Dear Friends of The Antioch Partners (TAP),
It was just over a year ago that Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area (where TAP’s offices are). The flooding was massive, and the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Michael and Florence here in the US, and the earthquake/tsunami in Indonesia (it’s likely that more 2000 have died there) are graphic reminders that all of creation continues to “groan as in the pains of childbirth” (Romans 8:22). Yet, in the midst of the groaning, the devastation and the pain, we know God is at work fulfilling his purpose “that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). One of the amazing realities for me in all this is that God has a role for each of us to play in his global purpose in Christ. And, for those whose role is focused on long-term, cross-cultural, incarnational engagement, that’s where TAP fits in, because these are the servants TAP has been called to serve and support.
Seeing Partnership in Action
In terms of how TAP fulfills our mission, one of our core values is partnership: “As one expression of the body of Christ, we are committed to working in partnership with the global body of Christ. We believe God can do more through us working together than he can when we work independently” (from TAP’s “Core Values” statement). As the TAP community, we live this out in many ways, including: the essential partnership between TAP and the local churches sending Partners (missionaries) through TAP, the partnerships between TAP Partners and their support teams, the partnerships between TAP Partners and the local partners they work with around the world, as well as partnerships with global initiatives like the Lausanne Movement.
In terms of the Lausanne Movement, this movement was founded by Billy Graham (with significant input from John Stott) back in the early 70’s. God has used the Lausanne Movement over these decades to significantly impact the scope of global missions. Lausanne’s mission is “connecting influencers and ideas for global mission,” and TAP was blessed to have Lausanne’s Global CEO, Michael Oh, as the speaker for our annual dinner fundraiser on September 27. It was exciting to hear Michael share about some of the incredible things God is doing in the Muslim world, and challenging us all to be more intentional about reaching out to our Muslim neighbors, both here in the US, and around the world. It was also exciting to see God working through his people at the dinner to provide funding for TAP’s operating budget, and we’re grateful for all of you who were sponsors for the event, gave at the dinner, etc. Your partnership with TAP, both in terms of prayer and giving, are vitally important for TAP and on behalf of the entire TAP community I want to say, “Thank you!”
Partner Focus: Jim & Julianna Gieser
Jim and Julianna are new TAP Partners and they exemplify TAP’s commitment to partnership in a beautiful way. They are members of First Presbyterian Church, Sylva, N.C., and with their church’s affirmation and support, they have responded to God’s call to serve alongside a dynamic campus ministry in South Africa called the Student Y at the University of Cape Town. In partnership with local churches in Cape Town, God has been using the Student Y “to reach students for Christ and to nurture their growth into whole-life and life-long disciples of Jesus, doing so within the context of a post-apartheid society still marred by continuing racial injustice and deep social and economic divides.” As the Student Y’s vision for ministry has grown, they were eager to find someone with Jim’s gifts and expertise to join their leadership team, and Jim and Julianna are excited to be heading to Cape Town to serve alongside their South African brothers and sisters. Jim and Julianna are in the process of developing their support team and raising their financial support now (they want to be in Cape Town by January, 2019), so if you’d like to learn more about them click here
. If you feel God leads you to partner with them through prayer and financial support, that would be a wonderful blessing for the Giesers and the Student Y ministry!
Following-up re Frontier Mission:
In our summer newsletter, Sean Walker shared about one of TAP’s priorities, namely, working among unreached and least-reached people groups (i.e. frontier mission). Sean invited us all to be asking God to raise up more TAP Partners to work among the approximately 2.2 billion people in the world who have little or no opportunity to hear about Jesus in a way they can understand. I want to encourage us all to keep crying out to God for this, and just maybe, God intends some of us to be an answer to these prayers!
Executive Director, The Antioch Partners