Identity and Gospel

Since we have had the privilege of living and working overseas, we love to interact with people from other cultures. My husband and I like to play a scary game. The rules are complicated. It is called, “name that ethnicity!”
MC Post
Before you go all weird on me, I’ve discovered that people from other ethnicities, now living in a different and powerful culture, have a strong desire for people to know about “where they came from.” It would be like trying to explain to someone about Friday night football in Texas, or shrimp and grits in the low country of South Carolina. There is so much more to ethnicity than a color of skin, or a shape of a forehead. But I digress.

On a recent trip to NYC (I act like we go all the time…. !) we rode a number of cabs, and would SILENTLY try to figure out the ethnicity and culture of the cab driver. Now this is where the rules get sticky. People don’t want to know what YOU think of their ethnicity, they want to share with you the importance THEY see in their ethnicity. So if we could figure out that someone was from Jordan, we would begin to talk about the Middle East and the fun of camping in a Wadi (think Palo Duro Canyon without a stick of vegetation) or if they had been to the shawarma stand at the fifth circle. Then they would begin to gush, reminisce and go on and on about how much they missed their home, their place of identity. We would become fast friends and before long invitations would come asking us to come to their home, share a meal, and meet their family. We couldn’t go, but we often left the exchange with a new friend.

I fear we don’t know or understand our identity. As children of God, we vacillate between being a princess in his kingdom, or becoming Deborah the warrior. And neither of those descriptors get at the heart of living with our identity in Christ. We have decided that if we wear the trappings of the identity, then the identity will be ours. So we’ve dressed in godly Bible studies and activities, and yet live with this angst that we really don’t belong here. In actuality, our identity in Christ says, Whoever you are in the Lord, go, be, rest. Our stance should be to crawl up in our Father’s loving arms and embrace Him so we can become Us. We can never find our identity in the stuff we do, or the things we wear, or the holiness that we seem to exude.

I want to be called for my lack of trust like Sarai. I want to know how to read the times like Esther. I want to be forgiven and faithful like Rahab. I want to see kingdom opportunities like Miriam. I want to be like Rhoda, the servant girl in Acts, who recognized a miracle long before the apostles did. At times I need to be like Hagar, the “thrown out one” who recognized that God was a God who sees, and named Him accordingly. I want to be like Lois in II Timothy 1:5 where she is described as a grandmother in whom faith dwells. All of these women were different. They had different skills, different backgrounds, and different upbringings. But they had in common an encounter with the God who changed them. That shapes our identity.

Yesterday was International Women’s day and I was taken back to my first awareness of the holiday, celebrated in a former communist country. Women were given flowers, typically a yellow inexpensive flower sold by the side of the road, from young boys eager enough to climb a tree, break off the flowers and be persistent enough to jump in front of your car hoping you would give them 10 cents for their effort in picking flowers for you. For that one day, the identity of women was celebrated. (I did laugh at those that said, “for today, strike from work and stay home.” Where DO you think we work!!)

God longs to pick you up, set you on his shoulders and say, “See this world? I’ve created you and I’ve created it. There is brokenness, and some of it will be yours. I heal. There will be abandonment. I redeem. There will be betrayal. I offer you fidelity. There will be a world calling your name. I give you identity.”

Mary Carpenter
A friend of Global Gates

 

