John Stumbo Video Blog No. 40
November 11, 2016
Enjoy the latest video blog from President John Stumbo, filmed at last month’s Quadrennial Convocation of the Alliance World Fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand.
Yousef Hashweb: My name is Yousef Hashweb. I am the president of the Alliance church in Jordan and the Holy Land. We have about 3 million refugees at our doors, and we want to be a light to them because when people hear the music of our lives they will ask us about the words.
Edward Awebdeh: Edward Awebdeh. I’m the president of the Alliance church in Syria and Lebanon and pastor of the church in Damascus.
Paul Paksoal: I am the president of the Alliance church of Indonesia. We have 3,000 churches and 500,000 members.
Thomas Traoré: [Translation to English] My name is Thomas Traoré. I am president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance church of Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso we have many member churches. We invite you to pray for an awakening in the Alliance churches in Burkina Faso and above all that people that don’t know the gospel will be reached by the Word of God.
Shinobu Tanaka: My name is Shinobu Tanaka. I am [the] president of Japan Alliance church. We have 20 churches and 2,000 membership of church.
Mongolian church leader: [Translation to English] We are greeting you from your brothers and sisters in Mongolia. Right now we have 12 churches. We also have a vision for not just being the recipients of missionaries, but in the near future, with God’s grace, being senders of missionaries to other nations.
David Hearn: My name is David Hearn. I’m the president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, representing 435 churches in Canada and about 250 international workers around the world.
Jose Dalino: I am Bishop Jose Dalino, the president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in the Philippines. We have about 3,000 churches. We are grateful to the Lord that now we are a sending country. We have 79 missionaries in 17 countries.
Enrique Rosa: [Translation to English] I am Reverend Enrique Rosa of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, president in the Dominican Republic. We have about 50 organized churches.
Ken Graham: Good day, folks. My name’s Ken Graham. I’m the president of The Alliance in Australia. Australia has 88 congregations, and we minister in 12 different ethnic groups.
John Stumbo: And I’m John Stumbo, president of the U.S. Christian and Missionary Alliance where we have 2,000 churches ministering to about half a million people. And you just met some of the peers that I have the pleasure of being with here at Alliance World Fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand, this every-four-year gathering of The Christian and Missionary Alliance world leaders. And one thing that I wanted you to sense was the significance of the fact that as The Christian and Missionary Alliance has done our work through the last 130 years, that we have been very committed to building established local churches that are self-supporting, self-governing—and the kinds of ministries that we don’t continue to oversee from afar.
I’m saddened by how many of my associates in the United States, other mission and denominational leaders are still overseeing the whole world from the U.S. This is missions that we’re part of, not colonialism. And so I’m showing you just a living illustration of what I’m experiencing right now in Bangkok—that I have peers that are overseeing significant ministries, passionate for the Kingdom of God, and I wanted you to meet them today.
I am disappointed with all the people I didn’t get to introduce you to. Europe, South America, I didn’t get any of those presidents. And it’s not just presidents that are here. There are also women and lay leaders that are significantly contributing to the Alliance family. But I wanted us to get a sense of the magnitude of what has been accomplished through the C&MA through our 130 years. God has used his family in such a way that there are now over 50 national churches fully leading, fully supporting themselves and that number is soon to be close to 60 churches by the end of this week, as more national churches are coming into the Alliance World Fellowship family.
So this is a growing movement that we’re part of, ministering to nearly 6 million people now around the world. And one thing that really excites me is 22 of those national churches are now mission-sending churches, with many others who have not yet had the capacity to send people out of their country to do Kingdom work but are cross-culturally sending pastors and leaders to plant churches within their country among different languages and communities.
We’re part of something that has a magnitude to it that really moves me. Over 10,000 students in some form of theological training, preparing for ministry around the world, and the story goes on. I am meeting next-generation leaders here at this conference who are passionate about taking the gospel of Jesus in their language and among their people groups as well. I’m also moved by the significance of the need that remains. Yes, God has done incredible things through the Alliance family, but we are not done and we are not content until the gospel has been taken to the last, least-reached peoples of this world [who] need access to the gospel. They will not have access to the gospel unless someone comes from the outside, and so we as the Alliance family are committed and convinced that our job is not done until we continue to take the message from people to people, language to language, community to community, and this is what we’re doing together until Christ comes back; then we’ll know that the job’s done.
