Friday, May 20, 2016

Those Who Need It



Why did God send Jesus to us?  Was it so those who were already followers of God could learn more about the Law?  Was it to encourage those who already went to the synagogues to go more often? 


At one point in His earthly life, Jesus was asked why He spent so much time with sinners.  In Mark 2:17, the Bible says, “When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Jesus did not spend His time reaching out to the healthy.  He was reaching the unreached.  He did not focus on those who were saturated with Biblical teaching every week, He found the ones who had not heard of Him, or knew Him.  In addition to evangelism in unreached areas, two of Global Infusion’s latest mission teams were able to visit prisoners in prison.  They shared the Gospel, they prayed with and for the inmates, and lives were changed. 


Imagine living in a country that is not saturated with the Gospel, churches, Christian radio and TV.  It’s one thing to hear the message of salvation and continually reject it, it’s quite another to never have had the chance to accept Jesus. This is why Global Infusion goes to regions of the world where the name of Jesus is not known.  It is why we go beyond the capital cities to the remote villages and cities—it is not the healthy that need doctor, but the sick.


Pray for us this summer, we are about to launch out fifteen more teams around the world.  Each of them will be evangelizing, helping to meet physical needs through food and medicine, and reaching people in a personal way with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pray for souls to be saved, and lives to be transformed.  We also need more people to partner with the vision of Global Infusion to reach people around the world with the Gospel.  Pray, and consider supporting GI on a monthly basis.  Your support allows us to send hundreds of people to the mission field every year, and see lives transformed for eternity. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Hero Goes Home

The world tends to judge a person according to their actions, which is a direct reflection of their character.  Character is not developed in public, it is forged quietly in daily living.  A few weeks ago, Global Infusion received the shocking news that one of our Guatemalan contacts, Pastor Eliú Gutierrez, at the age of 46, went home to be with the Lord.  He leaves behind his wife, Betsy, and three young children: Sarah, Rebecca, and Jacobeam. 


Pastor Eliú’s family lives in a mountainous region of Guatemala, in a small city called La Union.  For years, Global Infusion teams have gone out to work with him as he strives to plant churches in unreached areas of his country.  If you have been with GI to Guatemala, you have met Pastor Eliú.  You have ridden on the back of a 4x4 pickup truck, and carried hundreds of pounds of food to deliver among impoverished families.  These families are typically coffee workers, and are paid $2/daily to harvest 100 lbs worth of coffee.  These families are also unemployed when coffee is out of season.  I personally have handed 50-lbs bags of groceries to a man who said thank you, because he, his wife and children had been existing on bananas and water for the last four months.


The goal of these remote village outreaches is not just to feed families, provide health care in the medical camps we facilitate, or play with the kids in our VBS’s, there is a bigger goal.  Pastor Eliú lived and worked among these people in order to bring them the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He planted churches so people could hear the Gospel, and be saved.  Meeting their tangible needs was just a key that unlocked the door to their heart.  


Please pray for this precious family, they fully intend to keep the work of their ministry going.  Pray for God’s strength and grace to cover them.  Global Infusion is setting up a fund to financially assist Pastor Eliú’s widow, Betsy, and also the children.  If you would like to donate, click the link below:



(For “Designate my Donation” select Guatemala: Pastor Eliú’s Family)


A Hero In Heaven:  
Well done, my good and faithful servant

Pastor Eliú Gutierrez planted multiple churches in some of the most remote and impoverished regions of Guatemala.  He is truly a hero of the Christian faith, and God in His sovereign plan, called him home.  His absence is a tremendous loss to his own family, and the Global Infusion family.  We pray that the Holy Spirit comforts his wife and children, and the ministry they began will be sustained and grow. 

Thank you Pastor Eliú for living a life that has left a godly legacy.  We will see each other again, my brother.

