Episode 46

November 07, 2023


What is CMML? - Craig Fritchey

Hosted by

Erik Rasmussen
What is CMML? - Craig Fritchey
The Concerning Him Podcast
What is CMML? - Craig Fritchey

Nov 07 2023 | 01:09:53


Show Notes

Craig Fritchey comes back on the podcast to discuss the history of CMML and its current purpose today. 

For more information about CMML, visit: https://www.cmml.us/
Donate to CMML, a specific missionary, or a ministry organization: https://www.cmml.us/donate
Receieve regular updates from CMML: https://www.cmml.us/Updates

Concerning Him - https://concerninghim.com/
Concerning Him Podcast - https://concerninghim.com/podcast/

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Speaker A: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Concerning Him podcast, brought to you by Emmaus Bible College. More information on Emmaus. Visit emmaus.edu for more information about concerning him concerning Him today we are welcomed back by Craig fritche. I'm excited to have you back, Craig. [00:00:25] Speaker B: Thanks so much, Eric. It's good to be back on the I. [00:00:29] Speaker A: Am I pronouncing Fritzi? Correctly. [00:00:31] Speaker B: You are, yeah. [00:00:32] Speaker A: Okay, good. I worry about name pronunciations with this all the time. Last time we had you on, we talked about Anthem Songs, the new hymn book. It was a great conversation. I don't know if you've gotten any feedback from it. I had a lot of people talk to me about, oh, man, I maybe just heard about the hymn book, but I wasn't really sure what the purpose of it, what the goal was, who was doing it, and I think a lot of people really appreciated everything that you had to say. So if you're curious about this new hymn book, I'd say go back and listen to the Anthem Songs episode. You can find it on YouTube or any of your podcast platforms. But yeah, that was a fun conversation. [00:01:11] Speaker B: Yeah, it was great. We did get a lot of feedback, and it was really good to have a place where we could point people here, go hear the whole story. So thanks for having me on. [00:01:19] Speaker A: Absolutely. And if anybody listening wants to learn more about Craig and kind of his background, his passions, I think we covered some of that at the beginning of the podcast. So you can go check out that podcast. But today I'm excited to have you on because I want to talk about CMML. CMML is this is who you work for? I mean, Anthem Songs is your side project, right? But CMML is your full time employer. Maybe you could just I mean, this is an easy softball question, Craig, but what's CMML stand for? [00:01:53] Speaker B: CMML is Christian missions in many lands. A very descriptive name for what we do. [00:02:00] Speaker A: And what exactly is your job description, your job title and description there at CMML? [00:02:05] Speaker B: Sure. So my official title is Assembly Relations, but underneath that is nestled a number of things. So I basically am the person that represents and liaids between CMML and all the North American assemblies. So that includes conferences that would include working with, commendations and sending out of missionaries and any questions anyone in North America has about CML or missions. I'm also the organizational security manager, so I kind of make sure that the organization is protected from people that don't want its best and security issues and things that would relate to the organization. And I also help run all the conferences. So Assembly Relations is the big title for all these other jobs and things. [00:02:57] Speaker A: Sounds like three full time jobs to me. [00:03:00] Speaker B: It is. [00:03:01] Speaker A: That's wonderful. [00:03:03] Speaker B: Well, that's Christian ministry. [00:03:05] Speaker A: Exactly. I want to maybe talk about the and a lot of this, I don't really know. Obviously I'm familiar with CMML, but I want to get to maybe the purpose or the vision of the organization. But I think it would be really helpful if we got there by kind of walking through the history of CMML. So maybe you could take us through how did it get started, what was the goal, what was the vision, and what are some things that happened along the way? [00:03:32] Speaker B: Yeah, so CMML Limited, which was the originally, and now it's CMML Incorporated, was founded in 1921. But the story of missions goes a little bit further back to the 1880s and 1890s. That's when the assembly movement, the Brother movement, started to really grow here in North America. Kind of started during the Civil War when Darby came over, and then by the 1880s, things were growing, and there were a lot of assemblies around, and that's when we had commended. We have on record first missionaries being commended in the 1880s. There were three single people that were commended back then, and they all went to China with a bunch of Canadian and British missionaries, and it was really cool. Thomas Melville, Eliza Logan and Eliza Lennox. Were the first three missionaries commended? Eliza Lennox brought her twelve year old daughter along with her. She was a widow, and the four of them served in China. Thomas Melville married a British missionary. They became huge church planters all throughout China. A lot of that was pretty much wiped out in the 1930s when communism came in. A lot of people were killed, but Thomas did huge work. Eliza Logan died in childbirth just five years after she got there, so not much is known about her. She married a British missionary also, and she passed away. And Eliza Lennox and her twelve year old daughter Clara, they went on to start a school, and they were masters of a language. They had a huge impact on children in China. And so that was kind of where Christian missions from the United States Assembly started. And what happened, though, is more and more people started to go out. People really caught the vision for that. And by the early 19 hundreds, there were a good number of missionaries that were commended. And because of our method, we really try to follow the Acts 13 principle of missions where people are serving in their local church. The elders are praying, they're fasting, they're seeking the Lord and the Holy Spirit sets aside people to go away, to leave the local church and go out with a mission. And the church commends them and they send them out. And that was a very popular and very important part of our movement, actually, from the beginning. Anthony Norris Groves is one of the founding brothers of the Brethren movement, and his model of missions is faith based missions. You have, as well as George Mueller, who was the father of faith based living and the two of them were actually brothers in law and they really pushed this idea of living by faith. And so our missionaries were sent out by faith. And there came a point, though, in the early 19 hundreds where yes, there were a number of missionaries going out but things had kind of waned in the assemblies in North America. Things were a little bit down and just they were wondering like what's God doing? And so there was a group of men that prayed regularly in New York City. There's some pretty important names. Sydney Perron is one of those guys and there were others but there's a big foundation named after him and L. A. Steen and so many others. But what happened is they started to realize that they needed to make an effort among the next generation to get them interested in the Lord's work. And so they had a prayer meeting, basically and they prayed about it. And then from that there was founded a school for missionaries. And that was super interesting because this school for missionaries ran only for ten years. But if you know anything about assembly, missions, history, every name that really comes up from the early 19 hundreds they went to this school and it was founded by a man named Richard Hill and his wife. And he was part of this prayer group and his brother was a missionary in India and he had served for a while in the Middle East and they just had a heart for missions. But they knew it needed to be more than just these men and women that had the call and the burden to see the lost saved around the world. And so they founded a conference and it was called the Sea Cliff Conferences. It was on Long Island and it was