Global Gates Administrative Assistant Needed

Job Description

This person will be joining a team of frontier missionaries seeking to reach the ends of the earth through global gateway cities. The administrative/HR assistant will report directly to the executive director of Global Gates. For a better understanding of Global Gates, visit our website www.GlobalGates.info. The administrative/HR assistant will work under the supervision of the executive director of Global Gates, David Garrison, and assist him in the fulfillment of his role of leading the work of Global Gates. The GG executive director travels extensively from a home base in Colorado Springs and oversees the work of Global Gates in 15 North American cities. Global Gates has no single administrative office, and so functions administratively through phone calls, Skype and Google Hang-out, emails and text messaging. For that reason, this job can be termed a non-residential assignment, meaning the person who fills this role will not need to change their place of residence in order to fill the role. Like all assignments in Global Gates, the administrative/HR assistant will need to raise support necessary to cover his or her own financial needs. For inquiries or to send resumes, write Daniel at dowen@globalgates.info.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Assist the executive director of Global Gates as requested.
  2. Assist the executive director of Global Gates with communication:
    • to Global Gates personnel
    • to Global Gates board of directors
    • to Global Gates ministry supporters
  3. Assist the executive director of Global Gates with scheduled events such as:
    • Training events
    • General and regional gatherings
    • Speaking events
  4. Assist the executive director of Global Gates with travel commitments.
    • Flight bookings
    • Logistical coordination
    • Expenses related to travel events
  5. Assist the executive director of Global Gates with program development.
    • Development of assessment tools
    • Reporting on ministry effectiveness
    • Applications for Foundation support to Global Gates programs.
  6. Assist the executive director of Global Gates with the development of literature aimed at the fulfillment of Global Gates vision to reach the ends of the earth through global gateway cities.
    • Assisting with the development of magazine and journal articles
    • Assisting with the development of books and booklets
    • Assisting with the sending and receiving of literature related to Global Gates vision fulfillment.
  7. Work closely with the Global Gates Operations Officer on Human Resources administration.
    • Assists with prospective candidates assessments, communication, and                     background checks
    • Welcomes new personnel to the organization by providing orientation and assisting with obtaining all new employee paperwork
    • Assists in the development and implementation of the employee handbook             and helps research and maintain personnel policies and procedures
    • Answer personnel questions related employment policies
    • Assists the Operations Officer on employee relations counseling and exit    interviewing
    • Helps maintain compliance with federal, state and local employment and    benefits laws and regulations

Skills Recommended

  1. Familiarity with Microsoft Office products
    • Microsoft Word
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Microsoft Excel
  1. Website management (desired)
    • Familiarity with Facebook
    • Familiarity with WordPress
  2. Social media
    • Familiarity with Facebook
    • Familiarity with other media such as Twitter
  3. Writing and editing skills
  4. Communication and interpersonal skills – both written and orally
  5. Organizational skills
  6. Confidentiality

 

 

Profile of a 4th Soil Person

The feeling of inadequacy torments cross-cultural missionaries. As a result, we focus time on equipping ourselves: becoming adept at language, understanding culture, learning how to present coherent evangelistic messages, etc. These efforts are necessary but time-consuming–so much so that missionaries have trouble advancing the mission beyond their own efforts.

Effective cross-cultural missionaries, however, have a knack for raising up, finding, and/or developing indigenous missionaries. Kevin Greeson, our Finding Fourth Soil Team Leader in Texas, has been used by God to identify and come alongside “fourth-soil people” (a Parable of the Sower reference in which some ground produces a hundredfold) whose ministries have led thousands of Muslims to Christ. Below, he lists biblical and extra-biblical characteristics he has observed in effective indigenous missionaries.

What do you need to stop or start doing to find fourth-soil people?

Characteristics of a 4th Soil Person:

  • They are saved.
  • They successfully pass through persecution.
  • Are generous (Good and noble combined = generous*) and not lovers of money
  • Not consumed or overwhelmed with the cares of the world
  • They attempt to produce 100 fold of fruit (souls).

Additional extra-biblical characteristics:

  • They tell their oikos (community) about Jesus.
  • Have sin in their lives. They come up from hell, not drop down out of heaven. Messy people.
  • Their vision is often bigger (passionate) or more focused than yours for their community. Their heart beats for their oikos.
  • Assume ownership for a large block or segment of people. You will hear their sense of ownership in their prays, “MY PEOPLE need salvation . . .,” or “MY PEOPLE are believing a lie.”
  • Their security level makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • When they are first saved, they are hot and ready for action.
  • They seem to have a plan for their people that exceeds your own.

