To Every Tribe recently concluded its annual Open House. This year’s “come kick the tires on our ministry” weekend was held at To Every Tribe’s new property at Chachalaca Bend near Los Fresnos.
30 guests from all over the country made their way to Chachalaca Bend in South Texas to hear the great things God is doing through To Every Tribe, and consider their role in the mission to many of the 3 billion who have no access to the gospel. Mississippi, New York, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, and yes, Texas, are home to those who came to Chachalaca Bend and left with the challenge to sacrifice as a goer or sender for Christ’s harvest.
While the Open House provided opportunity for To Every Tribe staff to lay out the history and mission of the mission agency, the highlight of the weekend was the participation of current missionary trainees in the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. The missionary interns spent the weekend with the guests serving up unvarnished insight into what it’s like to live out a violent faith in order to reach the unreached with the gospel (unreached = those who have no access to the gospel because there is not adequate resources and numbers to reach the group; see Ron Sanford’s presentation on unreached people groups from the Ekballo Conference in 2012). From “field trips” into Mexico for days at a time to life in very close-quartered community to raising mission support as missionaries sent from local churches, the CPCP interns didn’t hold back from sharing difficulty and challenge in their mission education and training. Taking the gospel to hard-to-get-to places around the world involves personal sacrifice and hard work. But all of the trainees shared their experiences with passion and joy about their preparation for mission to those who have not heard about Jesus because there is no one telling them about Jesus.
Guests heard from missionary trainees regarding the application process, field training and working together in teams, preparation for life in remote areas, and figuring out “the missionary call”.
Jeremy Sanders, CPCP intern, finished out the Open House by reminding To Every Tribe’s guests that great weekends such as the Open House can produce a “romantic” feeling about being a missionary martyr for Jesus. “We will probably be doing this the rest of our lives,” Sanders said, “but you really need to count the cost.” Sanders challenged the guests, “When you are at a conference with a lot of like minded people, it is really easy to get caught up in the excitement of mission, but the romanticism will quickly wear off and you will need a faith and commitment that can carry you through the hardships and loss you will experience in mission.”
Unvarnished insight. Sober excitement. Costly adventure. To Every Tribe’s mission to the unreached, especially in Oaxaca, Mexico and Papua New Guinea, is not something entered into lightly. Christ propels death-embracing missionaries into His harvest in order to gather to himself His people from among the unreached (those who have no access to the gospel) and unengaged (those to whom no one is strategically making an effort to reach). But His mission is not without cost. The missionary interns of the CPCP are forming teams and preparing to take the gospel into places most Americans would not go. And such a commitment involves the cost of family and the comforts of the American (and Canadian) lifestyle.
But time and again during the Open House, whether it was speaking to the group or sharing in conversation, missionary interns relayed their passion to go into the harvest because “Jesus is Worth It’. They’ve counted the cost, and they encouraged Open House guests from all over the United States to do the same.
David Sitton, president of To Every Tribe, began the Open House with the challenge from Matthew 11:12: “The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Christ, The Forceful Man who won the kingdom through His death and resurrection, is advancing his kingdom through “forceful” disciples willing to lay it all on the line for the gospel. Whether staying home in order to send or going as the sent, followers of Jesus have a responsibility to His mission of advancing the kingdom through a violent faith willing to do “whatever” for the gospel.
Such was the unvarnished witness and testimony of current missionary trainees in the CPCP to those who set aside a week in January to come to South Texas and hear about the wonder of Jesus on mission through His people. There are 3 billion reasons to ponder your role in participating with us in Christ’s mission.