“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest,” (Matthew 9: 36-38, nasb).
Today there is a need for additional missionaries as never before to work with the unreached, orphans, prisoners, needy pastors, trafficked people, street children, the Diaspora, those in slavery, and millions needing the Word of God in their language:
1. It is estimated that there are two billion people with no nearby Christian to share the gospel with them. If the church worldwide sent one missionary to each group of 5000 of the two billion, there would be the need for 400,000 (four hundred thousand) additional missionaries today!
2. There are now an estimated 159 million orphans worldwide. With the increased expense and difficulty of adoption internationally, each evangelical church worldwide needs to prayerfully do all it can to provide care, families, and the gospel to these children. Each church should consider having a local orphan and children outreach (James 1:27) and also send missionaries worldwide to minister to orphans. [Orphan Outreach, May 2013]
3. There are an estimated 100 million street children throughout the world. Thousands of missionaries are needed to work through local evangelical churches to take the gospel and compassionate care to these children on the streets of Bogotá, Manila, México City, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and other major cities worldwide. [UNICEF]
4. Missionaries to the over 10 million prisoners are needed. Worldwide opportunities are open to minister the gospel and compassion in prisons, especially in poor countries. A special outreach is needed also to the poor families (wives and children) of prisoners in countries like Colombia, Malawi, Philippines, and Uganda. For every one person in prison, it adversely affects 6-10 family members or friends (60 to 100 million people)! [Prisoners for Christ; CIA World Fact Book]
5. Trafficked People. Human trafficking is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise in the world behind narcotics. There are 20.9 million people in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world. Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are female and up to 50% are minors. There are nearly 300,000 children at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. An estimated 100,000 minors are in the commercial sex trade in the United States alone.
Many missionaries and local Christian workers are needed to expose this sin, to minister to victims, to be an advocate, and to volunteer and serve in aftercare homes. You may want to read the article “What Christians Do about Modern Day Slavery” by Ben Reaoch. [Trafficking in Persons Report 2012; U.S. State Department; U.S. Department of Justice; Polaris Project]
6. The “Diaspora” (People on the Move). God’s people are urgently challenged to reach out with the gospel and compassion to the Diaspora worldwide. The Diaspora means “people on the move” — to the Iraqis in Toronto, the Filipinos in Jerusalem, the Somalis in Minneapolis, the Mexicans in Seattle, and East Indians in the Philippines. The United Nations (2013) estimates there are some 15.4 million refugees worldwide today. Nearly 60,000 arrive* in the US yearly from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, and other countries. There are also 15 to 20 million Filipinos working and living outside the Philippines; 845,000 in Canada and 3.5 million in the US. [Filipino International Network, Global Diaspora Network] [*http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ois_rfa_fr_2012.pdf p. 1]
7. People in Slavery. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world. Perhaps God would raise up people from your church to deal with this matter, such as the estimated 400,000 young children in slavery in Haiti. (iabolish.org)
8. Languages Needing the Word of God. There are approximately 1960 languages still needing to be analyzed and written and the Word of God translated and printed. With teams of four (4) recommended per translation, there is a need for nearly 8,000 more linguists & Bible translators to provide the Scriptures in those unwritten languages. [Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada]
9. Hundreds of older godly mentors (couples) are needed to work with (to encourage and mentor) the estimated two to three million untrained needy pastors worldwide; for example there are 41,000 untrained and under trained pastors in the Philippines, many of whom earn less than $20 monthly and have no resources for training, books, or even sufficient funds to care for their families. Two hundred (200) missionary couples could be used effectively in the Philippines with each couple working with over 200 pastors and their family. What a great investment this would be for two to eight years!
10. Business developers for countries which do not give visas to missionaries. More than four billion people live in countries closed to vocational ministry workers but are wide open to Christians who create jobs in the name of Jesus. According to a recent poll, “…the single most searing, clarifying, helpful world-altering fact is that what the whole world wants most is a good job.” (Jim Clifton, CEO Gallup). The Moravians, William Carey, Mennonites, Hudson Taylor and many others lived in the marketplace as a way of making disciples for Jesus.
Perhaps you would prayerfully consider using your spiritual gifts in the following needs and opportunities, locally or in other countries; your gift of helps, hospitality, service, leadership, teaching, mercy, faith, wisdom…Please pray about this possibility!