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Vandenhurks: English missionaries to England! Funded by US churches!


blessalessi

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On 11/26/2015 at 0:09 AM, campused said:
Ugh.  Missionaries/Christians like this fill my Facebook pages on the reg. One particular couple was begging for money to go to Fiji. FIJI! That's a fucking serious honeymoon vacation, not a missions trip. And not only will the local mega church help you feel good about begging for money to take a tropical vacation, they will also allow you to minister to the poor heathens in: Dearborn, MI, Limerick, Ireland, Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic! Zip lining after morning prayers, laying on the beach after painting a wall or two, site seeing after playing with orphans! Sign me up!

I guess the bright side is most of these people do have jobs and just go for a week. But in that case, use the money from your real job to pay for your glorified vacation like the rest of us! 

ETA: If you were wondering, like me, why Ireland? Here you go...

"Are you ready for a unique cultural challenge? To stretch your thinking and experience how Christ and his Church is being made relevant in a post-christendom, anti-church culture? This mission trip to Limerick is just for you! There you will get to experience how Elevate community Church is countering the cultural trend and reaching people who have completely lost trust in the church and organized religion.

Why Ireland?

Ireland, as with much of Europe, has been known for its religious culture for centuries, however, in the 21st century culture has shifted to post-Christian and sees the church and organized religion as irrelevant and unnecessary. This trend is starting to creep into American society and will be something the church will certainly have to face. This mission trip will challenge participants to access this culture and experience how Elevate Community Church is growing, despite these challenges."

I live in Dearborn, and the missionaries need to stay the hell out. Funny enough, I'm a Jew who lives in Dearborn, and I've never had any issues here. While not perfect, we're a great example of people live no together. The biggest problems come when the crazy fundamentalists come to town. Ugh.

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John Shrader went to the wrong country. He could have had all of the comforts of home in England without having his sending church ship him everything. He could have had a fake British accent like Madonna. Instead of wearing traditional tribal clothing, he could wear soccer jerseys or tweed. He children wouldn't be exposed to Malaria. Becoming a missionary in Europe seems like the way to go.

Maybe when Jim Bob can no longer afford to support all of his children, they can become missionaries to Europe or Australia or New Zealand.

I love the idea of a documentary called America's Laziest Missionaries. There would be too many for a one hour show.

Nope. Not Australia. We don't want 'em. We're heathens through and through.

Australia has one of the lowest levels of religious adherence in the world.[256] It was reported in 2001 that only 7% of Australians attended church on a weekly basis.[257]

I don't think they'd get much from coming here to be honest. Even the churches we have are struggling for congregations I think.

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Nope. Not Australia. We don't want 'em. We're heathens through and through.

I don't think they'd get much from coming here to be honest. Even the churches we have are struggling for congregations I think.

That's because you have the wrong kind of churches! And that means you NEED missionaries. :my_biggrin:

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And with missionaries like John Shrader it doesn't matter how many converts he gets, what matters is that he gets brand new appliances, an expensive new vehicle and a higher standard of living than he had here in America. 

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That's because you have the wrong kind of churches! And that means you NEED missionaries. :my_biggrin:

Sadly, that's exactly how they'd see it too :my_tongue:

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I grew up IFB in Australia, thanks to American "missionaries". I think it must be an amazing gig for them. :D

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I was interested in this and googled a bit.  This article from Christianity Today in 2013 talks about the majority of missionaries are sent to Christian countries. Part of this is because non Christian majority nations may ban missionaries or expect them to obey more rules/laws

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/july/missionaries-countries-sent-received-csgc-gordon-conwell.html  The link also will lead you to a link to the Dec 2015 issue and a cover story called "The Divine Rise of Multilevel Marketing" which I plan to read later. 

...The countries receiving the most missionaries per million people are overwhelmingly in Oceania and the Caribbean and have majority Christian populations. More striking, the ten countries that received the most missionaries per million non-Christians averaged almost one for every seven. This includes Samoa, at the top of the list, received more than one missionary for every three non-Christians. None of these countries was less than 90% Christian and only three were less than 95%. Suriname, with a bare Christian majority (51%), ranked 93rd on the list, while Albania, the highest-ranked country with a true Christian minority (32%), ranked 137th out of 232 countries. In addition, Samoa received one missionary for every 2.5 non-Christians. Tonga received one missionary for every 7.4 non-Christians, and Micronesia one for every 11.1 non-Christians.

  • USA: 32,400
  • Brazil: 20,000
  • Russia: 20,000
  • Congo: 15,000
  • South Africa: 12,000
  • France: 10,000
  • Britain: 10,000
  • Argentina: 10,000
  • Chile: 8,500
  • India: 8,000

Together, these 10 countries receive 36% of the world’s 400,000+ foreign missionaries. 

 Now, since I probably only saw one presentation by a missionary on missionary work in my church growing up (that was dealt with more by the national level of the church than by each church donating to an individual missionary, at least back then) the whole deputation process is unknown to me, but it makes me wonder.  It also makes John Scrader look like more of an ass than ever, which takes quite a bit. 

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So I have a question that I'm hoping somebody with more knowledge of  stumping for Jesus aka missionary work can answer. It's been my experience with very limited travel to foreign countries that you need to list your reason for travel when you fill out your customs declaration form. So what do they put down? If they put 'vacation' they've just admitted that they've lied to all the folks that have donated money for their trip to minister to the already-Christians. If they put 'work' don't they need a work visa, and if so why the heck would a country issue one to them? I don't remember seeing a box for 'missionary' and I'm legitimately curious.

