 3:7|
Are churches in the United States the only ones that send missionaries? (No.) Which churches should send missionaries? Only big churches? Only rich churches?
Samuel and Ernestine Ngum are from the Cameroon, but they want to start a church in Nigeria [show map]. They want to be foreign missionaries to Nigeria.
Samuel did not grow up in a believing family, but he became a Christian as an adult, and he wanted to help other people hear the good news too. Samuel took classes and was trained to be a pastor, so that he could teach people about Jesus. But he doesn't just want to stay in his own country. He wants to help the people in other countries hear about Jesus too, because there are people there who need to know.
Right after they got married, Samuel and Ernestine went to Port Harcourt Nigeria, and while they were there they told people about Jesus. Five believed, and six became interested. But Ernestine got sick and almost died, so they had to go home to Cameroon. They want to go back, and start a church in Port Harcourt. They want to take Martin Nchinda, another man from the Cameroon, with them to help, and they want to take Bibles so that people can read the good news for themselves.
The Point: Who Can Send?
Samuel and Ernestine are from the Cameroon. The church that is sending them is in Ki-Yon, a small, poor village up in the mountains in Africa. But the people there know that it's important to send missionaries. The church in Ki-Yon was started by a missionary from the southeast Cameroon, who came halfway across the country to tell them the good news. Their church is not very old, and they are all young Christans, but they know how important missions is. So they have saved up, and they have a little money to send a man and his wife to another country.
It isn't just the rich churches, and the big churches, and the churches in the United States, that can send missionaries. It is important for all churches, everywhere, to send people to teach the good news of Jesus.
|Friday:||Where the People Are|
|Question:||Where is it important for missionaries to go?|
|Field:||Vermont (See map.)|
|Missionaries:||Ethan & Leah Kallberg|
We should send missionaries wherever there are people who need to hear the good news of Jesus.
Introduction: People Need to Hear the Good News
Today there are many people who don't know who God is or that Jesus died for our sins. Can you believe that some people have never heard the good news of Jesus having died for their sins? Most of us here have had a chance to hear from the Bible, but some people never have.
Example: The Alexanders
One of our home missions churches, in Morrisville, Vermont [show map], was able to help out a Christian family named the Alexanders. Marvin and Marjie Alexander had become Christians while living away from their home in Vermont, but when they wanted to move back to Vermont, they thought they would have a tough decision to make. When they had left Vermont, there was not a church anywhere near their home that really taught the Bible. Living in another place, they had found a church that did teach the Bible, and so when they planned to come back to Vermont, they thought they would have to decide whether it was more important to move home, or to live somewhere where there was a good church. What they found surprised them: now there was a good Bible-teaching church near their home in Vermont, because someone had started one!
The Point: Where the People Are
The Alexanders had to move away from home for a while, to hear the good news of Jesus. They never heard it before, from the churches in Vermont, because those churches did not teach the good news. Those churches were not telling the people the good news that they needed to hear. Is that good? No. But now there is a good church there, teaching the Bible.
The Alexanders were not the only people living in the Lamoille Valley area, and so they were not the only ones that never heard the good news. Thousands of people live live there, and were not hearing how to be saved, because it was not taught. Now some of them will have the chance to hear. The Alexanders will tell their friends, and Ethan and Leah Kallberg are doing all they can to bring the good news to the people of Vermont.
All this did not happen in just one year. It took time, and many people. Ethan Kallberg is not even the first pastor there. Jeff Kran helped out at the beginning. It has been almost twenty years since men first started to try to have Bible studies in Vermont in order to plant churches, but now the Lamoille Valley church in Morrisville is large enough that they have bought a building and can meet several times a week. They have more than five committed families, and they even have someone who plays the piano. The church is growing, and teaching people about Jesus, and anyone can come.
Why did the Krans and the Kallbergs go to Vermont? Ethan was from Ohio. Why did he go to Vermont, to start a church there? Why not Africa? Why not Brazil? Why did he stay in the United States? And, if he was going to stay in the United States anyway, why didn't he just stay in Ohio?
Ethan went to Vermont because he felt a burden. He knew that there were people there who were not hearing the good news, because Pastor Libby from Irasberg, Vermont, had visited Ethan in his home in Ohio, and he told him about it. Ethan prayed, but he felt he should do something about it, too. He felt sure that God wanted the people in Vermont to hear about Jesus, and he decided that he should do it - that God wanted him to go.