There are people all around the globe who sense the call of God so strongly in their lives, driven to move to the hard places, travelling great distances to spread the gospel. They have a sense of urgency to tell others what Jesus has done for them, particularly for those who have never heard of him before. However, this has raised a serious issue. Many from poor communities don’t have the funds to go. How are they going to get there when their
own church can’t help them financially?
In 2019, SIM’s Faithful Witness in Forgotten Communities Initiative was established to support workers with finances to reach the unreached. Lynell, the Prayer Coordinator for Faithful Witness, says, “it was a call back to the roots and first love of SIM…to reaching into new areas and bringing the gospel to people who aren’t going to hear it otherwise.” God has called people from everywhere to anywhere, and this is now the current model of mission.
Praise God, the receiving countries have now become missionary sending countries.
The Faithful Witness project purpose is to raise additional financial and prayer resources to provide short-term funding for those going from non-traditional sending countries to any of the seven current team locations. Lynell shares, “it’s about giving them a start-up and a helping hand to establish ministries and projects in strategic locations.” It’s about getting them there quickly and financially supporting teams in the hard places. Each team may use the three years of funding differently, whether it be for individuals, families or even the particular project itself. And that’s where there is another challenge ahead.
Now some workers are nearing the end of that three year mark. Their financial subsidy is coming to an end. They will return to their home countries and spend time sharing with their churches, family and friends. “They’ve got stories and established ministries to share back home, and can demonstrate what money is needed for,” says Lynell. But going back to their place of calling will require full support to be raised. It is exciting to see churches and individuals who are able, worldwide, to join the support team of Faithful Witness workers. The goal is long-term, transformative ministry.
As funds allow, new teams in new locations will be formed. “One of the greater goals of the Faithful Witness initiative is to have multicultural teams on the field,” says Lynell. But this brings its challenges; there can be tension. People coming from a range of backgrounds can bring contrasting opinions and values. Ideas on money, ways of bringing up children, education of children and making decisions — there are many areas of difference. These teams on the front lines of the spiritual battle are vulnerable.
We must pray for unity and love in these teams. For when the love, humility and holiness of Christ are evident within these teams, people will draw closer to God.
Lynell says, “loving, Christ-like communities are a powerful testimony”.
Eight-year-old Achara* and her mother Ambhom* were going to be moving from Thailand to New Zealand. Ambhom’s partner, a Kiwi, was already in the South Island, having established himself in a good job. But before they left, they had a big challenge: improving their English. That’s when they connected with ‘The Centre’ in Ayutthaya, Thailand, where the Faithful Witness team office provided a fun location to learn English with some friendly Thai and expat people.
Ruth, a SIM worker at The Centre, says, “They loved being a part of our community here. Over time with us, they heard the good news of Jesus. They expressed some interest in God. I gave Achara the Jesus Storybook Bible which I believe she loves and has taken to New Zealand. I hope the experience here and the love they felt will stay in their hearts. We are praying they will be guided to a Christian community in NZ.”
— Fiona Murray
- For Achara and Ambhom who have been impacted by the ministries of a Faithful Witness team.
- For unity and love in the multicultural teams.
- For funds to continue to be available to create teams in places where Jesus is not known.
To donate, click here. Quote project # 99746.
More information about this initiative on YouTube: Faithful Witness in Forgotten Communities