Jonathan Haward, President & Founder
Global Infusion

Friday, March 25, 2016

If Everything Is Missions



For most of my life I’ve periodically heard the phrase, “you’re a missionary wherever you go.”  I suppose I understand the general meaning behind it, but over the course of leading 70 foreign mission trips I’ve encountered a lot of actual cross-cultural missionaries.  When I see what they deal with every day, and hear their stories, I’m not so sure that what I face when I’m home compares at all.  I can only imagine what it would be like to move my family to the other side of the planet, say goodbye to all friends and family, learn a new language, dress differently, eat strange food, battle exposure to foreign diseases, resort to sketchy transportation to get around, shop for the necessities of life with new currency, struggle with the paperwork and planning of visas, flights, homeschooling their kids, and deal with oppressive political and religious regimes ruling the country—some of whom are determined to eradicate their nation of Christians either by eviction or execution. 


 Missionaries are not overseas to make money; in fact, they live on donations.  Their entire “job” revolves around winning the lost, discipling and training believers, and figuring out ways to meet the physical needs of people: food, water, clothing, education, medicine and health care, abandoned children.  They do this on limited resources, technology, and most are surrounded by practicing false cults and religions. 


 In 1959, Scottish missionary Stephen Neill wrote, “If everything is mission, then nothing is mission.” In other words, if you a “missionary” every day, everywhere, then there is no intentionality.  Jesus purposefully sent out His followers (Matthew 10:16), and He purposefully commissioned the rest of us to “go” into all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). 


Not known as a missionary, Gospel singer and songwriter, Keith Green, astutely observed, “A Christian missionary is a person whose passion is to make the Lord Jesus known to the whole world.  I believe that ‘being a missionary’ in the truest sense of the word is taking the Gospel where it has never been before, or at least to a different culture or a different language group.  A true missionary is someone who will risk everything for the sake of the lost of the world.”


We are Christians wherever we go, and that is certainly not a lesser title; just as being a missionary is not a higher form of Christianity.  In fact, it is a very specific calling.  As Christians, we should be evangelists in our home country, yet if the opportunity presents itself, I shamelessly implore you to join a short-term missions team, or if God asks, then answer the call of long-term [cross-cultural] missions. 2 billion people haven’t heard the name of Jesus once.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beyond Our Borders

I’ve noticed that while Jesus was on the earth, He was always moving.  He did not stay in His hometown of Nazareth.  In fact, He rarely stayed anywhere for very long.  He was on a mission to reach the hurting, the dying, the sick, the demonized, and the lost.  Were there no lost or sick people in Nazareth?  Most likely there was, but He went out beyond the borders of His home to reach the unreached, the untouchable, those who needed Him the most. 


Global Infusion has already sent out our first mission team of the year. Team Guatemala spent most of their time physically improving a school that does not get government support.  They do, however, preach the Gospel—as did our team.  


Our next team this month will be headed to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal.  Our medical team will facilitate free clinics and share Jesus among the unreached Buddhists, as we trek for miles from one village to another. 


In John 4, Jesus leaves Judah to go to Galilee.  He intentionally stops in Samaria—a very foreign and despised culture to the Jews.  Then He makes His way over to a well, and started a conversation with a Samaritan woman.  This even was not random—it did not occur simply because He happened to be going through Samaria.  It was a God-ordained moment.


Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 

Jesus regularly went to foreign locations to purposely connect with lost people who did not share His cultural background so that they might be saved.  We should do the same.

Friday, January 29, 2016

365



Every January, I think back on the previous year and what God has done through Global Infusion.  In 2015, we sent out 24 mission teams, and launched 2 full-time missionaries.  I think about the hundreds, if not, thousands of lives that were changed.  Many people received Jesus for the first time, and many more received care and the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothes, medical treatment, and education.



It is January again.  On January 1st I thought about how many thousands of people could we potentially reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the next 365 days.  How many more new souls will be in the Kingdom by December 31, 2016.  Well, that all depends.  It depends on how many people will say “yes” to the call of missions.  It depends on how many people will support Global Infusion as we are only limited in our outreaches by the amount of funds we have raised prior to each trip.  It depends on how many of us will pray for the nations.

