The CEO's Vlog

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Events

ICOM

Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena
Lexington, KY
November 14-16, 2024

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Following Jesus

Why Do You Stand Looking into Heaven?

One day He will return in the same way He ascended. Will He find us standing and gazing into heaven, or will He find us busy at the work He has given us to do?

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Thankful Wall art
MissionNext

A Thanksgiving Reflection

What is it about holidays that brings Charlie Brown movies out of the woodwork? Everywhere we turn, it’s time for another Peanuts episode!

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who, what, when, where
Following Jesus

Fear of the Unknown

What if we run out of money?  What if times are hard?  Is Covid a problem? What about medical care? What if I can’t stand local food? Will my family be alright? Are these concerns you’ve had as you consider the unknowns of a mission field?  As we seek answers, let’s focus on God’s character as seen in the examples below. First, have you ever wondered what it would have been like to see the multiplication of the loaves and fish which allowed the disciples to feed thousands? Was it magical? Did it happen suddenly or slowly? I guess we’ll never know exactly how it happened, but it did happen because of who God was and still is. Second, some years ago, during spring break at a school for children of missionaries, some students went to needy areas on service projects. When they returned, they reported on their experiences. “Marie” went to an African country. They painted classrooms and helped teach Vacation Bible School.  As they began an art project on their last day, Marie pulled out a large bag of crayons and started giving six crayons to each student. Too soon she realized that there were only ten crayons left in her bag and several more children waiting. She considered going back to the first children to take some of theirs away or giving less to the remaining children but she didn’t like either option.  As she pondered this she gave six crayons to the next child.  She then looked into her bag and saw that she still had ten crayons. She continued around the room and did not have an empty bag until she had given the last child six crayons.   What do these stories say about God’s character?  In the story of the loaves and fish, Jesus demonstrated compassion. “… ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way,’” (Matthew 15:32 ESV). In the example of these students in a remote country, the creator and sustainer of the universe saw to it that each small child had six crayons. What else can we call that but compassion?  May we be challenged by these examples to grow in our compassion toward others’ needs as well as our trust in the God who sends us to the place of His calling! May we be challenged to be a part of what God is doing worldwide by seeking His call on our lives! If He calls, He equips, and He provides. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord,” (Psalm 27:14 ESV)!

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Careers & Missions

Anticipate Adventure

Give the sacrifice of time to be in the Word and, by faith, see where the wind of the Spirit will blow.

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Careers & Missions

Finding a Fit – Missions in a Changing World Mix

I am passionately committed to SAT-7, the organization I work with to advance the Great Commission. As a volunteer who co-ordinates SAT-7 Ambassadors, I am seeking advocates who will become engaged in our ministry and assist informally, joining with me in volunteer efforts. SAT-7 values our partnership with MissionNext, although our interest in candidates is not typical of most organizations. SAT-7 provides satellite Christian TV in the Middle East and North Africa over five channels, with 24/7 program coverage. We are crossing boundaries in an effective and unique way into countries where media censorship is extensive, and persecution of believers is very real. Our international staff is centered in our main broadcast studios in Istanbul, Cairo, Beirut and two offices in Cyprus, where our international headquarters is located. 80% of our programs are produced directly by SAT-7, and we do not take any paid advertising for airtime. All hiring and employment of international staff is handled abroBehind the scenes, we have about 20 employees in the U.S. Serving in a support role, we pursue financial resources for the ministry’s very cost-effective expenses. We clearly are not partnering with MissionNext with a goal of recruiting employees. However, MisisonNext is a great fit for us! I am finding interest among candidates who will not be engaging in missions immediately. Some have accepted a missions’ position but are on hold due to current international limitations. They are willing to invest time as a SAT-7 Ambassador while waiting to start a recently accepted job assignment. In other instances, candidates have had a change in plans since submitting their profile on MissionNext’s site. Health issues, complications with a current employment situation, or unexpected family circumstances may have resulted in modified plans. SAT-7 Ambassadors offers an opportunity to be involved in international ministry immediately, with a very minimal and flexible time commitment. Our partnership with MissionNext has been positive and helpful. The quality of candidates is extremely impressive. Many are Christians with extensive, valuable backgrounds and skills, whether from past ministry experience or from the secular working world. Quite a few have advanced degrees, including theological studies. So, this is SAT-7’s success story, but what are your agency needs? If you are excited about the “fields that are white unto harvest” at your agency’s doorstep, and return on investment is important, check out MissionNext. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they offer great suggestions for marketing efforts to meet your recruitment needs. The database works seamlessly to identify candidates that fit match criteria. Since each profile provides dates for the most recent revisions, it is easy to identify those are just initiating a job search. Do you have positions that need to be filled? Qualified and worthy candidates are waiting right now in the MissionNext database.

