When Laura and I were sent as PC US missionaries to Korea and then to Taiwan, we were given no spiritual equipping for the work.
On the mission field we learned how much we needed Jesus in moment by moment relationship.
We experienced the truth that we could do nothing without the infilling of the Holy Spirit undergirded by an anointed prayer life.
The last 25 years of developing the Dunamis training have prepared PRMI to provide the spiritual equipping necessary for missionaries to be effective in their witness to Jesus Christ.
It has been my prayer during this quarter century that we could host an event for missionaries as they embark on their missions.
After a year of prayer and planning, we began to see that prayer answered at the Spiritual Dynamics of Global Mission event (June 9-16). We packed out the Community of the Cross.
We even had to set up our tent!
Almost 60 missionaries including children attended.
Most of them are Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s World Outreach workers.
Many others who participated are veterans of PRMI’s short term Dunamis trips.
They benefited from the event doubly since they also helped to staff it.
Additional PRMI volunteers came from many places to provide children’s ministry and prayer ministry to invest their gifts in this pioneer conference.
The photo above shows the PRMI team with missionaries praying for each other to serve the Lord Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And finally, Swannanoa Valley Presbyterians opened their homes in hospitality to the missionaries.
We focused on EPC World Outreach missionaries who are being sent to Muslim nations with the Gospel.
This group is part of the Engage 2025 program that has an immense church planting vision among unchurched parts of the world.
The equipping focused on what have proven again and again to be the spiritual keys to effective missionary service – these are:
- Growth as disciples of Jesus Christ, Who is the way, the truth and the life and Who is the only way to the Father. John 14 and 15
- Worldview expansion to include biblical paradigms, so we can work cross-culturally to advance the Kingdom of God.1 Corinthians 9:20-23
- Application of the promise for empowerment of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8
- Cooperation with the Holy Spirit, the Director of Mission. Acts 16:6-10; Galatians 5:17
- Investment in the work of intercessory prayer that shapes the future by praying for waves of the Holy Spirit. John 14:13-14; Luke 11:13
- Increase in spiritual authority to advance the Kingdom of God by cooperating with Jesus as He defeats demonic strongholds and sets the captives free. Matthew 10:1; 16:16-20
- Practice of the art of listening evangelism whereby we share the good news of Jesus Christ by listening to the Holy Spirit and to those whom we meet, learning to speak and act in kairos moments just as the Holy Spirit directs. John 4; Acts 8:26-40
As you can see, each of these spiritual dynamics is covered extensively in our Dunamis Project equipping process. There was not time, of course, to teach thoroughly on even one dynamic, but we managed to share the essentials of each. We offered an exercise to embody the dynamic when we could that helped participants experience the reality of the Holy Spirit present.
For instance, after teaching on the necessity of the empowering work of the Holy Spirit for mission, #3, we prayed for each other to be filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time or freshly. The Lord did not disappoint.
For Dynamic #7, Listening Evangelism, PRMI’s Chris Walker, also known as the Evangelism Coach, masterfully showed us how ordinary Christians can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with others.
He drew on Philip’s divinely arranged meeting with the Ethiopian in Acts 8 to outline how the Holy Spirit orchestrates convergence, where and when the one He has prepared to hear the Gospel and the one He has called to share the Gospel meet in a kairos moment.
Chris concluded his session by inviting us into an exercise whereby we remembered and identified in our own individual stories our spiritual hunger and how it was met in Jesus so that we could become attuned to discern and respond to spiritual hunger in others. Life-changing!
It was when we got to spiritual warfare that things really got exciting.
Most of these missionaries are going to Muslim nations where the spiritual and human opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is intense and even dangerous.
PRMI’s Frank Drake has had much experience with the spiritual attacks missionaries regularly experience in Muslim-majority nations such as Sudan and Indonesia. And indeed, at our event even in the sanctuary and safety of the Community of the Cross, direct demonic attacks came at us, most prominently in the form of a car getting stolen from the Community of the Crossparking lot. It belonged to one of the missionary families just weeks away from beginning their new lives overseas.
A stolen car is bad enough. What made it more shattering was that this family had just sold all their possessions in preparation to leave the US and enter their adopted country. What was in their van was all they owned, all they anticipated needing abroad. Travel papers and the few special toys their four kids each were allowed to bring along. It was a frontal attack by the Enemy against this family who has answered the Lord’s call to go.
This was a blow to all of us, but also an opportunity to put into practice what we were teaching and learning during the week about prayer and spiritual warfare. We learned of the theft at the conclusion of the evening worship.
As groups of people headed to their cars to leave, we stopped as we heard the bad news and without hesitation fell together into prayer to ask the Father’s mercy. We prayed to bind the evil one in Jesus’ name. We asked the Lord to return the car intact, including all six passports.
And that very night, the van was recovered! The thieves had done something stupid just as many of us had prayed! They had rifled through the van as they drove along the road tossing out items they deemed worthless. In their carelessness, they wrecked the car. They fled the scene, not without eye-witnesses who identified them. They were arrested.
And praise the Lord; most of the irreplaceable precious personal possessions, including the passports, were recovered.
Besides the teaching at the mission conference, something more was offered, something which Laura and I now wish we had had both as preparation before going to the field, and when we came back exhausted and hurting: prayer ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. This was truly wonderful! PRMI volunteers came to the Community of the Crossat their own expense to pray. They interceded during sessions and joined prayer teams for all who desired such ministry.
The last element of this equipping that made it not only remarkable, but also effective in equipping missionaries was that it was designed for whole families. And they came, husbands and wives with 2, 3 and even 4 children under the age of seven! Nursery care, facilitated by iSight Church, was provided for the youngest. A group for four to eight year olds and one for nine to thirteen year olds enjoyed their own activities within comforting earshot of their parents. Jon and Nancy Van Stone from Canada with their four children led the way. They were joined by Josh and Rebecca Modrynzski, Chase Brouthers and Emily Bennett.
Each evening, the children were fully incorporated into the worship and ministry program. They sang special songs. During their morning and afternoon activities they memorized the conference day’s theme which they expressed in evening worship in a catchy chant with motions. Adults were encouraged to participate with them. It was family worship, extended family worship, to the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I must end on the note that we are greatly honored to partner with the EPC World Outreach Engage 2025 in their vision of sending missionaries to the Muslim world to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And to work with Tom Kemner, representing Life in Abundance, whose focus is taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some of the poorest, most oppressed places on earth.
This event has now launched what we pray will become a major stream of equipping for those called to the front lines of advancing the Gospel world-wide.
The reports from the missionaries were so positive that World Outreach has already asked that we offer this event again next summer for the following wave of outgoing and returning missionaries. We do believe it is the leading of the Holy Spirit that this becomes an annual event.
Please join us in praying for this stream of Holy Spirit-equipping for missions to continue and also ask the Lord if you are called to be a part of helping to make it happen! The dates set for next year have already been set: the week of June 8, 2015. Mark your calendars! We believe this equipping is truly strategic for advancing the Kingdom of God. For how else can we take part in fulfilling the Great Commission except in the power of the Holy Spirit?