basically seven weeks of prayer meetings and no schedule. They would pray and then different people would share as the Lord led and they would have testimony times and they would talk. Missionaries would come and they would share and they would teach the Bible and give them solid foundations in the word of God. And wouldn't you know, out of seven weeks of prayer over 2000 people came to this thing and the Lord brought revival. And from that a lot of missionaries started going out and a lot of full time workers started going out to even spread the gospel here in the US. And it kind of became a seed for something quite larger. And after that, in the early 1920s and 1920, 1921 there became some issues as all these missionaries started to go out, countries started to say hey, who are these crazy people coming? They're not part of the Southern Baptist, they're not part of the Methodists, they're not part of China end limit mission. Who are these people and why are they here? And so there needed to be some kind of verifying agency that would say these people are not crazy. They're here as missionaries. And so that's how CMML Limited was created. It was simply created to be kind of like a stamp, a rubber stamp for missionaries that, yeah, they're backed by a church. They're part of our movement of churches, and they're good. You can let them in. That was basically the role of CMML for half of its life, to just be that they would write letters of guarantee, and they deal with paperwork for our missionaries now at the same time that that's going on. Go ahead, Craig. [00:09:48] Speaker A: Is that almost because of the absence of a real denomination? Is that correct? Where CML is kind of stepping, you know, most people being used to missionaries being sent from a denomination. So CML is just kind of filling that void. [00:10:03] Speaker B: Right. So all missionaries, really, even up till today, are either sent through their denominations, so, like, the Southern Baptist Mission is an example of that, or there's various other ones, or they're sent through organizations. So back in those days, it would have been the China Inland Mission. Today, it'd be like Pioneers or Ethnos 360. These organizations, they'd come on staff of these organizations, and then they would go and serve as missionaries. Where our model is Go, where God calls you and be sent by your local church. Local church driven missions is our motto, really. And it's this idea that we should not divorce the local church from the foreign mission field. And they are. Together, they're an extension of one another. It's all Christ church. And so that provides problems, though, because most local churches, they have no way in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa. How do people know how to send money over to Malaysia or write a letter of guarantee? Especially think back in this time. Yes, there were lots of businessmen in New York that could do that, and that's where they came in. These businessmen in New York said, let's use our skills, our abilities for the work of God. And that's exactly what they did. And offices were set up in New York City to help take care of this. Now, while this is going on, so Christian Missions of many lands is happening about ten years earlier, 20 years earlier, 19, four, there was this guy named La Steen. He was a captain, actually. And him and this other guy, RJ McLaughlin from Bronx, New York, they started collecting letters that they were receiving from missionaries overseas. Now, you got to remember, letters were brought over on a ship right in a bag. And they took months and months to come. And so they were very precious back then. And so they were collecting these letters, and they would publish them in a leaflet that they called Voices from the Vineyard. And it was a leaflet of missionary prayer requests and missionary reports so that the churches could pray for what was going on overseas. And that started to grow. And it grew, and eventually it grew to a circulation of about 14,000 copies in circulation over the years. And it was a quarterly free, subscription free magazine. It came out every quarter. And it was very unprofessional. Like, they would skip quarters. They would do like three years. Sometimes there'd be like five. And also, it's so old that I think we have all but one or two of the originals, so we think we're missing one. But it was really cool to look back on these because they stayed very true to their mission for almost their entire existence. And they focused on reports and letters from missionaries. They didn't go into scriptural commentary or any of that stuff. It was all very much report driven missions and always free. And that was happening from 19 four on. But naturally, when people hear about what God's doing on the field, they want to give, right? And so Voices from the Vineyard started to collect donations. And CML was involved in that as well, in helping get the funds to where they needed to go. But Voices had their own set as well of just how to transfer funds, where to go at the same time. And not too far away in Manhattan. So we have Bronx and Manhattan. That means nothing to most people in the world. But if you know your boroughs of New York City, they were all very distinct, right? And they kind of did their own thing, almost operating like independent states. And so then you have Manhattan. There's another group, they started publishing a magazine called The Fields in 1938. So The Fields had a little bit of a broader scope. If you get our Missions magazine today, a lot of the front half of our magazine mirrors The Fields where the back half mirrors Voices, because we'll get to how that happened. But they charged for their magazine. It was a monthly subscription. It was actually a really nice magazine for its time. Kind of had that Life magazine feel to it. And it didn't just provide reports, but it also gave commentary on the mission field and how the church needed to rise up and be part of the work. It also was really big on promoting ladies missionary classes and missionary prayer meetings around. So they used to be called ladies sewing circles. So they'd get together and sew blankets for the babies in Africa, and they would ship them off in containers. And there were like dozens of these all around the country. Almost every state had one. Most major cities had them, these women's sewing circles. And they would pray and they would do crafts workers together, which is an organization that still exists today, kind of came out of that movement. At the same time, there was this missionary study class movement that was coming up where local regional assemblies would come together and study what God was doing around the world and then pray for it. And all of this also generated funds that people wanted to give to the missionaries. And so Fields also started collecting funds. You have CMML collecting funds. You had Voices from the Vineyard collecting funds, and you have the Fields collecting funds. And they're all basically in New York City. And the Fields had a lot of people working on it from Missouri and from Kansas as well, some people from Illinois that were editors. And it was a much bigger kind of a thing than Voices was as far as people involved in different regions. And so these different groups are working and plugging away and missions is a big deal. And it's got these big circulations at the same time. There's the couple named the Hacis and they lived in Jersey City. In New Jersey? They loved missionaries and a little bit biased. They loved missionaries because their daughter was a missionary, Julia. Julia married a dibble. She was julia hasi dibble. And they went to Nigeria. They did pioneer work in Nigeria among the Igala people. In fact, Mr. Dibble wrote the language for the Igala people and translated the Bible into the Igala language. And his sons, two of his sons continued on spen Dibble. Spencer Dibble and his daughter would be still there on the field. Spencer only had a son and two daughters, but she is still on the field and so is his grandson. They're all in Nigeria. That would be Lois Wheeler. And anyway, so this is generations of this, but they went out first. But Julia died on the mission field of black water fever, which