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April 13, 2011

God at Work Worldwide

GlobeA few months ago, Doug Nichols, Founder & International Director Emeritus of ACTION International, sent out these statistics on the growth of the church in many places. It's clear that the opportunities for using our financial resources to spread the gospel and strengthen the church all over the world are stronger than they’ve ever been. As God raised up Esther for just such a time as hers, I’m convinced He’s raised us up, with all our wealth, to help fulfill the Great Commission. The question is, what are we doing with that money? Our job is to make sure it gets to His intended recipients.

What God is Doing Worldwide
By Doug Nichols

Nepal: The strong breakthrough in Nepal that crosses caste lines throughout the country is one of the amazing works of God. In 1950, there were no known believers. The first church was formed in 1959 with 29 believers; there were an estimated 7,400 Christians in 1970; by 1985 there were about 50,000 believers. At the climax of persecution in 1990 there were 200,000; 574,000 in 2000; 904,000 in 2010.

India: In a place historically known as a “missionary graveyard,” a church planting movement among the Bhojpuri people over 20 years resulted in more than 80,000 new churches and over 4 million baptized, obeying believers.

Madhya Pradesh State in India: a church planting movement produced 4,000 congregations in seven years.

What God is doing in the Buddhist World: (575 Missing Peoples, 617 million individuals)

Mongolia: In 1989 perhaps four former Buddhist believers could be found. A church planting movement in the 1990’s in Outer Mongolia produced more than 10,000 followers of Jesus while a subsequent movement in Inner Mongolia has resulted in more than 50,000 new believers.

Thailand: In central Thailand a worker started with community and economic development and continued with intentional church planting, leading to the beginning of transformation in the local community.

What God is doing in China:

China: In 1949 there were some 1.5 million Protestants in China. Now there may be more than 100 million or more Christians who have grown in number through sacrifice and commitment in sharing their faith, prayer and worship despite persecution. In Henan Province Christ-followers grew from a total of a million to more than five million in only eight years. In southern China a church planting movement produced more than 90,000 baptized believers in 920 house churches in eight years time.  In 2001 a newly emerging Church Planting movement yields 48,000 new believers and 1,700 new churches in one year.

What God is doing in Africa: Over the past century, the number of believers has grown from nine million to more than 360 million. Each month an estimated 1,200 new churches are started in Africa. In eight months, 28 Ethiopian evangelists led 681 persons to Christ and started 83 new churches. Today, after years of resistance to the gospel, some 90,000 of Kenya’s 600,000 Maasai are followers of Jesus Christ.

What God is doing in the Muslim World: (3354 Missing Peoples, 1.46 billion individuals)

Turkey: In 1960 there were 10 known believers. In the year 2000, there were an estimated 2,000. In 2010 the World Christian Database shows 14,000 believers. While many see openness, there is still a long way to go.

Bangladesh: From 1998 to 2003, the Isa Jamaat Movement produced more than 250,000 Muslim background believers worshiping in an estimated 8,000 contextualized churches.

The Arabian Peninsula: Progress has been slow in this area since Samuel Zwemer’s efforts beginning in 1890. Key prayer focus upon this area since the 1990s has resulted in some beginnings.  Despite the challenges, there are an estimated 74,000+ Arabian Peninsula believers.

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