GOING WITH GOD TO THE FRONTIERS
God’s work for us today is towards the many, large people’s groups who are still unengaged (a population where there is no viable, sustainable gospel witness in their midst) because very few are willing to go and proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Thirty five years ago, Frontiers became one of the first international organizations solely focused on sharing the love of Jesus to unengaged Muslims. Frontiers Philippines (started in 2002), currently has more than twenty five frontiers workers serving in Indonesia, Thailand, and Pakistan. We serve together with Filipino churches by mobilizing, training, sending, and equipping teams of ordinary men and women, with extraordinary passion for sharing God’s love to Muslims. Starting 2016 we aim for “555” before 2018 ends. That is, mobilizing Filipino communities to send 5 couples, 5 singles to at least 5 unengaged people groups in our three focused countries, adding India and the Middle East.
Three commitments need to be prioritized: #1: followers of Jesus committing to persistent prayers for the “unengaged,”#2: followers of Jesus obeying Him to disciple people groups, and #3: Christ-communities coming alongside each other to send and sustain teams of disciplemakers.
In over twelve years of our participation in God’s frontiers, we could share stories of families who have become followers of the mighty-to-save God: in remote mud-houses in Central Asia, in pleasant villages of Southeast Asia, even in marginalized barangays in our own country. Stories of unheralded Christ-followers blossoming and blessing, these call for joyful thanksgiving!
But alongside these, we ought to remain focused and resilient in heeding this command: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1st Corinthians 15:58).”
Following Jesus’ example of doing God’s work, He never stopped proclaiming God’s Kingdom as Good News to the nearby towns and the nexts (Mark 1:38, Luke 4:34). Even when He was rejected in His own hometown, He never lost sight or wane the clear purpose and passion to bless people’s lives for God’s glory. What He calls us to do, He does with us by His Spirit. And so we are called to be His teams and communities of faith that could thrive amidst rapidly changing global scenarios. Steadily taking the Good News with our lives to those who are not members (yet). As what William Temple (theologian in 1940’s) said: “The church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.” Intentionally reaching out to draw people in, passionately sharing rather than hoarding this Good News with which we have been entrusted. This is the Church Jesus has started and keeps on building.
The resurrected Jesus’ last command before His ascension to heaven (Matthew 28:18-20): “Go and make disciples of all nations…” was and remains to be our most important, most urgent Great Commission. As Jesus was leaving the disciples, He did not engage in a group hug, rather He commanded them to go out and God draws others in (Mark 1:17, Luke 5:10, Matthew 4:19). He promises to come back after all His followers through generational “disciplemaking” are gathered, then we shall all be with Him forever (John 17:6-24, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-17, Revelation 5:9).
One of God’s prophets Malachi (3:16, 17a) ended his recorded discourse with these instructive and inspiring words: “Those who had respect for the Lord talked with one another. And the Lord heard them. A list of people and what they did was written in a book in front of him. It included the names of those who respected the Lord and honored Him. ‘The day is coming when I will judge,’ says the Lord who rules over all. ‘On that day they will be my special treasure.’”
WHO IS FRONTIERS?
Frontiers is an international, nonprofit organization with a passion to glorify God among the Muslims by sharing the Good News, discipling and forming self-sustaining communities, that will lead to growth and reproduction. Our purpose is “With love and respect, inviting all Muslims to follow Jesus.”
Our vision is to inspire transformational movements within unengaged Muslim communities by sending teams to catalyze change, because even the most uncharted frontiers need Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Simply put, because it’s their turn now! There is one Muslim out of almost four persons in the world (23.4%, according to Joshua Project). Yet there are less than 1% of Christ-followers living among Muslims to testify of Him. There are fewer than four cross-cultural workers for every one million Muslims. Many Muslims have neither met a Christ-follower nor heard of the Good News in Jesus – His life, death and resurrection.