would be like a form of malaria, very deadly spinal kind of malaria. And she was pregnant with their fourth child, which was a girl, and the baby was born stillborn, and she passed away. And I know I mentioned there were two major publications, voices from the Vineyard and The Fields. You got to remember, the early 19 hundreds were also an era of everybody had a publication, everyone printed leaflets. The printing press was like in full swing. And so there were tons of other little missionary pamphlets that were going around. And one was called The Echoes of Missionary Tidings that was published by Richard Hill, although he was involved in the other ones. He made his own for the missionary school. And Julia, of course, went to the missionary school. And in that document and one of the issues of The Echoes are her last words before she died, written by her husband. And it kind of went to the effect of I'm not quoting word for word, but the idea was there's no greater way to live than for the Lord. I wish my brothers and everyone would just live for the Lord and give their lives for him. She had no regrets on the mission field. And her final words really struck a chord in the region again. And it became kind of this call of who will go next? And so there was this idea in the 1920s, even into the who will go next? And so in 1929, her parents founded a Missionary Guest Home in New Jersey for missionaries to come and stay as they came across the ships on furlough. And in Yonkers, another town over there, there was a clothing center that another family developed. So when missionaries came and everyone came through New York City at that time, basically, even if you were from California, you took a train across the US. If you're trying to go to Europe, you're trying to go to anywhere but Asia, basically, you're going from New York City. And so a lot of our missionaries were going to Zambia, to Angola, that part of Africa. And they all just took the ship and they would stop there. In New York City. They'd stay in the Missionary Guest Home. They'd go to the clothing center and get their clothes. They'd visit Voices, they'd visit Fields, they'd check in with CMML. They'd go to the Canoworth Missionary Prayer meeting. And it was just kind of a place where people came to do their business and to receive that, like, as they went off to the mission field. It was a really neat time anyway. So that's going on for a number of years, from the 1920s all the way through the 70s, about 50 years. All of these organizations kind of coexisted. They worked together or not, depending on what the situation was. But they were all kind of doing the same thing. Voices had the magazine, fields had a magazine. CMML had the stamps of approval. Eventually, the fields started to make a Missionary Prayer handbook. Voices had a missionary calendar. And eventually, in the 70s or late 60s, someone said, why do we have so many organizations doing the same thing in the same city? Why don't we just come together? We even share board members. We're wasting the Lord's money in some aspects because we're just duplicating work. And so in the late 60s, early 70s, conversations began to join all of the organizations together. And in 1971, all the boards approved that that they would all come together. So this would have been the board for Fields, for Voices from the Vineyard and the Julia Haasi Memorial Missionary Home. Three of them voted to come together. By that point, the clothing center in Yonkers was already part of one of those organizations because they had come underneath their auspices. And so the whole group just kind of decided to come together. And then they needed to find a place where it all couldn't rest. One of the board members, his name was Dr. Hazel, and he went to my chapel, fifth Avenue Chapel in Belmont. He was a chiropractor, and one of his patients was Mother Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph. There was a convent down here in Wall, New Jersey, and many of the sisters came to him for care. Well, they were dying out. There weren't that many sisters coming back, and the whole convent was going to shut down and they were going to sell the building. There were a lot of people that wanted the building. Hugh Hefner wanted the building, a race car driver, a lot of movie stars. And the sisters just did not want to see the building. Leave the Lord's work. And so she said to Dr. Hazel, you're part of some Christian group, aren't you? Would you think of buying the property? And he brought it to the board, and they did for less than $300,000. We got the CMML guest home and property surrounding it, which now would be worth millions. It's really amazing how God provided it. They asked for more and they said, well, we don't have more. We can't do it. And so they said, no, we went in the Lord's work, you can have it. And so it's a provision of the Lord. I mean, you would never be able to get a property like this of even half this value today. You can even buy a house for $300,000 in New Jersey right now, let alone what we have here. And it's just a real blessing. So this property became the headquarters of the office where we processed all the donations, did the magazine, did the Per handbook. It was a guest home for missionaries. There's a clothing center here, and it's just a one stop shop for all these things, for our missionaries. And so took a little work. Everyone had different lists of missionaries. Who are we going to serve, who are we not going to serve, who doesn't want us to serve them because they're in a different camp and all of that stuff. But it's worked out really well over the years, and we've come together, and I think it became a real unifier for the assemblies in general. In the 70s. It became a place where everyone kind of said, yeah, this is our service organization. They help us, they help everybody. Similar to Emmaus Bible College, how that was something that brought people together at a certain era of like, this is where we send our young people to get training. And so that's the story of CMML. So that was 1972. We moved here. Since then, there's been a lot of changes, a lot of growth. The magazine switched from Fields and Voices to Missions magazine. It kind of combined the two things of reporting and also commentary on the Lord's work abroad. Our Pray hymn book has become like a real resource for people to pray. And that's the thing I would love to hit home on, is this organization was founded because people wanted to pray and because people were praying. And the money piece is what we talk about a lot, because the funding of Missions is a huge part of what we do. But the core of who we are is we want people to pray that God would build his church in this generation. And so that's where it starts. And the funds come out of that. The magazine, the conferences, our missions orientation training program, everything we do flows out of this desire to advance the spread of the gospel globally. And that's our vision is to advance the spread of the gospel globally. So there's your story. [00:24:30] Speaker A: So what are some of the things today that CML has going on? I mean, I know there's what you're describing as supporting missionaries and organizing and helping the support of missionaries and sending missionaries, but how would you kind of put into a few sentences all of the things that CMML is doing kind of under that umbrella of advancing the spread of the gospel globally? [00:24:56] Speaker B: Sure. Yeah. So the big thought is advancing the spread of the gospel globally through North American assemblies and their missionaries. So, first of all, that's the key. These are not our missionaries. It's not our organization. Our vision is to advance the spread of the gospel globally through the local assemblies in North America and their missionaries. And so a lot of people say, oh, that's a CMML missionary. Yes, that's fine. But really, it's whatever church they're commended from is missionary. But we would group it into three categories. We serve engaged, senders. Again, the local assemblies that are sending their missionaries. We want to equip them, to send them well, and to help them do that. We serve enabled servants. So we want missionaries to be enabled