In 1992 the Lord Jesus called Bo Barredo, a Filipino missionary, and Carl Gordon, an American missionary, to “dig a new well” for native missionaries to drink from.
The first waves of sending western missionaries to engage in coastal and inland missions in the 18th and 19th centuries had borne fruit. The gospel seeds planted by those original western missionaries had grown into godly indigenous visionary missionaries who had formed their own organizations and were bearing much fruit for our Lord. By the mid-20th century, Christians in the west began partnering with indigenous missionaries around the globe to reach unreached people groups for the glory of God. It has since become the new paradigm.
Bo and Carl had worked with it for 6 and 20 years, respectively, and in 1992 felt God was leading them to drill a new well—start a new organization—so that even more funds could be sent to front-line workers. As Carl put it, “We just looked around to see where God was working, and showed up with our shovels.”
One of their earliest prayers was for the Lord to give them a good team. Over the years God provided a hardworking, godly and sacrificial team to work with them. The Lord taught our leadership many lessons over the years, but the following ones stand out.
The Lord Jesus is faithful
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). We know from the Holy Scriptures that the Lord is faithful to His children. The Lord has been faithful to ANM during these past 25 years, and has answered our prayers in amazing ways.
In the first year of ANM’s existence, the Lord enabled us, partly by providing the exact amount needed, to become a member of the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA). It is rare for a new non-profit to make it the first year, but we desired to be transparent before God and man.
In January 1997 members of one of our first short-term mission teams were nearly killed when the car in which they were traveling hit another vehicle head-on in India. A disaster like this could have destroyed a fledging ministry, but insurance paid for emergency medical flights back to the U.S. Even though one person suffered long-term effects, no legal challenges were levied.
The Lord has answered the prayers of the ANM staff on behalf of the donors and missionaries in many miraculous ways over the years. It is no wonder that ANM’s theme song is “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
The Lord Jesus is a great provider
We know from the Genesis 22:14 that God is “Jehovah Jireh—The Lord our Provider.” In the New Testament, we see Jesus providing redemption to the lost, healing to the sick, and giving life to the dead.
The Lord has provided for ANM every step of the way during these 25 years. Instead of using the first offering of $886 to spend on their own, legitimate staff needs, Bo and Carl offered it to the Lord to meet the needs of the brethren. Like the little boy with the loaves and fishes, they asked Him to multiply it in order to feed thousands. Last year a record $10.4 million in cash and gifts-in-kind was sent overseas to bless our missionary partners! To God be the glory. He has been a faithful provider.
In August 2001 ANM received an unusual gift. A generous donor called to tell us that we would be getting a donation in the mail. The donation turned out to be several boxes of real, physical gold. That donation provided stability for our ministry when September 11, 2001 occurred less than one month later. It also provided a way for our dear sister Marlou Barredo, who had been standing on the sideline waiting to come in, to join our staff. It was as though the Lord was telling us, “Keep working. I will take care of you.”
The Lord Jesus is worthy of praise
There are many reasons for missions. Preeminently, in “The Great Commission” of Matthew 28:18-20, the risen Christ commands His disciples to “go and make disciples” in all languages, peoples and nations.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
And of course, there is tremendous human need. Hearts of people are wicked without a transformation by the gospel. Over two billion souls still have not heard the good news of Jesus’ first coming. They will go into eternity without Christ and be lost forever—unless we can help missionaries reach them. That’s what we’re here for.
Ultimately, the greatest reason for missions is so that Jesus may be exalted and worshiped among all languages, peoples and nations. John Piper states so succinctly, “Mission exists because worship doesn’t.” In Revelation chapter one, John the Beloved calls Christ, “the faithful witness (martyr), the firstborn among the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” One of the final scenes of the close of the age is shown in Revelation 7:9-10 when the great multitude gathers to sing to the Lord Jesus Christ:
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” And we’re not just helping native missionaries.
We’re engaged in a massive end-time event that will usher in the close of the age, the return of Christ, and the new heaven and earth. We’re excited to be a part of the end-time game plan. Aren’t you?
To help gather that multitude around the throne in heaven, we need to help send out more missionaries to unreached people groups. We are looking for 500 more sponsors who will join the ‘Til All Hear Campaign at $25 per month (which will be matched!) to send more missionaries into God’s harvest fields.