Global Mission pioneer Kasamong Khiang was surprised to see
at his door Choif Ong, a troublemaker and hater of Christians. Because of his
cruel actions, nine Adventists had fled their homes in fear for their lives.
Six months later he stood at Kasamong's door with his sick 10-year-old
son in his arms. He had sacrificed animals and pleaded with his gods, with no
result. Now, desperate to save his son, he stood at the door of one he had once
Kasamong saw the fear in Choif's eyes and forgot the past. He
prayed for Choif's son, then went to the market and bought medicine with his
own money. God's love shining through Kasamong began to work on Choif's heart.
His son was healed and his hatred broken. Choif opened his heart to Jesus, and
today his son attends the Adventist church school.
The exciting story of Global Mission is made up of thousands
stories such as this.
In the late 1980s church leaders analyzed areas of the world where the church
had grown slowly or not at all. They proposed a global strategy to concentrate
their efforts and find new methods of sharing the gospel there.
In response, Global Mission was created in 1990 with a mandate
to establish a Seventh-day Adventist presence in every population segment of
1 million. In 1990, with a world population of 5.3 billion people, Global Mission
identified 5,300 population segments of 1 million. Of these, 2,300 had no Adventist
Global Mission soon recognized one of the greatest challenges
was to an area known as the 10/40 window. This imaginary rectangle stretches
from North Africa, through the Middle East into Asia. More than 60 percent of
the world's population lives in the 10/40 window. Of these very few, less than
12 percent are Christians; and less than 1 percent are Adventists.
What about those population segments? By the beginning of 2004,
world population had increased, and the number of population segments of 1 million
had increased to 6,300. Seventh-day Adventists have carried the gospel to 5,827
of these. Only 473 do not have an Adventist presence.
Global Mission Pioneers
Since 1993, thousands of Global Mission Pioneers have ventured into areas with
no Adventist presence to plant new groups of believers. These dedicated laypeople:
volunteer at least a year to establish a new congregation
live and work within their own cultures
establish new groups of believers
understand the culture, speak the local language
receive a small living stipend
Today tens of thousands of Global Mission Pioneers are working
around the world, sharing Jesus on the cutting edge of Adventist mission.
Global Mission study centers focus on building bridges of understanding with
other world religions and finding creative methods and materials to share the
gospel. The original study centers, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish, were
joined recently by the Center for Secular/Postmodern Mission in recognition
of the increasing challenge of reaching the secular West. Last year the center
created a Web site, www.secularpostmodern.org, to serve as a resource for those
working with secular/postmodern ministry.
The Challenge and the Vision
In the 15 years since Global Mission was established, the Adventist Church has
grown rapidly. In 1990 it took on average nearly 10 hours to establish a new
group of believers. In 2000 it took just over an hour. More than 24,000 new
congregations and companies have been added to the church. Most of these were
established by Global Mission Pioneers working in cooperation with other church
departments and organizations. In 1992 a new member was added to the church
every 80 seconds. By 2003 a new member was added every 32 seconds.
Despite this rapid growth, the challenge of Global Mission remains.
Today millions still have not had the opportunity to hear the good news of salvation.
Millions have not accepted Jesus into their hearts. We cannot rest until every
person in the world has heard the good news about Jesus.