God has opened the doors for us to start working in Pakistan. We’re excited and celebrating!
Here’s a quick who, where, how and why of our partnership with Pakistan and the reasons you should be celebrating this news with us!
GEM was created because we are passionate about obeying God. Scripture speaks clearly that our mission as disciples of Jesus is to be disciple makers. We are commanded to go by Jesus (Matt 28:19)…. compelled to go by hope and love… to the ends of the earth to share the message of hope and tell people about Jesus and what He has done. We should always be a people with Romans 4:25 overflowing from our hearts and jumping from our lips… “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Like almost anything in scripture, the topic of missions is up for debate. Loving, well-intended Christians and faithful brothers will argue the finer points of the who, how, where, and why questions of missions. Our study of scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit have caused us to form strong and firm positions on these issues, which consequently define who we are as Christians, who we are as an organization, and why we are going to start working in Pakistan.
Here’s a quick breakdown. First, our “WHERE” and “WHY” answers.
GEM is made of people whose hope is only found in Jesus and whose vision is global. Our name starts with “global,” because our passion is to be open and available to be used by God anywhere. He is the great God who created this world, and He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22). He has given us His Spirit and He propels us into good works that please him (Rom 8:9). So we don’t choose a global mission for any reasons other than the fact that we love God, and He has chosen us, given us His Spirit, equipped us, and sent us. We love Him, so we want to obey Him – no matter what – no matter where. As an organization, this means we’re glad to serve Him in one place, Puerto Escondido, Mexico, or many places, all around the world. He commands and we gladly obey our good and loving Father. Right now He is opening doors in Pakistan- so we go. This is our where and why.
But it’s the how and who that really makes GEM unique and special.
This is our “HOW”.
There are a million ways to “fulfill” the Great Commission. Jesus said “go” but didn’t explicitly say, “go and do it exactly like this.” He didn’t need to. His life and His teaching makes it clear. Making disciples is much more than talking someone into something or convincing someone to pray a prayer with you. We plant seeds. We water. We speak words of truth and life, which is the gospel – but it’s only God who does the saving. He raises the dead and gives sight to the blind. We go with a message, He performs the miracle, and then we’re instructed to baptize and teach.
Making disciples is something that happens in an instant but also continues over time. In an instant, we are born again and made new in Christ (2 Cor 5:17); In a moment, we are baptized, but it takes a lifetime to learn to obey all that Jesus commanded.
There are ministries and missionaries all over the world, serving in all types of ways. Some stand on street corners in big cities and shout their message…others move into remote indigenous areas and learn the local language to whisper Gods words to the people. Others use sports, activities, hobbies, social issues, housing, medicine, art – anything to connect with people in a way that might matter for the gospel. Some move all over the world, while others don’t move at all. Obviously, some of these ways are really effective based on the fruit of their work, and others aren’t. But in all of that, we are glad for our brothers and sisters who are willing to “go” across the street or across the world and use whatever they can to make disciples.
We believe time is short, our chance is limited, and we know we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. So for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness, we believe the best way for us to make disciples is to use education. Schools and quality education don’t save people, but when used rightly I can’t think of a better tool to make real disciples and strengthen the local church.
Through education, we can serve people and meet their real practical needs. Jesus speaks of this…James speaks of this…Timothy speaks of this. What good is our faith – or how genuine is our faith, if we give someone a message of hope, yet walk away in comfort and ignore their physical needs. Making real disciples means being close enough to people to truly know their concerns and needs and doing something about it. In addition to Jesus, James, and Timothy, Paul commanded that we look to the interests of others (Phil 2:4). The word of God is clear – the genuineness of your message and your faith is exposed by how you treat those that God brings into your life. What’s this have to do with education? Everything! It is a real need all over the world, and we can do something to help people!
New schools mean new opportunities and new hope – a real way to meets hundreds of real life needs, but most importantly, it also creates a space for a Jesus loving teacher to connect with those who don’t know Jesus. Think about a classroom. A normal elementary teacher will spend over 1,000 hours EVERY YEAR, with their students. If that teachers’ hope is Jesus and their message is the gospel, how could those students not be impacted in eternal ways? All year long the message of hope will spill from that teacher’s lips and their life. Students will not only be having a real need met, but they’ll also be hearing about the one thing that will take care of their spiritual needs.
A student might hear the gospel on day 1 and be forever changed, but if a real disciple of Jesus is going to be made, how will a disciple maker do that without time and trust. We don’t need a relationship with a person for them to receive the gospel, but we absolutely need a relationship with someone if we’re going to “teach them to obey everything” Jesus commanded. Paul is our example. He told new believers over and over again, “imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). In other words, learn from me by watching how I do life and respond to things. This requires closeness and a relationship.
What an opportunity missionaries have in a classroom! We share the message (speak), we live the message (serve), and we model the message (teach). This is why our focus is education….this is our how.
And finally… our “WHO”.
The best people to carry this across the globe are local people who have the same vision. As an organization, we have been praying for local leaders that we can partner with. To reach the most people possible, to build something that is truly sustainable, we will need local people who are like-minded.
God has heard our prayers and has allowed us over the last year to form a relationship with Lamuel Sadiq, a Pakistani man who loves Jesus. He runs a school ministry in Multan and has a vision of using education all throughout the region to spread the gospel and make disciples of Jesus. Over the last year we’ve prayed, shared stories, talked about our visions and plans and allowed God to lead. What’s happened is truly amazing. God has allowed us to enter into a short-term partnership, in which GEM will begin supporting and strengthening the ministry happening through his school. It appears to be a great fit and perfect for kingdom advancement, especially when learning about the need for education and the gospel in this region of the world. We are excited and have dreams about dozens of schools around Multan, Pakistan, and thousands of kids coming under biblical teaching, but our greatest desire remains the same. We want to listen to God and obey. We’re excited, and we’re celebrating this expansion and new project – but we’re not going to run ahead of God with our own plans. He is the one that has set up this partnership, and He will be the one that will allow us to pursue something long term…IF it is His will.
You are a part of GEM and a part of this new project. GEM isn’t just a small group of people living in Wilmington, NC or Puerto Escondido, Mexico. It’s a big collection of people living all over the world who want to be involved in missions and who are doing something about it. We’re all stakeholders. We’re all involved. And we’re all being used by God to do great things.
This is a cause for celebration! So let’s rejoice…rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS!
-Casey Herring, GEM Founder and Director
For more information or to donate to this project, click here.