to do the work that God has called them to do and not worry about all of the technical stuff. And then we serve enthusiastic supporters. These are people in local churches and assemblies that want to support the work of God, that want to pray for it, that want to give to it, and want to know what's going on. And so that's kind of how we summarize all that we do falls underneath the service of senders servants or supporters. [00:26:10] Speaker A: Could you walk us through those three categories? I'm really curious. What are some of the things and I'm sure there's a ton of different examples, so you don't obviously have to cover everything, but some of the ways that you're serving the senders and serving the missionaries. Just walk us through those three categories. I'd be really curious. [00:26:29] Speaker B: Of course. Yeah. So there are about 900 assemblies in North America well, actually in the US. Alone, but only 190 of them have commended missionaries. That's, like, kind of dumbfounded to me because we are a very missions minded movement, and most assemblies support missionaries, but only 190 have actually sent out missionaries. And, oh, man, it's my desire that that would grow tenfold. We want everyone to send somebody, but some assemblies have sent, like, six families, and others, like, just one. So how we support them is we provide them the services to send their missionaries, right. So they can not have to worry about all of the details and figuring out how to support. And we are the hub where they can send all of that stuff through. Now, we don't take on the responsibility of accountability. They are the accountability source. So the missionary is accountable back to their home church, but we take care of a lot of the paperwork. We take care of all of the day to day work and the fun stuff and we help them send their workers well, we give them a lot of resources to use. We meet with them before they send the missionary away. We get together and make sure that they know all of the services that are available to them and we're there as really a help in any way they need. It a training source, information source, a go between if needed. We don't really want to get in the way of the relationship between the local church and the missionary, but we're there to help in any way we can. And the same is for a missionary. [00:28:17] Speaker A: Well, I was going to ask, does CML operate as a sort of filter in that process? No, we don't think you should be sending this person or we're not going to support that. Is there an evaluation aspect to that or is this we trust the local church and we're just here to help. [00:28:35] Speaker B: We really do depend heavily on the local church to do the right thing. I mean, we ask questions, we certainly do. We have an application and we ask questions. How did you come to know the Lord? When were you baptized? What is your ministry plan? And we do have a specific mission, like if they're going to retire gloriously in Fiji and then maybe help with the local church on the side, we say maybe commendation is not exactly for you. It doesn't really fit our mold. These are for full time active missionaries is what we have. And we do offer resources for commending churches. If they want evaluation tools, we have them. [00:29:20] Speaker A: Okay? [00:29:20] Speaker B: We've got surveys that they can give and just questions to ask. And there's a lot of work that I have been doing since I came into this role in assembly relations to help a lot commending assemblies think clearer and help them through that process. It's one of the things that we've been working on a lot this year is it's interesting. I'm an elder in my local assembly and there's a lot of elders that are of similar age to me and none of us have ever commended missionaries before. I was talking to one assembly and they were like, yeah, I was like seven when we last commended a missionary. I have no idea what it's about. And so we've been doing a lot of work for churches that want it. We don't require it. But any church that wants help, we're here to help. We're here to help you through the process, to give you resources to think clearer. To give you training opportunities and resources for the worker and kind of help as much as you want or need. So churches that have sent out six, 7810 missionaries, there's not a whole lot that we need to do to help them. And they've done all the legwork themselves. They know what they're supposed to do. And so it's working with them where they are and helping with how they need help. So there's some churches, really all we do is process funds for them and have a place where their missionary can be highlighted and prayed for publicly. They do everything else and it's really just like check, okay, we're good to go. Next missionary. Okay, good. And it's just different. I think we've been a big help to those that have missionaries in what we call special areas which would be countries that are very close to the gospel and really, you're not supposed to be there sharing the gospel. And we've been a big help to them because it's a scary thing to send maybe your daughter, a single daughter into that kind of a situation. So we've been able to provide help in a lot of ways for those kind of workers to give them the support they need to thrive and to do well in those situations. And that fits in really well, I think also with serving the missionaries, obviously we provide funds statements for them. We are a conduit for them to receive support. We provide different ministry tools for them as people give them to us. We're kind of a support for them if they need it. We've got our guest home here for them to rest. We've provided a lot of care for them in those aspects. Again, not taking the place of the care that the local church should be providing, but sometimes we do need to step in in those areas as well as needed. But being kind of a place where they can find help in time of need is kind of how we see ourselves there. Serving those who serve was an old motto we had, really. We're serving their churches and because we serve their churches, we're serving these workers and we want to care for them as we need to as they need. And we try to provide resources and show them what's available and be a sense kind of like a partner in arms in the work of God. There providing a place for them to easily share what God is doing, providing them an easy place where people can find them and to pray and kind of be their champion here in the States, just saying, hey, God's doing an amazing work all over the world. See what it is for our servants and then for supporters. We want to provide a lot of resources because we understand that if we don't know about something, it's not even on our radar. Right? Yeah, exactly. I don't know that there are lost in the world, I'm probably not going to care about them, right? And so something we really do focus on a lot is making sure people know that there's needs in this world, that there are people that don't know the gospel. And that's kind of the Heart behind Missions magazine and our prayer handbook, but also our conference ministry, whether it's the training of the Missions Orientation Program where prospective missionaries go to train or a lot of the other events. We do. We have our 26 below retreats, which are specifically geared towards teens and 20 somethings to put the mission field before them, to put the work of God before them and say, what will you do in your generation? God has done amazing things in the past and he's doing amazing things now. Here are the stories. What are you going to do and how are you going to be part of this work? And so we've developed a number of conferences to help with that. We've developed not just 26 Belows, but also we have an event here that we hold at the house called Reaching Higher, which is for like those twenty s and thirty year olds that are serving God already in their local churches and want to see what the next step for them would be in following Christ. And we do different kinds of events. Like our fall conference is coming up and a big focus we have right now is on the unreached. The world is big, and the Gospel has gone into about 60% of it. It's saturated. This world has what, 