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Grace Community International
Rev. John S. Mahon  |  Houston, Texas
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Three Fold Cord of Missions Part One
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors,
As we return with our team from Cameroon and prepare to depart with another team for Kenya I am reminded once again of the Scriptural principles of missions.
As in the days of Paul, so it is today, it is an age of short term missions. In saying this I am not at all suggesting or promoting the replacement of long term missionaries, just pointing out that the periods when God opens the door to laymen to serve on a short term basis are truly unique to history and should not be taken lightly. As I have mentioned before it is with some sense of foreboding that I witness this unique opportunity being filled by teenagers and college coeds. All to often, if adults do go they generally chaperone, or build structures or meet physical needs or help with children’s programs. The vast majority of short term teaching and evangelism on the mission filed is being carried out by our youth. This modern Protestant “children’s Crusade” flies in the face of both church history and biblical doctrine. God has always looked to mature adult men to be the foot soldiers in the body of Christ and things have not changed in the 21 century. I cannot think of one example in the book of Acts of the church sending out children, teenagers or young single men and women to do the hard and difficult work of foreign missions. This is not to say they do not accomplish much for the work of the gospel, it is simply to point out that both biblically and historically the church has not sent out children when there were men to do the work.
I do not want to in any way belittle or offend those youth who go or their parents who send them out. They have accomplished much for the kingdom of God. All four of my own children went to the mission field, both as High School student and as college students. We supported them unconditionally and rejoiced in their sensitivity to God. We did not however view their call as a “sacrifice” which then freed us from going ourselves. During a conference I had a parent come up to me quite irate because his teenage boy had gone to the mission field and he felt that I was not honoring the sacrifices he and his son had made to make this possible. I of course asked his forgiveness and assured him that this was not the case. Then I asked him if he had ever been to the mission field teaching the Word of God and engaged in personal evangelism. His reply was a defiant “No”. I then assured him with equal firmness that although it is important for children to be available to the call of God, it is more important that parents lead the way by personal example. But isn’t this true in all endeavors?
It is important that our children memorize Scripture but isn’t it more important that they see us as parents memorizing and reviewing our verses?
It is important that our children read their Bible story at night but isn’t it more important that they see us keeping our daily Bible reading program so as to read through the Bible every year?
It is important that our children invite their friends to church but isn’t it more important that they see us engaged in personal evangelism and in our church’s visitation program?
It is important that our children be burdened for the world, but isn’t it more important that this burden springs from observing their mom and dad share at church their experiences of teaching God’s Word and proclaiming the gospel on foreign fields?
Dr. Ray Tallman my Missions Professor at Moody Bible Institute pointed out to me that there were four factors at work which made short term missions possible in Paul’s day
1. The Roman Roads and Shipping Lanes
2. The Roman coinage and prosperity of the period
3. Roman citizenship
4. The Roman language - Latin (and the prevalence of Greek)
Not for over 1,700 years have all four of these factors converged yet as we enter the 21st Century we seem them once again in place.
1. International air travel
2. The unimaginable prosperity of America and the US Dollar
3. US Citizenship
4. The English Language

We live in a unique age when mature Christian men in churches throughout America can serve teaching and preaching the Word of God in the harvest fields of the world A grown man can get on an airplane today, land within a matter of hours (or at the most a day) in virtually any country of the world and that very same day be ministering the gospel and teaching the Bible. We must not be found wanting and we must not relegate this to women and children while we busy ourselves with our toys. The period of short term missions quickly passed in the early church and there is no guarantee that it will remain long in our age. There are those who considered going to Belarus – now Belarus is closed. There are those who considered going to Kenya – will Kenya be open next year? Only God knows.

Yet not all are called to go as a lifestyle. God still calls men and women to a career of laboring in the harvest fields of the World. What about those who are not called to be “missionaries”, are they left behind in this great work of God. No, no and a thousand times no. God in His goodness has so ordered missions that no one person can “do it all”. God has made provision for all to be involved. The question then is not “Should I be involved in missions?” but rather, “How is God calling me to be involved in missions?” Truly, in the New Covenant, “Every man is a missionary” it simply depends upon how, not if.

A good friend of mine and former missionary to Africa, Mark Lewis often quotes William Carey, the father of modern missions, “If you will hold the rope, I will go down to the pit of Hell and bring them out.” This quote is taken from the minutes of his mission board, just days before he departed to await the sailing of the ship that would take him to India. (William Carey by S. Pearce Carey Pg 108)
Ecclesiastes 4:12 states eloquently, “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” This rope which the church holds during this age of modern missions is made up of Three Strands – Those who Pray; Those who Give; Those who Go.

