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Organizational News

Easter is nearly upon us. The crocuses are peeking out from the chilly ground, and we are beginning to see the sun’s rays warming everything they touch. Just as the Earth goes through seasons of life and growth, our faith can encounter seasons of difficulty and joy. As we reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross, the grave and the joyful reunion with his disciples, we are perhaps reminded of the times when we have failed to see or understand events in our own lives.

At GCMI, we take the Easter season as a major opportunity to share our struggles and victories through Christ with the people surrounding us. We encourage you to let your joy shine through as we see God's Kingdom coming here on Earth.

Later in April, GCMI Mission Catalyst Tyler S. will speak at several schools in Missouri and Illinois. If you would like to catch up with Tyler during his visit, please feel free to contact us through our website. As always, we would love to hear from you.

He is Risen!

 

Transformation by Gabe Brazle

We’ve lived in NYC for 20 months now…learning about the people groups here and how to better share the Gospel with them. We’ve been focusing on contextualizing the Truths of Jesus to make them clearer; sharing the different parts of His plan to save us.

Throughout our time working with different groups we’ve learned many things. I now know that while eating with conservative Muslims, using my left hand to touch my food is taboo. We now know that in some cultures “forcing” people to stay over longer is seen as hospitality and not as a threat. We now know that talking of how we “all have sinned” doesn’t convict every culture group and that sometimes our friends need to hear more about how Jesus desires for them to be in His family, than how He has saved them from their sins.

Highs and lows have occurred and will continue to do so as we follow His leading, as He transforms this city and our neighbors around us. And that’s what it’s about, transformation from darkness to light, from lost to found. See, the most important thing isn’t exactly what we are learning about the other cultures or evangelism (though those are important). It’s about something bigger, something greater! The most important thing that’s happened since we’ve been in the city is the transformation that has occurred; in our friends’ exposure to the Gospel and in ourselves as we learn to be closer followers of who He is.

We are Christians, and because of that; not only should our lives be better, but everyone who interacts with us should be better as well. Because we are Christians, EVERYONE should gain something because of the light in the city. AND…because we’re His, everyone should get to know why it is that we are shining so brightly (an idea from the Bible; explained more by Rob Bell in his book, Velvet Elvis). We shine so brightly because we are being transformed; He is transforming us and He is transforming our city.

Jesus' Ears by Carey Bouchelle

When I notice that a friend or acquaintance seems upset or off, it would be easy to say, “No, I don’t want to bother them,” and go on with my day. But what we as Jesus’ hands and feet [and ears] must realize is this: people want to be bothered. People want other people to care about their losses, joys and experiences. How can we actually care unless we ask?

This has only become clearer to me while living in NYC. In a city where I see literally hundreds of faces everyday, actually noticing one particular person’s face can speak volumes. Attention is a precious gift: one that each of us has the ability and opportunity to give. As an introvert myself, I know how difficult it can be to summon the energy to interact with another human being, much less engage in a deep and compassionate way. But, I also know how it feels when someone listens, really listens, to what I’m going through.

Sharing Jesus in existing relationships, knowing and being known, being available to show the love of God during the important and unimportant moments, consistently being a presence of peace and a voice of compassion—all of these are part of the ministry available to the whole of the body. These make up the duties of the priesthood of all believers.

What I really want to say is this: every one of us in the church has a network of relationships, ones through which God desires to use us as ambassadors of the Kingdom. But, if we are not available, whether out of fear of being annoying or a sense of not being called or gifted enough, we cut ourselves off from participating in the ministry of Christ.

As your sister and co-laborer with Christ, I would like to encourage you to look for opportunities to be a listener. Listen to the stories of people around you, seek out occasions to help them experience Jesus’ love and share how you have experienced it for yourself.

 
 
 

A Word From Jared

There are a number of benefits to working with a missions organization. Tax deductible status, personnel accountability, shared networking and institutional credibility, to name some of the more obvious motivations. For Global City Mission Initiative (GCMI), one of our key goals as an organization is to facilitate our missionaries acting as a learning community. Last Fall, when a GCMI missionary began experimenting with a new evangelistic approach, more than one missionary was able to add a new skill to his tool belt because others of us were able to learn from the encounters. When another GCMI missionary shares how he’s begun to relate the Gospel to the worldview of a particular cultural group, several of us can benefit from his experiences. Cross-cultural missionaries should always have the attitude of life-long learners, and furthermore, when we link together as a missionary network, we’re creating a widening and deepening resource.

When we started GCMI, one of my personal goals was to share with new evangelists what I had learned as a missionary over the last fifteen years. However, in a short period of time I have not only been a teacher, but I’ve quickly become a student as well. Today, the Body of Christ is facing a radically different global mission field with many new opportunities and challenges than even just a few decades ago. As GCMI missionaries, we hope to continue learning and sharing our journey with our friends and partners. Continue to pray that we grow in wisdom together as we serve the mission of God.

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