8 billion people, and about four and a half billion have been considered reached. But there's about three and a half billion people that are considered unreached, meaning that there's not enough Christians in their part of the world to tell them all about Jesus. Here in North America, there's a church on every corner. You have open access to the World Wide Web. The Bibles are in Walmart. You can pick one up, you can get one on Amazon. But in a really big part of the world that's not true. And in our generation, in previous generations, the unreached regions were Latin America and Africa, and people went there with the Gospel. And guess what? There are more Christians in Africa than anywhere else in the world. The church is growing by tens of thousands of people every single day in Africa. But now the unreached regions of the world are actually where the Gospel started, in the Middle East and Northern Africa and in Asia, and two of the biggest countries of the world are there, China and India, with billions of people right there. And so we feel from the Lord that our call in this season of ministry is to really bring attention to the fact that there's three and a half billion people that don't even have access to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Gospel message that's on us. That's our generation's job, to reach them. They were reached a thousand years ago, but now, what about today? Our ancestors did their job. What about us? We need to see the gospel get into these parts of the world and our generation because souls are dying each and every day. And so a big focus that we've had in the last few years is and you'll see it in our prayer handbook, it's on the COVID It will continue to be a focus is reaching the Unreached. How will we go into these parts of the world? And they're hard parts. Traditional missions may not work there. And so we got to think creatively. Do we need to get a job and work in there? Do we need to use our educational skills in these regions? Do we need to go in in just a different way than we've gone in before? Maybe a missionary visa is not the way into this situation. What do we do? And so we're changing in a lot of ways to accommodate this. Before we said, if you partner with Ethnos or with pioneers, that's where your missionary situation is. We're not going to serve you because you have another group. Now we're saying no. If you're commended from one of the churches we serve, we'll serve you. Even if you have to partner with Ethnos. To get into the tribal situation where the gospel needs to be, we'll partner with them. You have to have a full time job. You want to start a business to get into a country in the Middle East, we'll partner with you. Our services aren't just if you need money. It's everyone who's serving abroad that needs prayer, that's planting churches, and that's sharing the gospel and these cross cultural situations. There's a lot of people poring over our border right now. We have a cross cultural in the USA section. We need people to reach the Unreached. Here. There's like 300 plus Unreached people groups right here in the US. Those people are in countries where nobody can get into. Afghanistan was basically closed. I had friends that were trying to be missionaries there, and just listening to them talk about how they were going to have to minister in this country was exhausting to think about. Like, they can't share the gospel clearly for years because it's so challenging. Well, now Afghanis are being shipped to America, flown to America, so we can share the gospel with them here, and then they can tell the rest of their family, and maybe they'll go back to Afghanistan. They're not going to have a visa problem. They're born there. And so what an opportunity here. And so broadening the scope of what we think about missions is a real key thing that we're thinking through right now is, yes, the mission field is everywhere. We really believe that it's literally in your backyard. There are Unreached people groups in almost every state of our country. And they weren't born there. They were brought here, or they came here because of political reasons or just the borders open. And we can be mad about that politically if we want to be. But the bottom line in all of it is it's an opportunity for the gospel. Doesn't mean we want to support those policies necessarily. And I'm not going to get political on that at all. But the bottom line is people have come here, right? They're here. And we could hate on them, we could ignore them, and guess what's going to happen? They're going to assimilate into our society. And the people that showed them love were the secular atheists. And they're going to be drawn into that culture, into that religion. Or the church can show them love and they can be brought into the family of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and the work of the saints. And wouldn't that be amazing if that could be a testimony that so many of these unreached people groups were reached when they came to the US. And then they went back to their countries and brought the gospel to places where white Americans could never go? It's really an amazing concept, and I pray it takes some traction. And so that's been some interesting things that we've been thinking through in the last couple of years and really kind of adjusting as needed. And some might say we adjusted a little bit late. And 100 year old organizations don't move fast. They move smart because it's a big move. And it's been exciting to see the Lord do that and to raise up a new generation that cares about these things. Something that's really different that we do from most other organizations is we operate in the same kind of faith that we ask our missionaries to operate in. So missionaries that come on with CMML, they're not required to deputize or gain support or do a support tour or become a salesman for missions. They go out by faith, and God's people support them. And we operate the same way. When someone donates to CMML, we don't take a percentage off for operating expenses. We trust God to support us as well. And so something that's been really cool to see is that the people of God continue to support CMML even though we never ask for money and we don't take administrative fees for what we have to do. About 12 million, $14 million come in every year for missionaries. And it costs about 10% of that to run all that we do. And God supplies our needs. Surprisingly, that's not surprising. Why do I say that? It's not surprising at all. God takes care of us, and it's been that way for 100 years. And so as we go into this new era of missions and thinking about things differently, a lot of times people question, well, how are they going to be supported if their names aren't listed properly in the handbook or their picture is not there? Or how are they going to do the right thing if they're working and doing ministry? We trust God for this next era of missions. We trust God to direct his people and to take care of his people. And same thing for CMML. We trust God to provide for our needs and to provide the manpower to do the work that's needed to be done. And we're really excited about that because he's been so faithful in the past and he'll keep being faithful in the future. [00:42:35] Speaker A: Everything I'm hearing just sounds wonderful about what's going on with CML. What you're passionate about, Craig, what the organization is passionate about, and really just trying to like you're talking about really the tagline is for CML, just trying to advance the spread of the gospel globally, viewing both here in the US. And where are the people not being reached? I want to hear from you, maybe, what are a story or a couple stories of things going on with CML that are just guess as? [00:43:13] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. So it's been a really exciting year, actually, and mainly because things have been happening this year and we've been able to see the Lord work in the middle of bad things. I mean, we always claim that verse, people write it on their tagline, Romans 828. We know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purpose, but we've been able to see that lived out in real time. It's interesting when