2023 News

The Beauty of the Gospel

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Dear Friends,

A big ‘thank you’ to the many of you who completed our recent supporter survey. This information is helpful in making wise strategic decisions to ensure Global Mission Partners continues to faithfully serve into the future.

It was particularly helpful to learn which countries were of greatest interest to you, how you’d like us to communicate with you and how frequently. Our supporters are also proud that GMP expresses mission in both word and deed—the full expression of the gospel.

The other week, I had the opportunity to talk with Yabru Jerry, Executive Director of the Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ (MECOC) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Towards the end of a lengthy call discussing a range of topics, Yabru casually mentioned that a church in their network baptised over 100 people. This was in the river one Sunday a few weeks prior. I paused, amazed and somewhat stunned.

I have mentioned this in several settings since. One pastor said to me, “I’d be surprised if we have baptised that many people in our movement here in Australia this year”. I’m not confident that statement is completely true. But what is most remarkable is that in PNG’s highlands, through our shared partnership, God is changing hearts in surprising numbers.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw the same happen here?

Our sometimes sleepy, well-resourced Christianity can learn something from our brothers and sisters abroad. Church communities located in remote locations, like PNG, ought to be an inspiration to Christians in developed contexts like ours. They are without buildings, AV systems, comfortable seats - let alone basic plumbing. But their passion and zeal for the gospel is simple and infectious. The type of virus I pray we might catch and spread liberally.

Of course, we point to secularism as the main reason people in developed nations don’t willingly respond to the gospel message.

I attended a recent presentation by Dr. Andrew Root. He visited Australia at the invitation of Churches of Christ SA & NT and Churches of Christ in NSW & ACT. Dr Root explained that a vacuum effect has taken place. Paradoxically, the emerging forms of secularism show signs of an increased spiritual search and a longing for meaning.

Those who attended Dr. Root’s presentations were invited to ask, “Will we be motivated by fear of context or the beauty of the gospel?” It feels like the Australian Church is greatly discouraged by spending too much time focusing on the decline of recent years. When, in fact, the gospel is sprouting in surprising places, like the highlands of PNG.

This is thanks to the faithful and sacrificial generosity of many people like you. To the many people who have contributed to Global Mission Partners over the years. My prayer is that we will continue to support these kingdom growth projects for many more years to come.

In faith,

John Lamerton, Executive Officer

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