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New Horizons

April, 2004: Worldwide Outreach

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Worldwide Outreach—What, Why, and How

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) encourages each of its members and congregations to offer the Lord ongoing prayer for, and financial support of, Worldwide Outreach. Each November, the OPC encourages a denomination-wide special offering—the Thank Offering—to help support Worldwide Outreach. But what is Worldwide Outreach? Why do we support it?

What Is Worldwide Outreach?

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Home Missions

For almost a decade, Orthodox Presbyterian church planting has been in a basic response mode. A group of Reformed people find each other, come to us for help, and we adopt them as a core group. But recently the regional home missionaries and presbytery home missions committee chairmen have begun talking about church planting "on purpose." It may now be the time to consider choosing places to plant churches because they are the right places, rather than because they are the easy places.

If we are to consider a second, more intentional approach to our church-planting task, a review of some pertinent biblical information is necessary. Philippi was identified in the Scriptures as "a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia" (Acts 16:12). For some reason, God made a specific point of commenting on the stature of a city in which the planting of a new church was about to take place. It follows that leading population centers are appropriate places to look as we lay plans to plant new churches. But how do you address a leading city once you find one? Read more

Christian Education

A toddler learns the language of faith as she memorizes the timeless truths about God in First Catechism.... One first-time Sunday school teacher tells of his growth in the doctrines of grace through teaching the primary class.... A sixth grader professes faith in Christ after lessons about Stephen in Acts 7.... Parents report that their young teen began personal devotions as a result of being consistently taught God's Word in Sunday school.... A recently divorced mother is comforted by her daughter's reminder that God is sovereign.

These testimonies provide a small glimpse into the impact that diligent Christian education can have—not just any Christian education, but that which is doctrinally driven (particularly rooted in our Reformed heritage), biblically clear, and warmly personal. The fruit tells the story. Read more

Foreign Missions

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Living in Karamoja, we were quickly confronted with this culture's outlook on death. On one occasion, a man came to me after his mother had passed away, and he asked for financial assistance to pay for the burial. I was puzzled. If this strong, healthy man was too poor to pay another man to bury his mother, why couldn't he, together with his equally capable brothers, do it? I supposed that perhaps the work was simply too burdensome for those in mourning. Read more

Operation Iraqi Freedom

As an Army chaplain, providing religious support to soldiers in combat is what you constantly train for. At the same time, though, you pray that war with its sorrows will never come.

On the night of March 26, 2003, I was in an Air Force C-17 flying over Iraq, straining to stand up straight under the weight of my parachute and equipment, waiting for the green "jump light" to come on, and praying that I, and the paratroopers surrounding me, would survive the war that had in fact come. As the brigade chaplain for the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, the "Sky Soldiers," I was participating in the brigade's airborne assault on the Harir Airfield in northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Read more

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