Go. Give. Pray.   These are the three ways that God can use us to accomplish His will.  In Habakkuk 1:5, God says, “Look among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

The salvation of people in this world all starts and ends with Jesus, yet He has called us to join Him.  Who will go?  Who will give?  Who will pray? 


It is January, but think ahead.  Before the ball drops on New Years Eve of 2016, wouldn’t you like to say that you were a part of seeing souls reached for Jesus?  People who have never heard the Gospel even once?  How about those who live in abject poverty that do not have government assistance or the resources of the United States?  Those who live in garbage dumps.  Children who begin working full-time in the fields before the age of 10.  Those who fear for their life because of an oppressive political regime or demonically saturated religions in their country that seek to destroy them.  365 days. The clock is ticking. What will you do?


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas for Immigrants and Refugees



Two weeks ago, GI completed our 24th mission trip of the year.  We were in what is now our newest country site: Costa Rica.  While Costa Rica might be known as being on the higher end of the economic scale in Central America, our contacts brought us to a banana plantation where conditions are far from ideal.

While we were there, we learned that 80-90% of the workers are immigrants from Nicaragua looking for work.  The rest are Costa Rican, and all of them are living in poverty.  Most kids barely make it past elementary school.  When we showed up to do a kids outreach, the candy, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring sheets may be all they will get for Christmas.  For their families, food is a higher priority than presents.   

Yet in the midst of poverty, we saw more than a dozen children give their lives to Jesus.

GI also works in partnership with one of our contacts who is helping Syrian refugees.  These refugees are just on the other side of their home country’s border—they flee Syria, and live in Lebanon.  They are in need of food, shelter, medical supplies, and much more.  Thanks to the amazing work our long-time Middle-Eastern contact, we have been able to help many families as they are about to brave a harsh winter—living in refugee camps, wishing they could just go home.

It is not new to bring up the fact that those of us in the first-world probably had a very different Christmas than most immigrants and refugees.   The baby’s birth whom we celebrated this month grew to be a man and said, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’” (Matthew 25:35-36).  Know that when you support Global Infusion, we are doing exactly that.  Thank you, to all who have given in 2015.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Cost of Missions



As President and Founder of Global Infusion, one of my passions since Day 1 has been to diligently seek the Lord to have Him lead us to our Kingdom assignments around the world.  While there are millions of people doing amazing things for God in many countries, I have learned that there is a big difference between a good idea, and a God idea. 


It is a good idea to evangelize, help the poor, pray for the sick, and be a light in the darkness.  However, when we do so in the time and place that God specifically ordained for us, both the immediate and long-term impact is far more effective.


The cost of missions is high.  I find that it is easy to misinterpret the famous “count the cost” verse in Luke 14:28 as considering the call to missions as optional.  It is not optional.  It is mandated.  We may not have all the resources at our disposal to reach the world, but that should not inhibit us from going.  The longer I’m engaged in missions, the more I meet people of God, indigenous and cross-cultural, who just find a way to make it all happen. They operate in faith.  They have nothing.  Yet they do everything they can to reach the lost, sick, and hopeless.

Money is always one of the first reasons I hear as to why traveling and doing either short or long term missions is not viable.  Distance from home, being away from life, work, school and family are other reasons I have received for not going.


As I write this, my dad has suffered a heart attack while in India on a GI mission trip.  He is in a hospital after having surgery, and I am on my way to be with him and bring him home.  I myself have had more than one IV in a remote village.  Every missionary can tell you war stories, but that is not the point.  The point is that we know the risk.  We know it’s not easy.  We know the funds are not always there.  While these things may be true, the bigger picture is this:  there are lost people in this world who will die in their sin and live eternally separate from God unless someone tells them about Jesus.  That is why we go. 


UPDATE:  I am now back from India.  My father had to have 2 heart operations, and we were able to travel home.  We thank God for several miracles that kept him alive.  Please pray for a full recovery.