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So I have a question that I'm hoping somebody with more knowledge of  stumping for Jesus aka missionary work can answer. It's been my experience with very limited travel to foreign countries that you need to list your reason for travel when you fill out your customs declaration form. So what do they put down? If they put 'vacation' they've just admitted that they've lied to all the folks that have donated money for their trip to minister to the already-Christians. If they put 'work' don't they need a work visa, and if so why the heck would a country issue one to them? I don't remember seeing a box for 'missionary' and I'm legitimately curious.

I think that most missionaries operate through a sending organization who manage their pledged funding and assist with gaining work visas, as standard.  It is common for missionaries to declare themselves as being there to teach English, provide care for orphaned children, engage in regional development work, etc.  The sending organization offers the security that funds are in place for the time they plan to live in the area.

To give examples from two missionary families being discussed right now:

The Vandenhurks, as said earlier, are a married couple.  The wife is a British national and her husband has the right to apply for a work visa by virtue of the marriage.

The Bergeys are on deputation pending a trip to South Africa and they have already met with the authorities in Port Elizabeth, where their plans to work with local orphans are apparently being welcomed.

 

 

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I am an English Christian.  I am a Church leader and preacher.  Yes, it is true that England is no longer a 'Christian' country.  Yes the Churches are facing decline.  However, I find it slightly arrogant of these 'missionaries' to think that we need them to jet in and 'save the day'. 

In my eyes, the job of a missionary is to go where nobody has ever heard of Jesus (not just where nobody has heard of exactly the brand of Christianity you subscribe to) and they should firstly be meeting practical physical needs (medicine, education, setting up orphanages etc).

I had friends who were missionaries in Ethiopia.  He worked in something to do with irrigation and water supply whilst she is an optician so used her skills to help the people.  This was their way of showing their love (and the love of God) to those they worked alongside.

England does not need American missionaries coming to try to show us the way -  we are perfectly capable of doing our own mission work and know the culture much better than any overseas missionary.

In my eyes, the role of the Church is to serve the community and it is the 'job' of each Christian to try to meet the needs of those around them.  That's why the Church is so involved in the work of the Food Bank, the Credit Union, Christians Against Poverty.  That's why we organise social events for lonely older people.  It's not about trying to trick people but about believing that we have an obligation to share what we have with those in need, and in doing so expressing God's love.

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Mission can and does have a broader meaning of not necessarily being about what people think of as evangelism but also being about meeting practical needs and 'being Jesus' to people through that. I think that does have a use and a benefit even in places like the UK where most people have heard of Jesus, but the church has failed a lot of people. 

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I think the idea of missionaries "being Jesus" to others is precisely what a lot of people think of when they are objecting to having missionaries in their face.  

Regardless, going back to the earlier question, "temporary religious service" is a legitimate reason for acceptance into the UK, although you have to provide evidence of the financial capacity to support yourself without claiming benefits, and also to contribute for your health care costs.  But obvs, for the Vandenhurks, that situation is overcome by Mrs V being born and bred on her mission field, so to speak. ;)

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If you want to have a "mission" of being Jesus to people, you really don't have to get people to give you money so you can move to another country. You can "be Jesus" while working a job and living a regular life. Plenty of opportunities to "be Jesus" in most(probably all) American communities. 

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Oh Lort! I am just now seeing this thread. 

 

I have a family member that is a missionary to France. He is university educated and had a very good career when he decided to give it all up and move his family to France to become a missionary to Jews. I have always thought this situation was all kinds of messed up. I have stated that this type of work is rather offensive, but I am in the minority in my family. You see, I am the heathen of the family.

 

Anyway, this family member befriended the Bates family while doing their deputation. Yes. Those Bates. He was putting together a presentation when speaking to churches to gain support and came across some of Erin's music and wanted to use it. He contacted Gil for permission. Long story short, the Bates invited him to their church and home and the rest is history. Erin gave him permission to use her music in his presentation. A few years back, this family member and I had a rather ugly disagreement because I called out Gill and his association with Bill Gothard. 

 

He has been in France for over a year now. Every once in a while I will look at his Missionary page to see what is going on, but it is mostly pictures of his travels and making reference about needing more support. He will also post about how he has angered someone in his community by sending out bibles while trying to convert people, and he has been asking the Lord to provide for more language classes and car repair. But really, nothing else is going on by the looks of it. If there is, he is not doing a very good job of communicating what his actual work is. It looks more like one long vacation with sprinkles of language classes here and there and filling in at a local church every once in awhile when the pastor is out. It looks like their money is running low, so they are coming back to the States soon and trying to get more support. 

 

I recently read that he is not very happy that the place he is currently renting is going to a Syrian refugee family after his family leaves. He made a rather rude comment saying he should just stop paying his rent to get everyone in the area used to people not paying their rent. Over the last few weeks he has been vocal about not allowing the Syrian people to migrate in his area. Apparently, only white Christian males are allowed to migrate to France. 

 

Maybe I am a jerk for stating the above, but this whole situation has never set well with me. I am not comfortable with it. When people bring it up in conversation and I offer my thoughts, it is quickly shut down. I don't identify as Christian, so my thoughts do not count apparently. Frankly, I say leave the people of France alone and get a damn job. 



 
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