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Jesus Cup
Following Jesus

The Jesus Cup

In all circumstances we must be satisfied with Jesus. Allow your cup to run over.

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World Map
CEO's Vlog

Introducing MissionNext

CEO VLOG POST – Sept 2023 This Vlog is of special interest for those following the MissionNext Journey. https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/560702755

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Getting Ready

Working Through Barriers

Jesus meets us when we step out in faith and work through the barriers to accomplish what he has put in our hearts. He meets us at the point of need.

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Missions at Home

Pandemic Places

Throughout history, Christians have cared for the sick around them, providing food and water instead of abandoning them often with their “quaranteam.”

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Getting Ready

Things Only Missionaries Understand

There are things that only another doctor can understand about the real life of being a doctor. There are things that only a mother or a teacher can understand about those roles. In the same way, only another missionary can really understand the life of a missionary. One of the many challenges is “culture shock” usually followed by “culture stress.” A missionary may have a short-term trip and enjoy the experience. However, if they return for a long-term commitment, they may become overwhelmed by culture shock. When we embarked on our first missionary trip, we committed to a semester of teaching at LCC in Klaipedia, Lithuania, a university built after the Soviet occupation.  A full semester was a good length of time to begin to immerse ourselves into the culture of a former Soviet bloc country.  We had to adjust to their view of life and a modernization that was entering the culture too quickly for economics to keep up. Other challenges were evident when we entered our second missionary venture to Germany where we stayed for seven years. Even though our apartment had basic furnishings, we needed a few additional things. In the US, I would have known the stores I needed and even visualized where the necessary items might be. In my new location, I could not even visualize where the roads out of our small village would take me. We asked questions and did some searching, but it wasn’t always easy to find what we needed because of unfamiliar brands, store layouts and items I did not recognize at all! We also discovered that language can be a challenge when I turned up late for surgery!  We did not understand how time was marked. As it happens, “half seven” (as it was stated in German) was 6:30, not 7:30! Culture shock will vary depending on the location to which you are going.  Whether it is a first, second, or third world country, a large city full of tourists or a remote rural area, the challenges will be very different, but they will be very real. The point is, be prepared to be surprised and roll with it! This has been a peek into some of the stresses of life in another culture that only missionaries (or those who are relocating to a foreign culture) will experience. We have not even touched on the challenges of actually working there. However, please note the following links that offer more discussion on the challenges of serving cross-culturally. https://askamissionary.com/daily/ https://www.theaquilareport.com/missions-and-the-shocking-reality-of-culture-shock/  

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Following Jesus

Unexpected Answers to Prayer

God surprised us with unexpected answers to prayers during our seven-month whirlwind after being accepted as members of Wycliffe Bible Translators.  My husband completed his semester of teaching University, and I began an online course. We wrote letters, visited churches, and made phone calls. We had a very successful garage sale and arranged to store items we wished to keep. Our house rented more quickly than we had expected so we began to search for an efficiency apartment with an open-ended lease! Then, friends unexpectedly invited us to live with them until our departure! After moving in, we continued raising support. We traveled to the location of our mission’s headquarters for three weeks of training and finally to the site of my two-week educational therapy training.  During all of this, I was having extreme left knee pain, and after several failed interventions, a partial replacement was my only option. We continued making support contacts while I recovered at our friend’s home. One day, while our hosts were not at home, their phone rang. My husband answered and found that it was from an investment company. He dutifully took their number and offered to give our hosts the message. As my husband told me about the call, he thought a little more about the name of the person representing the company and realized that the name was the same as that of a former university student. He called back and discovered that this person had indeed once been his student. They caught up with one another’s lives, and as my husband described our future plans, the investor excitedly said, “I want to be part of that by sending monthly support. Just tell me how and where.”  We had been praying that God would supply our needs, but we had never prayed that God would use a “cold” call while living at a friend’s house to be part of that answer! Every missionary can tell similar stories. Our support came from churches and individuals as well as from unexpected sources. There were acquaintances who heard about our plans “by the grapevine,” and someone we got to know while trapped in a blizzard! Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  God is full of surprises, and when we follow his lead and step out in faith, he will continue to surprise us with unexpected answers to prayers; even when we have not specifically prayed them.