 

 

Looking Back and Ahead

January was named for the two-faced Roman character Janus. With one face Janus looked back and with the other he looked forward. January is a good time for us to look back at 2016 and forward to 2017.

janus

Two-faced Janus

For 2016 we rejoice at God’s goodness! Global Gates doubled in size in 2016! We now have missionaries among the world’s least-reached peoples in 16 global gateway cities including the gateway cities of Bangkok and Toronto.

More importantly, 2016 saw first-fruit breakthroughs with in each major non-Christian people group: Hindu, Buddhist, Orthodox Jew, and Muslim. We celebrate these breakthroughs knowing it is tougher to get from zero to one than from one to a thousand.

Looking to 2017, we are excited at the challenge before us. God has orchestrated a global fruit basket turnover unparalleled in human history. The UN reports that the number of persons who have left their country of origin reached nearly a quarter billion in 2016, an increase of more than 41% since 2000. With 54 million immigrants, the US remains the world’s premier migrant destination.

Many of these immigrants come from lands with little or no gospel witness. Imagine! God loves these people so much, that He brought them to us so we can reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

This is the challenge and opportunity facing Global Gates in 2017. We will deploy, train, and coach more missionaries, distribute more Bibles and Jesus Films, mobilize more churches for prayer and partnership, and – by the grace of God – see more new believers added to Christ’s kingdom.

By God’s grace, this is possible through your prayers, your sacrificial gifts, and your ministry partnership. Thank you for charging with us into 2017!

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

An Open Door

“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” (Rev. 3:8).

 The world is on the move! The United Nations reports that the number of international migrants — persons who have left the country where they were born — reached 244 million in 2015, an increase of 71 million (41 per cent) since 2000.[1]

Never before in history have there been as many people on the move as there are today. And they are coming to us. North America alone has received 54 million of these international immigrants. Europe has received even more with 76 million.

What does all of this mean? What if we could reach the ends of the earth – the world’s least reached people groups – right here at home? What if God opened a door for us to reach untold millions of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists righdg-handst here in our own cities and towns? This is the open door that God has set before us.

How will we respond? Global Gates believes it is God’s vision for us to reach the ends of the earth through the people groups He has brought to our global gateway cities. Global Gates’ aim is to plant multiplying Christ-centered, Bible-believing churches among every unreached people group now found in our own open-access, global gateway cities, and through these people groups to reach the very ends of the earth from which they come.

Today’s great human migration has presented us with an unparalleled opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission. In 2016 Global Gates missionaries saw new believers in Jesus Christ from every major non-Christian people group. By ministering to these people groups in North America we have also seen the first churches planted among these unreached peoples in their homelands overseas.

At Global Gates we believe that these migrations are no accident, but that God is orchestrating them to advance His Kingdom. Acts 17 says, “From one man God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:26-27).

Global Gates missionaries are now ministering in 16 cities across North America, and we expect this number to more than double in the next few years. We have already seen that unlike previous generations of immigrants, today’s migrants are remaining connected to their homelands. This is new. Through Skype, telephone, and Internet access – something that was unthinkable just two decades ago – these immigrants remain in daily contact with their families back home. As we reach them here, they are sharing the good news with family and friends on the other side of the world.

God has indeed set before us “an open door” to the very ends of the earth. Global Gates missionaries are seizing the day – reaching the ends of the earth through global gateway cities – and boldly walking through the door that God has opened.

__________________________________
[1]http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/populationfacts/docs/MigrationPopFacts20154.pdf

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

 

Global Gates Under Donald J. Trump?

The results are in. We have a new President-Elect. What does this mean for Global Gates? How will this impact Global Gates in the days ahead?

Whether America builds a wall or enacts new immigration restraints, the reality of hundreds of thousands of unreached people groups that God has brought to global gateway cities dtremains one of the great challenges of the 21st century.

In the wake of Thanksgiving, Global Gates has so much for which to be thankful. God is richly blessing our gospel outreach around the world. We are far from satisfied, but continued to look in faith to what will be in the years ahead. We are thankful to our Global Gates Ministry Partners without whom this work would not be possible.

