In 2018, God granted AGWM access to 140 countries where 2,700 ministry personnel reached the spiritually lost, planted churches, trained local believers, and served the poor and suffering.
The goal of AGWM is the same among every tribe and nation: to see Jesus made known and communities of faith in Him established within every people group on the face of the earth.
Even in countries physically easy to access, hearts may be closed to Christianity, posing great spiritual challenges. In other locations, physical access is the greater challenge while hearts stand wide open.
Across the vast area of Asia Pacific, nations pose challenges of closed hearts, closed borders, and many scenarios in between. Yet the following three reports come from very different areas of Asia Pacific, each describing access wins from 2018 and access dreams from 2019.
In 2018, new ministry opportunities arose with the recent emigration of 30,000 North Koreans into South Korea. In cooperation with other outreaches, AGWM engages in providing the life skills and education necessary to integrate into a free society. These trainings present faith, revealing the love of Christ through the lives of believers who interact directly with North Koreans. “We ask people to pray with us that the Lord of the Harvest will call laborers to become our team members as we prepare for access opportunities,” says Jeff Hartensveld, Asia Pacific regional director.
In 2019, just northeast of Australia, AGWM is serving in the Solomon Islands, home to nearly 700,000 people. These and other islands present physical barriers reminiscent of pioneer missions days — such as forging rivers and seeking out remote jungle tribes. “The church is growing explosively in Pacific Oceania,” says Bryan Webb, an Asia Pacific area director, “and if people are willing to make the sacrifice to work here, there will be a huge return.” The AG general superintendent of the Solomon Islands has requested missionaries to train pastors, plant churches, and engage in community development. “If you’re willing to give yourself and go to the hard places,” Bryan says, “God can use you to change the destiny of this nation.”
In 2019, evangelism efforts continue in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population (about 225 million Muslims out of 264 million Indonesians). Annisa* and Farah*, two young Indonesian women who have recently come to Christ, are participating in The Jonah Initiative, an evangelistic training program of Global Initiative: Reaching Muslim Peoples. They are believing for the salvation of not only their father and extended family but also the many other Muslims of their nation. The Indonesian AG’s church planting initiative aims to see more of their country come to Christ in 2019. “It is thrilling to see the Holy Spirit drawing Muslim people to Christ and infusing the hearts of Christians with a desire to share the gospel with them,” says Zane*, a Global Initiative leader. “The enemy of our souls is fighting, but the Spirit is moving powerfully in Indonesia.”
*Names changed for security.