Featured in the January, 2017 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
The “modern” missionary movement is dated from William Carey, the English Baptist missionary who went to India in 1793. During that same period, Andoniram Judson went from the United States to Burma; David Livingston to Africa; and Hudson Taylor to China.
At this time, the pagan world did not have Christians, nor churches nor a translation of the Bible. It was necessary for missionaries to go from Europe and North America to win people to Christ, start churches and translate the Scriptures in to the local language.
These early missionaries in the 1800’s and even into the early 1900’s went at great personal sacrifice, labored with limited results and laid the foundation for future Christian works.
Now, all that is history. At the present time, there are Christians in every country in the world and churches in every nation, except where absolutely outlawed, such as in Saudi Arabia. Except in some special cases, it is no longer necessary to send missionaries from our country to foreign lands. An American going abroad struggles with the language, has trouble adapting to the culture, finds the food different and sometimes the climate oppressive to say nothing of the cost of sending an American to another country and supporting him while there.
The sound missionary strategy in today’s world is to find natives in a country who are believers and are called of God to do missionary work and support these people at level needed in that country. These people already know the language, are familiar with the culture, the food does not bother them, the climate is not a problem. They are accepted because they are not foreigners.
The missionaries that Ashburn Baptist supports in the Philippines, India, Israel, Romania and the Ukraine are all natives. The language, the culture is theirs.
Furthermore, there is no missionary society involved. If there is a missionary society, there has to be a headquarters someplace in the states, a building that costs money or monthly rental, offices, staff, secretaries, executives and a significant payroll. Missionaries supported under a missionary society do not get the complete missionary dollar. There is overhead, there is administrative expense, there are numerous salaries of non-missionaries that have to be paid.
At Ashburn Baptist, the check goes from the church to the missionary. The accountant who draws the check is a volunteer as is the deacon who signs it. Administrative costs are at zero. Everyone who gives to the missionary program of Ashburn Baptist knows that 100 cents on the dollar goes directly to the missionary.
Ashburn Baptist has been blessed with having marvelous missionaries. Not one has spent time in language study. They have no problem with the culture or the climate. Their efforts for our Savior are highly successful in winning people to Christ and starting churches.