As we look back on the recent national elections, many of us held strong views drawn from deep moral convictions. Understandably not everyone in the Global Gates family shared the same positions or made the same decisions. But as we move forward, we want to underscore our shared vision: reaching the ends of the earth through global gateway cities.

Our vision is grounded in Christ’s Great Commission and so remains true regardless of who presides in Washington. Our vision is not under Democrats or under Republicans, but under God. Our vision of engaging every one of the world’s least, last, lost peoples honors God and participates in His grand design for all of creation. How we get there will not always be in the same ways. But as a wise man once said, “We don’t have to see eye to eye to walk side by side.”

Global Gates missionaries are walking side by side on a pathway that leads to heaven. Our vision is to bring as many men, women, and children with us as possible. Your support of Global Gates is making this vision a reality, and a joy.

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

Global Gates to Heaven or Hell?

 

The nature of gateways is that they swing both ways. Immigration has brought countless voices and influences to America since the first pilgrims stepped off the boat four hundred years ago. Each wave that washed across our shores prompted the previous generation of Americans to sound the alarm. This includes the justified fears of the Native Americans who watched pilgrims step ashore wearing what must have appeared to them like 17th century burkhas. Nativist fears were not entirely unfounded.

Just as the first English settlers forever changed a continent that had been undisturbed for millennia, so too did subsequent immigrant cultures. Protestants protested the Irish and Italian Catholics who came to our inner cities in the 19th century. The Irish gangs of New York and Italian Mafioso lent evidence to their concerns.

david-gatesToday these Irish and Italian immigrants are threads woven into the texture of American culture. Additional threads have come with Jewish refugees who fled Hitler’s Germany and Vietnamese boat people who escaped Communist Southeast Asia.
The truth is, every immigrant population poses a threat to the status quo, and the changes they bring to our national fabric are not without consequence. Whether they bring with them the violence and intolerant worldviews they are fleeing remains to be seen. But certainly they will bring change.

In his prophetic charge to the Church, Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). As Christians this is our birthright, a pledge from the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Whether we live up to that standard of perfection, however, is up to us.

Through the eyes of faith, Global Gates is choosing to see these immigrant populations as a gateway, an entry point for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gateway holds the potential to light a new generation of immigrants – and through them – penetrate the homelands from which they come with the saving light of Jesus Christ. Rather than fearing the darkness that they represent, these missionaries are flooding that darkness with the light of Christ and dispelling the darkness with hope and redemption.

The Church today is faced with a challenge, and a choice. We can curse the darkness or pierce that darkness with flood lamps of gospel light and truth.

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

For Future Generations

Last week I had the privilege of addressing a Wednesday night prayer meeting at the First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas. It was a drizzly night, usually a guarantee that the mostly senior citizens who frequent these weekly prayer meetings would stay home. But this night was different.

My topic was “Muslim Movements to Christ.” By the time the service began, ushers were scrambling to pull additional chairs out of storage rooms as the sanctuary filled to capacity…and then some. Soon the room was filled with mostly silver haired saints, some of whom stood for more than an hour in the back of the hall to hear the good news that God does indeed love Muslims and is redeeming them in unprecedented numbers.

What brought these hundreds of retirees out on a rainy evening in the Texas heartland? Having an 84-year-old mother who continues to engage the world and actively participate in discipling emigrants through her own church home and food pantry ministry, I had a pretty good idea. They wanted to leave a better world for the next generation.

torchQuoting fellow historian Kenneth Woodward, octogenerian Martin Marty reflects, growing older “pits the temptation to terminal self-absorption against the opportunity to exercise continued care and concern for those generations moving behind us.”

Many of today’s senior citizens are choosing to look forward. They are exercising care and concern for those generations to whom they will pass the baton. Global Gates missionaries are largely a young generation of twenty and thirty-somethings. But their success in engaging the world’s least-reached peoples is fueled by a blessed synergy of collaboration with seasoned saints, godly men and women who come along side them to share their wisdom, their prayers, and their financial means for the sake of advancing the greatest gift we have, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to a new wave of Americans that God is bringing to our shores.

