I personally believe that the success of any missionary endeavor can be measured by the degree that nationals on any mission field are themselves fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. For this goal of
Our present-day culture can be described as a comfort-at-any-cost society. In this environment, things such as affliction, pain, persecution, and other forms of suffering are viewed as obstacles and enemies. Missionaries are not immune from
Millions of professing Christians waiver, when confronted with the need to follow Christ whole-heartedly. Millions more excuse themselves by saying, “I am thinking about it. Perhaps one day I will decide.” The latter group is
The traditional method of only training and financing American and Western European missionaries is not sufficient in itself to reach the world. A solution to this problem is to support indigenous or native missionaries to work within their own countries and people groups. It has been said that global missions is a very simple endeavor: All that is needed is a man, called of God, sent to the place where God has called him, with the right tools in his hands.
There are countless indigenous missionaries throughout the world who are laboring faithfully in the places where God has sent them, but oftentimes they are greatly hindered by their lack of even the most basic resources. We believe that an important part of our ministry and the Great Commission is to provide these indigenous missionaries with the resources needed to be effective in ministry and fulfill the calling on their lives. Missionary support is our primary ministry, and the highest percentage of all giving goes directly to these who would “go down into the mine.” We have made a commitment to each to provide for their support, and they depend upon us monthly. Missionaries supported by TEL International are uniquely qualified for this task.
- They live within reach of the unreached villages and they can disciple their own people.
- They instinctively recognize cultural norms within which they can contextualize the Gospel message.
- They know the local language and customs of their own people.
- They are able to illustrate the Gospel in ways that relate to the life and circumstances of the people they serve, and
- They understand how to approach their own people with the Gospel.
Our primary objective is to nurture, equip and support indigenous missionaries who are carrying out the task of The Great Commission across the globe. There are several mitigating factors or reasons as to why we have chosen to support indigenous or native missionaries to work within their own countries and people groups.
1). Human Resources – The amount of human resources available to carry out a task is important. If every Christian in America were a foreign missionary, there would still not be enough missionaries to preach the Gospel to all peoples. If we continue to depend only upon missionaries from the West, much of the world will never hear the Gospel.
2). Financial Resources – It costs a great deal of money to send and support North American and Western European missionaries. In contrast, the indigenous or native missionary is able to live on the same salary as his fellow countrymen which is often less than $200 a month. For what it costs to support one North American missionary with a monthly support of $4,000, it may be possible to support 20 indigenous missionaries.
3). Language and Culture – Any cross-cultural missionary will testify that language and culture are two of the greatest obstacles to the work. It often takes a cross-cultural missionary his first term (4-5 years) just to learn the language and adjust to the culture. In contrast, the native missionary has no need to learn the language or adjust to the culture. From his very first day on the mission field, he can concentrate on his two priorities – evangelizing the lost and planting churches.
4). Identification – There is much anti-American and anti-European bias in many of the least evangelized countries. In many people groups, it is virtually impossible for a Western missionary to preach the Gospel, because he is rejected for his nationality long before he has the opportunity to communicate his message! In contrast, the indigenous missionary has little problem with such bias. When he is rejected, it is not for the sake of his flag, but for the sake of his Gospel.
5). No Difficult Transitions – For the cross-cultural missionary, church planting is often not as difficult as the later transitional period, when he bids farewell, and the church comes under national leadership. Having experienced the prestige of a Western missionary as pastor, the church is often no longer willing to accept one of its own. This is not a problem when the church is planted by an indigenous missionary and is under his leadership from beginning to end.
Missionaries on the field are worthy of their labor. They should be afforded that which is considered essential to live with dignity and to reveal that the Lord is gracious to make provision for the needs of His servants. More . . .
Make a gift online or download the attached donation form and mail your gift (check, or money order) to the following address: TEL INTERNATIONAL – P.O. BOX 763325 Dallas, TX 75376. All charitable contributions are tax deductible.