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Faithful, Strategic Investment

A vision of what God is doing in the nations

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Jesus’ words after His Resurrection give to us, His Church, a tremendous responsibility: “‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:8).

Between His first coming in Bethlehem and His second coming foretold in John 14:3, Jesus’ people are to be His witnesses. We are to begin where we are (our Jerusalem) and carry it out to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit will empower those carrying out this mission. It leads up to a grand, celestial celebration: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Rev. 7:9–10). People of The Christian and Missionary Alliance are to prepare for this celebration. How? Through powerful partnerships, our vision is to plant prevailing churches among the least-reached people, where all the odds are stacked against us.

Powerful Partnerships

Seeking Kingdom synergy and partnerships, The Alliance holds hands with as many partners of like heart and commitment as possible. This helps build relationships among churches in the United States and missionaries sent from those churches. It connects the “sent ones” with local C&MA church partners in Indonesia, Gabon, Russia and a host of other countries. These partnerships result in close cooperation between the C&MA and other missions organizations around the globe, including sister churches in Alliance World Fellowship.

For example, because The Alliance lacked the necessary support infrastructure to send new personnel into a creative-access country, we made an effort to discover partners already working there. A door of opportunity opened as the Evangelical Free Church Mission had a well-led, strategically focused team in place. Together, we built a relationship so that today, C&MA personnel are working on the Evangelical Free Church Mission team, seeing people come to Christ in a very challenging nation.

Prevailing Churches

Church planting was the way Christ’s witnesses carried out His mission in the fi rst century. Believing the Church will last, we long to plant multiplying, missionary churches capable of standing strong no matter what may come. In 1911, The Alliance began to live out this vision in Vietnam. By 1975, when South Vietnam was conquered by communists from the north, there were 125,000 Christians in the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (C&MA). Alliance missionaries had invested much in Vietnam, especially in the nurturing of these believers and their local churches. Would the fledgling family of Alliance churches the missionaries left behind in 1975 survive the pressures they were sure to face? They didn’t just survive. They prevailed! Today, it is estimated that there are more than 800,000 believers in the family of churches left behind. The Evangelical Church of Vietnam, fully independent and thriving, has now outgrown its mother. This is a family of prevailing churches!

Among the Least Reached

A people group is made up of those who share a common language, culture, ethnicity and history. What people groups do not have access to the good news about Jesus? The Christian and Missionary Alliance has looked forward to the return of Christ since its founding. Who will not be able to join the Revelation celebration unless witnesses cross linguistic, cultural and national boundaries? While we are talking about His Second Coming,which groups haven’t yet learned of His first coming? And how can we plant prevailing churches among them? Among more than 25 million Uzbeks spread across Central Asia, there are fewer than 2,000 followers of Jesus. That means more than 99.9 percent of Uzbeks are not Christians. They definitely qualify as one of the world’s least reached peoples. In comparison to our relatively easy and multifaceted access to the gospel in North America, the Uzbeks have extremely little access.

Against All Odds

At first glance, being in a diffi cult place could appear to involve only settings where there is opposition to Jesus and His Church: where other religions dominate, where communism is strong, where secular humanism or postmodernism has its tightest grip. However, these are not the only adverse circumstances we face.

The apostle Paul declared that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). In other words, the odds are stacked against us even when there appears to be little overt resistance. Instead, we may meet much resistance from the unseen, spiritual world. These odds can be fierce and intimidating.

For generations, the Baoule people lived in fear of spirits. Food and blood sacrifices to appease the spirits had become a way of life for the Baoule. Then outsiders came with the story of Jesus—the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Some Baoule people turned from their fetishes in repentance and belief, giving themselves to Jesus as Savior and Lord. As the number of believers grew, so did the idea of establishing a local place of worship. After much discussion with traditional village leaders, the group of believers acquired property. One morning, blood stains and feathers marked the entryway to the new church property. The Baoule Christians immediately recognized what had happened. A curse had been placed on the site. The fetishists were upset that some were choosing to leave the way of their ancestors to follow Jesus. To intimidate and punish them, a fetish priest had come during the night to sacrifice a chicken, dripping its blood at the entrance to the property.

Realizing that great odds were stacked against them, the Alliance missionaries living among the Baoule helped them to understand the power of the feared curse could be thwarted, even broken, in Jesus’ Name. Now, many years later, there’s a family of prevailing churches among the Baoule. They are increasingly sharing the vision we embrace—to plant prevailing churches among the least reached people, where all the odds are stacked against us!

This vision is worth living for. It’s worth suffering for. It’s even worth dying for. It is so compelling that it brings tears to my eyes and fi lls me with resolve to press forward. How about you? Can you own this vision with me?

Alliance Missions Philosophy

The Alliance seeks to evangelize among people groups who have not received an understandable presentation of the gospel and among whom there is no indigenous church effectively evangelizing those peoples. We also desire to plant churches among peoples responsive to the gospel, regardless of their previous exposure to Christianity, with a view to equipping those churches to evangelize unreached peoples and to plant missionary churches among them.

850 workers currently serve worldwide with the U.S. C&MA. This number is made up of:

  • 655 Great Commission Fund (GCF)-funded (fully or partially) personnel (includes career, associates, Canadian or foreign personnel who are funded by the United States)
  • 67 non-GCF-funded personnel (including special assignment, workers on leave of absence or partners)
  • 29 Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) personnel funded through CAMA
  • 10 GCF-funded International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals (IFAP) workers
  • 89 IFAP workers who are partially funded bythe GCF

Past Alliance Life Issues

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