Those Who Pray –

I can remember my Junior year of High School as a young Christian doing a report on Uganda for a world history project. I was so moved by the plight of this country that I began to pray for it every day. I wrote the Baptist Mission Board and they sent me the name of a mission from Uganda and I would write him and he would write me back. I would receive this beat up, blue, international mailing letter with many stamps and smudges. I would open it up and there in the faded print of a manual typewriter would be a letter from my missionary. “Dear John, As I type this letter by the gas light I can hear a leopard calling in the dark. Thank you so much for praying. Here are a few more requests...” Oh the joy of getting on my knees, there by my bed, in Houston, Texas and praying for this missionary and Uganda. Oh the greater joy some 35 years later, when God made it possible to preach and teach the holy, inerrant, eternal, written Word of God at the University of Kampala in Uganda.

A. Those who pray are helping in the ministry as if they were actually there.
On the ministry trip to Uganda mentioned above I had an allergic reaction to my malaria medication which found me lying in the dirt on the side of a rural road in Uganda with my heart stopping and starting. When I returned home Eleanor asked me if anything unusual had happened. It seems Celia Williams, wife of William Williams had woken up at 4 a.m. with a burden to pray for me. She had gotten William out of bed and they had prayed. Eleanor had had the same experience and related this to Celia who had called that very morning to see if anything had happened. If you work the time zones, while I was lying in the dust in rural Uganda, my heart stopping and starting, God was waking my wife and my prayer warriors to sustain me. I praise God for Eleanor, Celia and those who sustain this ministry thought their prayers.
II Corinthians 1:11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.
Romans 15:30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

B. We are commanded by God to engage in this ministry of intercession –

After getting involved with the Navigators at the University of Texas I was encouraged by Sam Clark, missionary to Mexico, to start a prayer notebook. One important section of this notebook is my intercession section. In addition to my family, here I have pictures of friends, ministers and missionaries throughout the world for whom I pray daily.

Ephesians 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Colossians 4:2 & 3 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;

C. Paul relied upon the intercessions of his team to sustain him in the ministry

Often while on mission trips we are at the point of despair and we remind each other that our prayer warriors are faithfully praying. This thought came to mind as the little Toyota I was in had become lodged under a 18 wheel Texaco gas truck and we were being dragged along. Eleanor reminded me of this one year when we were stuck in “No Man’s Land” between Belarus and Lithuania, in a blinding snow storm. Every time we cross the border, every time we wait to see if that last box of Bibles and aid will come off the conveyor belt, every time we are stopped at a police check point, we remind ourselves, “Our prayer warriors are praying.”

Philippians 1:9 For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
II Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
Philemon 1:22 And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.
Next bog – Part Two: “those who give and go”
By His mercy,
II Corinthians 4:1
Rev. John S. Mahon: Director, Grace Community International – returning from Cameroon and preparing to depart for Kenya

Category:  Cameroon - 2016

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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

Upside Down Christianity
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
II Timothy 4:3 & 4 “For the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the...
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satan's score card - in the battle part two
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, In our previous Blog I revealed to you some of the victories in our ministry here in Cameroon. We can add to this account the Sunday service where I was privileged to Baptize ten converts and then present the gospel in the...
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Mission Report: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood...":
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. I...
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The Mission Field, Food Stories and The Law
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Some of the stories I am most frequently asked to retell on the mission field are food stories. Now, l don’t mean only in America, but all over the world, people request, “Tell us some food stories.” There is a natural interest in food because...
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A Vegan New Year’s Resolution (with PETA thrown in for good measure)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
A Vegan New Year’s Resolution (with PETA thrown in for good measure) Gen 1:29 “Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be...
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A Vegan New Year’s Resolution (with PETA thrown in for good measure)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
A Vegan New Year’s Resolution (with PETA thrown in for good measure) Gen 1:29 “Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be...
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Valentine’s Day in Siberia - It is on page 9 item #12 ….
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Valentine’s Day in Siberia - It is on page 9 item #12 …. (Please excuse the rough edges on this posting as I don’t want El to edit it. It contains Valentine’s Day secrets. In fact I have asked her not to read it till after Valentine’s day) Links...
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Here we are in Russia – by your faith, prayers and sacrificial gifts.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2016
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Here we are in Russia – by your faith, prayers and sacrificial gifts. (01.30.16) The days leading up to our departure were full of blessings. The affirmation of friends and family was a little overwhelming. Almost daily we were receiving visits...
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How To Make A Merchant Say "Merry Christmas"
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, We left Starbucks as trendy young professionals and employees all shouted out to us “Merry Christmas!” – at their own initiative, with smiles on their faces. Secular teenage and twenty-something employees – tattoos, body...
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