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

 

 

 

 

 

Racing Into the Danger

It was fifteen years ago. Through the dust and death that filled New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, one inspirational image emerged. Scores of firefighters and policemen raced into the danger. Their selfless courage prompted them to overcome every instinct that would compel a normal person to turn and run the other way.

While thousands raced through the streets, fleeing for their lives as the towers descended, this group of heroes, firefighters and police officers, responded in the opposite way.

911I see the same sort of courage in Global Gates missionaries. While many sound the alarm of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan immigrants coming to America, fearing the inevitable ISIS terrorist in their midst, Global Gates missionaries have made a different choice. Against what might be seen as a reasonable fear and aversion to the unknown, these young missionaries have moved with their children into neighborhoods filled with Yemenis, Iraqis, Afghans.

These missionaries are not naive or blind to the dangers. They begin and end every day praying for protection and fruitfulness. They ask the Lord to guide them to those men and women that Jesus called “persons of peace” (Luke 10), lost souls seeking a word of hope and salvation.

Just as America’s firefighters and police officers need and deserve our support, so too do these Global Gates missionaries. They need your prayers, your support, your encouragement as they overcome their natural fears and rush into the danger, and into the harvest fields.

 

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates

 

Half Empty or Half Full?

I’ve always been intrigued by how different people can see the same thing, and yet arrive at different conclusions. It’s like the old adage, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” Christians around the world are faced with a similar challenge today. The world is like a fruit basket turned over.

ForWater Pitcher many centuries now, Western Christians have scattered all over the globe. Along the way they have spread vast trading empires from the 18th century East India Trading Company to the far-flung impact of Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. We are a global force, or at least a global seasoning that has flavored all the countries and cultures of the world.

Today the ends of the earth are coursing back in our direction. Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Turks, Bengalis, and Afghans are now flowing into our global gateway cities. The San Francisco Bay Area is now home to 80,000 Afghan immigrants. More than 15,000 Kurdish immigrants fill neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee. As many as two million Muslims now call Metro New York City home. Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Dallas, and Chicago have all been enriched by ethnic restaurants, worldviews, and traditions – enriched, that is, if you see the glass as half full.

As foreign missionaries who have spent years in India, Thailand, China, Egypt, and Tunisia, my wife and I can’t help but see this immigration as a blessing. Just look at the savings! After spending countless dollars and hours securing visas, boarding airplanes, learning languages just to be able to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, now the ends of the earth have come to us! What a blessing! God is saving us a fortune in time, effort, and dollars by bringing ambassadors from the world’s least-reached people groups into our cities, where we can love them, minister to them, and bring to them the wonderful news of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ!

Half-empty viewers see it differently. They retreat to the suburbs, to gated communities, and Christian enclaves where they can shield themselves from the threat of non-Christian cultures with all their messy traditions and, well, lostness. To be honest, these half-emptiers aren’t crazy. Their distaste for non-Christian religions, worldviews, languages, and cultures is a logical, natural response. After all, a half-full glass is also, undeniably, half empty as well.

I suppose it comes down to faith. Faith after all is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not (yet) see” (Hebrews 11:1). Seeing the glass half full is seeing what is not yet, but what could be. What could be is a stream of lost, unreached individuals coming to our global gateway cities where they will be greeted by the gospel. Seeing the glass half full is seeing new disciples of Christ from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish traditions enriching our Western communities of faith. Seeing the glass half full is seeing these new disciples of Christ taking the life-changing message of Jesus Christ back to their home communities on the other side of the globe, and igniting a global gospel awakening that Jesus called the Kingdom of God.

How about you? How do you see the changing world around you? Do you see it through the lens of how things used to be, how things have changed, or how things could be? Global Gates is anchored to the future hope, the faith in how things could be, if only we will seize the day that God has set before us. Global Gaters see the glass half full, and work to the day when that glass will be filled up with the gospel, filled to the brim, and overflowing.

DavidGarrison
David Garrison
Director, Global Gates