you're in difficult situations how the cliche verses actually there's a reason why they're cliche because they really do prove true in the tough times. So I know, we all know, and we're probably tired of hearing about the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for so long, and it's been absolutely awful. But what's been really interesting about that situation is the Lord in his providence placed a lot of our missionaries right around that whole situation. It's almost like he specifically dropped people from our circles of churches and from our missions organizations all around that whole crisis. And so as all the Ukrainians fled out, we were able to help in a really meaningful and powerful way people that were very vulnerable and actually incredibly open to the gospel. And so what happened? We have a lot of missionaries in Romania. There's about 600 assemblies in Romania which borders Ukraine. We have a number of assemblies and good connections with them in Poland. A lot of our Romanian missionaries also work in Moldova. And actually, my wife is related to people in assemblies in Italy, and they have an organization there called Save to Serve Salvati Persevere. And people from Italy were driving their vans up to Ukraine and rescuing people as they were fleeing in Ukraine, like they were going across the border into Ukraine and picking people up off the road and bringing them to safety. And then they would go back in and provide food and clothing for the people that decided to stay behind, mostly older people that couldn't flee. And then as the people fled across the border, a lot of our missionaries were able to just receive these people and help them and give them clothes. And even in Austria and all the way as far as Ireland, we have our missionaries are feeding and clothing and housing Ukrainians. And it's been like a real revival of the work in Europe. And the Lord's people were so generous here in the US. And again, 100% of the money that came in for the Ukrainian relief efforts went to Ukrainian relief efforts. It was well over a million. [00:45:57] Speaker A: Wow. [00:45:58] Speaker B: God continues. What's interesting is News focus has shifted to Israel. Now, of course, there's a big problem, but the situation in Ukraine is still really bad and no one really knows or cares, but our workers are still on the ground doing amazing work. The Italians are still being so brave and going into the war zones and helping with bringing supplies. And it's been like an effort of all the assemblies in Europe and our people here in the US sending funds and our missionaries on the ground doing the work. It's been an amazing story of unity among the body of Christ and our movement of churches. And I'm just so encouraged to see how God has used those funds. And so many people have come to Christ. We have the Walts, they're missionaries in Austria. They were sharing. Their assembly was like 50 people. It was growing, but it was small. Now there's 150 people there and all the new people are Ukrainian believers. And it's just like it's like a threefold growth in one year. And it's just amazing what God is doing and how hungry these people are for the gospel. We've got people that are associated with us, not our missionaries, but others that are in Ukraine doing some good work. And it's just been so amazing to see how the Lord placed our network of churches and others, I'm sure, too, but just exciting for us to see how God uses us at just the right time, in the right place to meet these needs and bring people the gospel and see them respond. And there's so many problems. The Ukrainian people have had such a hard life and there's a lot still left to do, but our people are there doing it and it's hard work and it's amazing to see his church do his work. The same thing is true in Turkey. I don't know if you remember, in February, there was a massive earthquake in Turkey. It basically flattened the city of Antioch. So we read about the Church of Antioch. Actually, the Church of Antioch was one of the first to send missionaries. We had missionaries and we had church in Antioch. There was still an assembly in Antioch, flattened, of course, believers killed. What's crazy is we knew all the believers that were killed and there were like three or four of them and there were thousands that died. That means the rest of them entered a lost eternity without Christ. It was pretty sobering to think about an entire city. 90% of the buildings were unlivable and the other ten probably should just be destroyed anyways. An entire city, an ancient city, just completely flattened and no way for the country to even provide help, right? Because these are like Middle Ages buildings, so it's all stone like very heavy. Just it's very interesting to see. Also we had a number of missionaries, several that were kicked out of Turkey because of political and religious reasons and being able to come back in. And Jerry Maddox and Eric Uyghur and others have been on the forefront of this and helping build tiny houses for all the people there that have no homes and no way to get their home back. And the Christians in Turkey working together and providing the manpower for not just their fellow believers housing, but for people in the town, just anybody who needed it. And in Turkish culture, the person that gives you the house, you have to have your first meal with them. And so they go inside the house and they pray in Jesus name and they're being part of their lives. And it's not the same as the Ukraine. Ukraine. The Polish believers printed like thousands and hundreds of thousands of tracks and Bibles. And every time we would go and help with the Ukrainians, they would deliver all this literature and all these tracks and all these Bibles. And it was a huge literature effort and evangelistic effort and that's why so many people got saved. And Turkey, if you do that, they will kick you out. They don't care if you're there to help the people, they will kick you out because they're a Muslim and that's not their culture and they don't want that. And you can understand that they have a different mentality. So it's a long game there in Turkey. It's not a short game. It's not this fire out literature right away. It's building relationships and showing them a different way long term, showing them that Jesus is better. And so we've got people there on the ground doing that. And the same save to serve Italians. They drove their trucks down to Turkey from Italy and did the same thing they did in So. Again, the body of Christ, the local Turkish believers, those from other islands and other countries around Turkey and then us in the US with funds and our missionaries being able to work together in a completely different context, a restricted context for the same goals, and the results will take a lot longer and they'll look a lot different. But God's going to do in a mighty work through that as well. And so we send support through our missionaries, but we also have these disaster funds. And it's been really neat to see how the Lord has worked through these disasters to bring his body together for the sake of the gospel. We were so sad that we did not have any workers in Morocco because we would have loved to do the same thing. In fact, with all of our context, we couldn't find any workers in Morocco. That's the desperate need of the country of Morocco pray that the Lord would send workers just it's another reminder of the great need of our generation in certain countries. And so we are really anticipating disasters to continue as the earth groans for redemption, as the world becomes more evil. And our prayer is that the Lord would send people there so that when the need arises, we can help and we can see his name made great even in these really difficult. [00:52:06] Speaker A: That'S so those are Italian believers driving the trucks both to Turkey and to Ukraine to help out. [00:52:13] Speaker B: Yeah, they're not missionaries. They're just regular Christians. And I think that's another good reminder for us. We can do hard things, too. We can drive into the need. We can be brave. It's not just the people listed in our prayer handbook that have to be brave. You and I can be brave. These believers in Italy, they have to