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General

Tips for Interacting with Other Cultures

How will a culture to which God calls me compare to mine? Most cultures are similar in that people get up in the morning, work, and care for their homes. They supervise their children and want their lives to be better than that of the previous generation. Cultures differ in that they may have access to fewer amenities and have different occupations. Some shop for food daily. Some struggle for every crumb because of drought, poverty, or poor farming techniques. Some tend to be late and others early. Some follow societal rules legalistically, and others are more spontaneous. Despite the similarities and differences of cultures, our goal in missions must never be to “Americanize” their culture but to show them the Savior. Our focus should always be on the fact that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23] And that includes us! But we cannot ignore the struggles in meeting basic needs when we do missions. We can show the love of Christ through charitable work such as teaching more efficient farming practices, helping to dig wells, and teaching skills to guide them toward a living wage. This charitable work is necessary at times, such as the family mourning a child’s death from dysentery. They may not be able to hear about a Savior above the sorrow of digging yet another grave. But if we can show them how to protect their children with clean water, we can then demonstrate how the Savior can give them eternal hope. A society that has been oppressed may have those who turn to alcohol or drugs to drown their hopelessness. They, too, need to know that, despite their circumstances, there is hope in a Savior. No matter where we go and no matter what work God calls us to embrace, we must remember that our ultimate purpose is to introduce others to the Savior, whether we go to the “front lines” or serve in a support role. Charles Spurgeon said, “If there be any one point in which the Christian Church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions.  If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is in the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.”  This kind of focus can help us navigate the everyday similarities and differences that we encounter when entering another culture. Servant leadership and humbleness before God are basic tools.

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General

An Open Letter to My Previous Self Before Entering the Mission Field

When I was growing up on a dairy farm, I was afraid of missionaries who visited our church. I feared getting too close to someone so holy and strange. They had to be strange to do what they were doing, didn’t they? If someone had told me that someday I would be one of those missionaries, I would have laughed. I might also have cried because it frightened me to think of going into an unknown place to work among unknown people who spoke an unknown language. I knew that I was not smart enough, Godly enough, or brave enough If I could go back in time to give myself some encouragement, this is what I would say. “Helen, the God you’re getting to know is bigger than any challenge you will ever face.  If He calls you to go somewhere new and do something different, be encouraged that He will go with you. The Bible promises; ‘If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.’ [Psalm 139:9-10] This life adventure with Him won’t always be easy but you will learn about trusting God in hard times and rejoicing with Him in good times. You will see how faithful He really is. As you enter the unknown, He will equip you to do the work to which He has called you. You will not always do it perfectly, but that’s alright because only God is perfect. He will provide answers to questions you have not even thought to ask. He will open doors in surprising ways and hold your hand to guide you through as you walk with Him. Your mind will be expanded as you see a world that is much larger than the one you now understand. You will be light in a dark world. Will there be loneliness? Perhaps, but obedience to God is of utmost importance. Helen, don’t fear. Prepare for your future by learning more about God, thus learning to fall more in love with Him till He calls you. Truth be told, I still say I’m not smart enough, brave enough or Godly enough, but I’ve learned that God is enough. I’ll tell you a little secret, Helen. Just wait till you see what God does with cream of tartar!!”

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Careers & Missions

Quiet Time and Missionary Life

“When I arrive on the mission field, I’ll be more consistent with my quiet times.” Have you ever thought that? I did, before I entered the field. We would agree that if Jesus spent time in prayer and communion with His Father, sometimes all night, we ought to do the same. However, Christians, whether missionaries or not, frequently confess that finding the minutes for a consistent quite time can be challenging.

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Careers & Missions

Finding your Fit in Ministry

If you are considering God’s call to foreign missions, you’re probably wondering how to choose an area of work. To begin, consider your experiences and avocations.

