Welcome to 2024.
I'm genuinely excited about all God has in store for the Global Mission Partners community this year.
In my prayers and reflections over recent weeks, I've found God reminding me of his “mission of love” to the world (John 3:16-17).
One of my all-time favourite missiologists is David Bosch, most famous for writing the book Transforming Mission. The first time I read this book was slowly over two years because its content was so rich. Bosch wrote in this book, "To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God's love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love."
Of course, Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, also famously made this point quite poetically.
If we speak in tongues, have the gift of prophecy, fathom all mysteries and knowledge, have faith that can move mountains, or give to people in poverty but do not have love… we are nothing or gain nothing. “I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor 13:1-3).
Paul continues to describe what love is:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Cor 13:4-8)
It's easy to read these words at weddings and write them in cards to loved ones. But these are Paul's words, a leader of the early church spreading the good news of Jesus throughout pagan Asia-minor (Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Malta) all the way to Rome.
This is an agape-sacrificial type of love that he's writing about and encouraging the church to embody as it participates in God's mission.
Our partners are inspiring examples of sharing God’s love in desperate settings.
Amidst significant food shortages in Zimbabwe, Christian Care is training farmers for improved food security.
As refugees from neighbouring conflicts shelter in South Sudan, Christian Mercy International feeds and cares for over 150 families.
While low-caste families pick through rubbish for their survival, Hosanna Ministries is providing early education to children to break the cycle of poverty.
Among Indigenous youth struggling to find their place in this world, Dareton Youth and Community Centre provides a safe place to find community.
God’s love is the life-changing balm for those living amidst hard places and challenging circumstances.
Today, may we draw from that fountain of God's love and consider ways to share it liberally as our ongoing participation in God's mission to the world this year.
I look forward to serving with you during 2024.
Chief Executive Officer