focus on their country because they need to see their country raised up. But when they see need somewhere else, they'll pick up and they will take their vacation time and they'll go and they'll help and they'll come back and there's this constant cycle of people, and they work alongside our missionaries where they're full time. But these guys are very brave and they're coming in and out. And it's amazing to see that there's not this culture in some of these places of, let's hire somebody to do that. It's no, we're believers. Let's do know in our culture in America, often we're like, oh, that's why we have missionaries, that's why we have pastors, that's why we have elders, that's why we have full time workers. They do the work and we get blessed by it and we pay for them to do it. We stay with the stuff. And yes, there's a principle of staying with the stuff. Somebody's got to stay with the stuff. But even those people that stay back have a job to do. We all have work to do. And I think there's less people that need to stay with the stuff than are staying with the stuff. A lot of us need to get out and work. There's needs in our communities. There's needs around the world that the world's small. We can fly anywhere within 48 hours. Maybe there's a need that you can fill across the seas and then you come back home. It's not like before. It's not really funny. It's kind of morbid, actually. But in the old days, missionaries would pack all of their belongings as they went off on the ship inside of a coffin because they knew they were going to live in that country. And most probably die in that country. Whether they would die from disease or they would die from old age or they'd die from someone killing them, they knew they were going to die. And so instead of a trunk, they packed a coffin full of their belongings. Today, most missionaries aren't staying their entire lives. They're staying for seasons of life. And it's a different world. But we still need to be willing to give our lives for the gospel in one way, shape, or form or another. I want to tell you another story that's completely different. [00:54:37] Speaker A: Okay? [00:54:39] Speaker B: We've got to be careful how I share this story. But there are people working in countries that we can't talk about having businesses there working. They've created businesses, and they're using the business as a platform to share the gospel with the people they hire, and then they disciple them, and then they're seeing churches planted. And these are people that are not your traditional missionaries. They are business minded people. They are professional people. They're doing hard work like actual labor alongside people from their country that they're trying to reach with the gospel alongside the national brothers and sisters in the country. And there's a way that that is a testimony that traditional missions is not. When they see you, when business is bad, when you don't know how you're going to make payroll, when the project is failing, how do you act? How do you react? How do you pray about these things? How do you treat your wife? How do you treat your children? And when you live life with people that way, the salvation that is experienced by people is incredibly genuine because they know what they signed up for, because they see it as genuine in your life. And it's a good reminder to us that even here in the States, our work is our mission field, our place of employment. We should not be afraid about sharing the gospel and discipling people there or even thinking about starting a church with those people because that's the mission field god has called you to. I'm hoping we all are living called lives by the Lord. And so whether the Lord has placed on your heart overseas and I would challenge everyone, why not overseas missions? Why not cross cultural missions? If there are places in the world where the gospel has not yet reached, how can we not reach them? Why aren't we going? What's our reason? We better have a good reason to stay behind. We better feel called to. The work that we're called to, that was the problem of the Tower of Babel. No one wanted to leave the capital. That was the problem of the early church. And that's why God sent persecution, because no one wanted to leave jerusalem. They created a commune lifestyle there. They all sold their belongings and were living comfortably together. And God said, no, the gospel must go out. Christ has to build his church throughout the whole world. And I fear that we are in a similar situation and we're very comfortable here where we are. But the need is so great, brothers and sisters, like, seriously, the need is everywhere. Why not go, why not work overseas? Why not go to college in Know? You can get a degree in northern Cyprus, get your master's degree there and your next door neighbor and the people in your classmates will be from Saudi Arabia and from Bhutan and from the Arab Emirate states like these people that you can't get into their country. There's going to be people from Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan just sitting by you in class. Why not study abroad for the sake of the Gospel? We'll study abroad for the sake of the experience and the beautiful culture we'll receive. But why not for the Lord and churches? Let's commend people that are serious about that too. That's the beauty of the Lord's work. It's diverse and it's as he leads. And so I guess my real challenge to everyone listening would be, why aren't you going on the mission field? The Lord made it very clear for me that where I'm supposed to serve and how I'm supposed to serve. I wanted to be overseas. The Lord said, no, stay here and work with the church here because that's your calling. And so I know why I'm here. I know why I didn't go to you. And if not, it's time to find your purpose. None of us as Christians should be living without purpose. We all have a mission to accomplish. And that's what's exciting about even CMML is because we work with people full of purpose. Everyone that works here is here on purpose. A lot of us have given up great other opportunities to be here. And all of our missionaries, we have physicists and we've got doctors and we've got people that could be living very cushy and very prestigious lives in North America had they stayed. But they're there on purpose. And I trust each of every person listening to this is where they are on purpose in serving the Lord with purpose. Because there's no better life to live than a life in the center of God's will on purpose doesn't mean we're perfect, doesn't mean we don't make lots and lots of mistakes. I can probably spend just as much time talking about the mistakes on the mission field as I can about the blessings. But God is faithful and he brings his work forward even with fallible people. So I guess if I had a challenge to leave with anybody, an encouragement would be find your purpose of why you are where you are. And if you don't know it, then ask the Lord to show you and. Maybe it's because you're supposed to be in Japan or in Central Asia or in the. [01:00:10] Speaker A: Released well, as we're recording, just released a podcast with Micah Tuttle. By the time this episode comes out, it'll be two weeks ago now. But on mean, you know Micah, I'm sure, right? And Micah Lisa. Yeah. You've been around Micah. Micah just went. It was wonderful. I'd call it a rant in a loving way. He ranted just about how evangelism is not an option for a Christian, right. No matter where you are, whether for him, whether it's Peru or the States, right. Evangelism is not optional. You might have the gift of evangelism, you might not have the gift of evangelism, but the great commission is for all of the saints, all of Christianity, whether you're called to be here at home or out in the mission field. And he was challenging, too, I think, similar to you. That not enough. People are really considering, am I supposed to be doing this? Am I supposed to be living a life, making disciples, basically? So if people want to hear more about what you're talking about, I would encourage them to go listen to that episode. But it's wonderful. [01:01:15] Speaker B: And that's really the full summation of Christ's final words to us. He said, Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Until all nations are reached, we're not fulfilling his will. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and I'm with you always to the end of the age. This whole idea of, okay, some plant some water, but God gives the increase. So people say, are missions needed in Africa anymore? Are missions needed in Latin America? I say yes, especially if you have the gift of teaching and discipleship. They need sound Bible teaching. But also there's parts of the world that have never even heard of the term baptized, much less been baptized, much less believed in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. And so there's a whole portion of the world that needs first the gospel. There's another portion of the world that needs to be baptized and learn the teachings. There's another group that needs to be sound in their teachings. And so find the role that God has for you and live it out. And Mike is not wrong, though, to say that none of us get out of evangelism. No matter where we are, there's going to be people that don't believe in Jesus. Even here at CML, all of our employees believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't worry. But we get deliveries all the time. We have people coming in and out, working on the house and doing stuff. We need to be about the Father's business there, too, or in the grocery store or in our neighborhood. None of us, just because we're in Christian ministry, get any pass whatsoever. We all need to be about the Lord's work. Even if it's not our gifting, how can we not share? It's the best message ever. It's the only message that changes. Yeah. Amen. I didn't listen to Micah's thing. I should be careful before I say amen to his, but I think I would say amen to what Micah said. [01:03:12] Speaker A: As we wrap up here, CMML US is the website, is that correct? And if people want to learn more and walk me through the website a little bit, you can learn about specific missionaries there, is that correct? [01:03:24] Speaker B: Yeah, the website is a great tool. We're trying to make it a better tool all the time. You can learn about specific missionaries. You can also learn about specific ministries that they support. We call them associated ministries. So those are schools and hospitals and just different foundations that missionaries have created. Also we have sections where you can learn about going, whether it's short term mission opportunities that missionaries have posted, or equipping tools of how do I reach my neighbor that's from India and they're Hindu and I don't know anything about that or how do I reach my Buddhist neighbor? We're trying to build more resources. We'll focus a lot more in 2024 on that. But right now, if you want to go to CMML Uscrossculturalus, that teaches us, gives us a lot of great resources for how to reach out to people here in the States, whether it's through ESL, English as a second language, or just different Bible study tools that work well cross culturally that's available. And then if you want to learn more about the unreached people of the world, you go to Unreached. And we got a whole list of resources where you can just learn about the vast needs in our world and where to pray and how to pray. We've got a section to pray twice a month. On the second and fourth Friday of the month, we have a zoom call and we do prayer meetings. It's in the morning, so it's kind of hard for those that work from nine to eleven Eastern time every morning. But some people will call in before they go to work or during a coffee break or a lunch break. Missionaries join as well, and we just pray for God's work around the world. We have men's and women's prayer meetings, and it's from nine to eleven, the second and fourth Friday of every month. And we just want to keep people praying for the Lord's work. Got a lot of resources on our YouTube channel. You can find them as videos on our website as well, just so you can just get equipped, learn more about what God's doing around the world. Our fall conference is coming up in November. It's November 11 and there will be some great resources, great messages on Unreached people groups there. That's going to be our focus for the next few years, is just drilling into how we can get into these parts of the world and really see them reach for Christ. So a lot of great resources. We've got conferences coming up. There's a whole section on that. Look for a 26 below in your region. If you're 26 and below or you're involved in a youth group and come join us, it's a great time to be together and just focus on the Lord and how to serve Him in our generation. And again, we keep coming back to that. We want to see the gospel advanced, not in the past. A lot of hundred year old organizations just focus on the past. And we could tell stories for days on the past and how God has worked through Jim Elliott and Pete Fleming and B Kozen, all these people that gave their lives for Christ. All those Armaus grads, by the way, know been related in some way to the Midwest or Wheaton, I guess, too. But these are great men and women of faith, people that really gave their lives for the Lord. But that's happening today as well, and it needs to happen in the next generation. Who will be part of. [01:06:48] Speaker A: On the on the CMML website if people want to donate, but whether to specific missionaries to an as an organization for operating expenses, looks like associated ministries as well. That's correct. They can head to the is it give or donate or something like that? [01:07:06] Speaker B: Yeah, both work give and there you go. Yeah, we kind of make it all work. And you can give online, you can give as a check, you can set up regular donations. Again, we're hoping to expand those options in the new year. And all your gifts are tax deductible, if that matters to you. And we don't take any administrative costs. We work like missionaries. If you want to give to support the ministry of CMML, you give to us, just like you would give to Dan and Anne Johnson or any missionary you can think of. Just drop down, pick the missionaries you want to give to if you want to give to CMML or any kind of our initiatives. If you want to give to the Disaster Relief Fund or to missionary kids education, we've got all kinds of funds like that that you can give to refocused retired missionaries. Bible Translation what's cool about CMML is we're not just in one lane. Some organizations focus on unreached people groups or they focus on tribal work or on Bible Translation we focus on anything and everything. We've got workers all over the place, workers that have our values, that are planting our kinds of churches all over the world doing all kinds of work. It's so cool, it's neat how diverse the body of Christ is. And so you can support any of those kinds of works. And of course, we want to call you to pray as you give. Pray. Money only goes as far as faith goes right. And so we want to trust the Lord for his supply. We want to trust the Lord that he will do a great work. And so as you give, pray as well. One can't be separate from the other, really, in some aspects. So please do feel free to give and then pray as well. [01:08:51] Speaker A: Thank you very much for coming on today, Craig. This has been great. I've learned a ton about CMML that I didn't know. I'm sure a lot of people listening have learned a lot as well. Thank you. [01:09:00] Speaker B: Yeah, you're welcome. Thanks for having me on. And we're grateful for the podcast and just that you're bringing awareness to so many things that maybe we're not talking about enough. And so I hope this conversation, as well as many of the other ones, will help people have those coffee table conversations about really important issues in our life. And it's a great launching pad to have those conversations. So thanks for all you're doing too. [01:09:25] Speaker A: Thank you. I appreciate that. Craig, thank you for listening to Concerning Him on Emma's podcast. Ministries like Concerning Him are possible because of the generous contributions from our partners around the world. For more information about partnering with us, please visit emmaus.edu partner.

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