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Funding

Raising Support for Your Missions Trip

Raising support for a missions trip is often met with reluctance and fear. However, as we begin to delve into the topic, we realize that we need to learn God’s perspective and promises.

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Getting Ready

Adjusting to a New Culture

Mission work requires flexibility. Serving in a new culture means adjusting to new norms and customs. Some of them you may be prepared for, and others may completely throw you off guard. Here are a few topics to consider and resources to help.

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Family

Your Family and Missions

While starting a new direction in missions may be important to you, I’m sure keeping your family protected, provided for, and intact in a world that tries to tear apart family values is at the top of your list of priorities. When God nudged me to consider missions, we were a very dysfunctional family.

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Careers & Missions

Your Work and the Mission Field

If you’re considering God’s call to foreign missions, you’re probably wondering how to choose an area of work. To start, consider your experiences and avocations.

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Missions Abroad

Send Me! Missions Overseas or At Home?

Searching for a way to travel, experience the world, and witness the beauty of other cultures all while sharing Jesus? Going on a missions trip abroad maybe something to consider. But it’s not the only way to serve.

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Agencies

Find the Mission Agency That’s Right for You

How do you find a mission agency that is similar in scope to your abilities, passion, location preference and interests? It is important to research any agency you might be considering.  While every agency often has a specific focus, their actual ministry footprint can be very large.

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Missionary in Panama
Testimonies

How I Became a Missionary

I was afraid that I did not know enough about Jesus, that I did not know His word and that I would turn people away rather than draw them to Him. How could I talk to people about a love that I was just learning about and allowing to change and shape my world?

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Why are you or I needed in missions? Praying Christian
Gifts and Skills

Why Are You and I Needed in Missions?

John Piper famously said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” I would hazard that you and I are needed in missions, then, as an outpouring of our own worship.

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Getting Ready

An Honest Reason to Become a Missionary

Looking back at a career in missions asked myself: Why did I really become a missionary? Was it because of business downsizing, or because I wanted to look holy to my friends? Was it because I wanted to work for God?

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Children met on a short-term mission trip.
Getting Ready

Should I Go on a Short-Term Mission Trip?

When thinking of missionaries, many people think only of Christians who have taken up residence in some foreign country where the inhabitants most likely are unfamiliar with the Christian faith. However, every year thousands of Christians travel all over the world for periods of one week to six months to share the good news of the Gospel.

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Advice-for-picking-agency
Agencies

Advice for Picking a Mission Agency

You believe that God is calling you to serve in missions, but you need to find an agency to affiliate with. Where do you begin? As you begin searching, you find there are a myriad of different mission agencies to choose from. How can you decide?

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missionary, missions, global missions
Getting Ready

Me, a Missionary?

Get real. I am not a doctor, linguist, pilot, or even a pastor. Why would God call me to be a missionary? But what does God say about going to all the nations?

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Blog featured image: Missions: another way to think about careers.
Careers & Missions

Another Way to Think About Careers

I don’t feel like going to my usual Sunday school class, I said to myself as I entered church, so I think I’ll watch the video another class is showing. God used my unusual decision to direct our lives in ways we had never dreamed.

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old woman unreached missions workers for the harvest MissionNext
MissionNext

Let’s Get the Workers to the Harvest Today!

The Lord says in his word that “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Mathew 9:37 NIV). Today, the World more than ever is in desperate need of workers to go out into every nation to reach the lost and the broken.

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Image of a bridge (transparent) leading to the departure point for a ship
MissionNext

A New Chapter for MissionNext

Quite a few things have changed since we started in 1998. By God’s grace, we’re entering a whole new chapter for connecting you with mission opportunities.  

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Man working in an office
Testimonies

A Change in Plans

Comfortable – that’s what you would call my career in the banking field, but God had other plans for me with that two letter command.

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Woman reading her Bible
Testimonies

Provide a Way, Lord

Watching and sending is one way of serving Christ. And then, there are times when being the supportive hands and feet becomes a God-guided reality.

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Female-students-sitting-in-the-outer-corridors
Agencies

God at Work: Here

MissionNext partners with over 100 mission agencies and Christian schools, all with diverse needs. Be encouraged with two stories of God-ordained connections.

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praise_hands_Africa-1
Agencies

The Reason You’re Needed

They’re out there. Searching for the right messenger–perhaps someone like you–whose skill and passion match their unique ministry needs.

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