Frontiers’ founder, Greg Livingstone saw it not just a quantitative challenge but also a heart’s issue. Greg realized that there was no agency intentional enough on making Christ’ disciples and communities among our world’s major unreached, unengaged people groups. Now over 1.7 billion Muslims, with 3,001 unreached people groups need to hear, respond and follow Jesus for their blessing. So Greg and Frontiers see the need for exclusive focus till now.
WHAT FRONTIERS DOES?
In obedience to God’s calling and in partnership with communities and individuals, Frontiers members are committed to live and serve among unengaged Muslim people groups. We engage in business, community development and other service capacities. Whatever needs to be done, whatever it takes to be Christ’ witnesses. By leveraging our experience and the leaders we’ve recruited, trained and sent, we are seeing dramatic transformations within Muslim communities. To date, Frontiers’ teams have a presence among specific Muslim people groups. There is a significant reduction in the number of unreached and unengaged Muslim people groups in our time, but there is still much work to be done. Because God is moving and blessing, momentum is building! Yet it’s too soon to celebrate, and too soon to quit.
Why Share Jesus with all peoples, including Muslims? Here are some initial reasons:
- For we have experience peace with God — the forgiveness of our sins, and the hope of eternal life through the sinless life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
- It is our delight to share the good news with all peoples of the world because our Lord Jesus commanded us to do so.
- We seek to live in the world as peacemakers, inviting men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God and to one another.
- We offer the message of peace to all peoples in love, with respect and cultural sensitivity.
- We believe that only God can change people, from within, through Jesus. We rejoice when the Good News brings inward change to Christ-followers who will then be instruments of transformation to their communities.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU AND OTHERS CAN BE INVOLVED
- Intercede for Muslims to know Jesus. We have weekly prayer digest via SMS, quarterly prayer letter and updates via e-mail, we also have Frontiers FB page and group “With Love and Respect.”
- Invite Frontiers to share cross-cultural works and training with your community. We have Advocates for Missions (AIM), Groundbreaking workshop (GB), Local to Cross-Cultural Discipleship (LCD), Crossing Boarders (CB, for Overseas Filipino Workers training), and fieldworkers’ short-term and long-term training courses.
- Invest by giving financial support to see communities of Jesus’ followers among Muslim people groups. To facilitate this, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Intern with Frontiers by using your time and skills to mobilize communities, form teams, send and care for workers, engage with Muslims near and far.</li>
EMBARKING TOGETHER, TEAMING AND PARTNERING
The frontiers are to found and reached, Christ’ Church needs to be ready to send more workers. May more churches be found ready to prepare, equip and empower their peoples to serve and work in the hard places where God has called them. The task is huge as there are still billions of people who need to hear the Good News. Great harvests are still waiting. It is time for many churches to wake up and work with our Savior Lord who said: “ As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:4-5).”
We are different unique “brushes” God uses in the His “canvass” of history in displaying and demonstrating His multi-wisdom and power of His Good News to all! Some “brushes” will be labeled “Goers” to nearby towns or to far frontiers, some brushes will be “Welcomers” as more of the frontiers folks migrate or visit our communities, cities or countries, others will be called by hybrids of “Senders, Supporters, Carers, Equippers.” Surely all will have significant roles in teams, partnerships and networks.
But again there is an urgent, balancing act to tap, train and send more Frontiers workers who will, so to speak, “go to great unseen distances from our shores, launch into great unfathomed deeps, cooperatively, courageously, and expectantly casting nets to catch great varieties of fish!” 200O years ago, Jesus prayed and unceasingly prays for us that THRU US His other “sheep scattered to the ends of the earth will be found and gathered into one fold,” before the end will come (John 10:16, Matthew 24:14).
God’s love brushes away our multitudes of sin and shame… too long still multitudes of peoples and places, have not been shared with the clear, true, unchanging message of forgiveness and acceptance of God for all. Let all in our nearby towns and in the frontiers be given opportunity to personally know and obediently trust and hope on God’s Messiah: the Anointed Sent One, as Jesus: “He shall save people from sin.”
In Luke 2:32 Jesus is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Let this be proclaimed, be heard, and be understood by all peoples in all generations. May we all be like Paul in Acts 26:22 “To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”