The magnitude of what’s been accomplished, the magnitude of the task that still remains, all takes me to the significance of being at the throne of Christ where there will be people from every tribe, tongue, language, and nation celebrating the name of Jesus because the glory of God is too great to be expressed through one language alone. I’m so convinced [of] this that every language, every rhythm, every nuance, that every culture brings is needed at the throne of God to reflect the greatness of the glory of God, that no one culture alone is significant enough to manifest, to reflect all of that glory. But together, thousands of languages, rhythms, hues, nuances, cultural expressions will better reflect the greatness and the glory of God.
I felt that this weekend when I was preaching at a Thai church. I’d never had the privilege of preaching at a Thai church before. I’ve done international churches, but as we were worshiping together in the two services, hundreds of people celebrating Jesus in a joyful way, a couple of the songs that they sang were American written songs; many of them were written by one of the local pastors here in Thailand.
But as we were singing the American written songs, I and others were singing English, most of the congregation and worship team were singing in Thai, a fascinating thing occurred in two of those songs that the cadence provided by the two languages provided a rhythm of its own—that as one sang in Thai and one sang in English, it was offset because of the linguistic nuances but it provided a rhythm of its own. And I wept as I stood there trying to imagine what it would be like to have thousands of languages simultaneously sung not in some discordant, awkward manner but in a way that the fabric of all humanity being woven together by thousands of threads of languages provided a tapestry of sound unimaginable, unheard in any time in human history and so we stand before the throne of God and all sing praises to Jesus together.
Friends, we’re part of something big. We’re part of something significant. God’s used us in a big way. There’s so much more to do. We know where the story leads but for right now in this part of the story, Year-End 2016, I’m asking us: Would you participate more fully? Would you share the video that you’re going to see at the end of this with your congregations? Would you give your people an opportunity to give? No, it doesn’t all come down to money. Money is not the fuel of missions. The Holy Spirit is the fuel of missions, but we need full financial participation for us to be able to send the teams and do the work that God’s called us to do. So would you be a praying congregation, a generous congregation, a passionate congregation for taking the gospel to the ends of the earth? Great success has been proven. Great stories await, and we’ll know when we’re done when Jesus comes back. Bless you, team.
[Start of “2016 Year-End” video clip]
John Stumbo: Imagine wanting to buy your family a pet kitten. You open your mobile phone app only to read this advertisement instead: “Girl for sale, beautiful, 12-years old, virgin. Her price has reached $12,500, and she’ll be sold soon.” That’s an actual advertisement, marketing Yazidi young women and children. The Yazidis, [in] northern Iraq, have been targeted by the ISIS campaign as a people group that they want to slaughter, killing thousands . . . mass graves. I hear stories like that, and I think I want to do something. We hear continuous streams of stories of refugees fleeing oppression, filling boats, crossing borders. I wish I could do something. Maybe worse, there are an unlimited number of stories we don’t hear—the Balkans where religious extremists are recruiting boys and young men into radicalized military forces.
Can I be part of the solution somehow? If you’ve been in the Alliance family for a while, you may be guessing where I’m going next. We can help. We can do something because we’re already there, us, the Alliance family. In northern Iraq among the Yazidis, our refugee work is amazing. Oil, rice, baby supplies, soap, toothpaste, life’s basics, personally delivered tent to tent to hear the story, share the pain, bring the loving message of Jesus, and the local Alliance church being strengthened as a result. Refugees spilling into Germany and France, weary, fearful, at risk, are met by loving teams sent by us—the Alliance family—the hands and hugs of Jesus. We haven’t been able to get missionaries into Syria for 60 years, yet the Syrians are coming to us and to your town as well.
Balkans—one local man, angered by what was happening in the land he loves, came fleeing, led by a dream to our team. We had the joy of baptizing many, launching a new church that is now reaching out to other villages where no gospel witness is currently present. When I ask you to give to CAMA and the C&MA throughout the year and here at year-end, these are the kinds of stories that we’re supporting and hundreds more like them in the world’s neediest places among the least-reached people, places like Bongolo Hospital that’s providing great medical ministry while leading 2,300 people to Jesus last year alone. The Cambodian C&MA partners with a national movement to plant a church in every village. This is what we’re part of, and we long to do more. In fact we have opened doors to do more, and we will do more as led by the Spirit and supported by our prayers. Our finances are able to thrust us forward. So what are we going to do? My wife and I have felt impressed that we should give one month’s income to this offering. Just ask God, What’s my part in this? You see, together we can do something, together we are doing something, and together we’ll do more. Ask God what your part is—and then do it.
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