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Our Great Commission Vision

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The words of Jesus after his death and Resurrection give us, His Church, a tremendous responsibility (Acts 1:8). Between His first coming in Bethlehem and His Second Coming foretold in John 14:3, His people are to be His witnesses. This is to begin where we are (our Jerusalem) and be carried out on a continuum to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit will empower those carrying out this mission. It leads to a grand, celestial celebration told in Revelation 7:9–10.

A major part of the calling of the C&MA is to prepare for this celebration. How? Through powerful partnerships, we will build wholistic communities of faith among the least reached, where all the odds are stacked against us.

_Through powerful partnerships—_there are three levels of powerful partnership. The first and most important is with God. Without Holy Spirit empowerment, this vision cannot be fulfilled. The second is with sending churches. Missionaries and international workers must remain relationally connected with their sending churches. Those churches, in turn, are key partners in advancing the vision. The third is with church partners in the countries where the vision is being pursued. Without them, the vision cannot be fulfilled.

Christ Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska, wanted to move from giving to a missions fund to opening opportunities for their people to go overseas. Church leaders initiated a partnership with the C&MA team in Mali to help build a hospital for women and children. Construction teams from Omaha went to erect buildings. Two nurses were sent to be part of the hospital team. Malian leaders associated with the hospital were brought to Christ Community Church for its Missions Conference. Through creative fund-raising efforts, they raised more than $1 million for the hospital project. This powerful partnership has ignited the hearts of people in Omaha and is helping thousands of Malians through the Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children.

_We will build wholistic communities of faith—_establishing wholistic communities of faith was the way Christ’s witnesses carried out His mission in the first century. They effectively integrated word and deed as a compelling demonstration of the love and compassion of Jesus, and many believed in Him as a result. We long to plant multiplying, missionary communities of faith capable of standing strong no matter what comes.

The Alliance began to live out this vision in Vietnam in 1911. By 1975, when South Vietnam was conquered by the north, there were 125,000 Christians in the Evangelical Church of Vietnam. Would the fledgling family of Alliance churches survive the pressures they were sure to face?

They didn’t just survive. They prevailed! Today 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. Which people groups have the smallest percentage of Christians? Among which people groups are there few if any churches? While we’re talking about His Second Coming, what are the people groups who 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 the world’s Uzbeks are not Christians. They definitely qualify as one of the world’s least reached peoples. In comparison to our relatively easy and very multifaceted access to the gospel in North America, the Uzbeks have pitifully little access.

_Where all the odds are stacked against us—_at first glance, this could appear to involve only settings where there is open opposition to the Church. Yet Paul declared that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). This means that much of the resistance is spiritual. These odds can be fierce and intimidating.

For generations, the Baoule people of Africa had lived in fear of spirits. Then came outsiders with the story of Jesus. Some Baoules turned from their fetishes, giving themselves to Christ. As their numbers grew, they wanted to establish a local church, and a piece of property was acquired.

One morning, blood stains and feathers on the new property signaled that a curse had been placed on the land. Alliance missionaries helped the Baoule understand that the curse could be thwarted, even broken, in Jesus’ Name.

Now, many years later, there is a family of prevailing churches among the Baoule. They are increasingly sharing the vision we embrace: to plant prevailing churches among the least reached, where all the odds are stacked against us!

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