Be prepared! Robert Baden-Powell explained this famous motto of the Scouting Movement he founded as, “You have to be prepared at any moment to face difficulties and even dangers by knowing what to do and how to do it.” This same explanation can be applied to the need for emergency planning & preparedness in mission work.
Because of our 10-year background in private security & 20-year involvement in mission work in high-risk areas around the world, David’s main ministry here in Mexico will be in the area of safety & security. Both are vitally important as New Tribes’ 120+ missionaries continue to work among 8 tribal groups scattered over 5 states in Mexico. Not to mention our K-12 school for missionary children (MK’s), our Bible Institute & our national missionary training center, all located in Chihuahua City.
Drug-fueled violence has cost more than 14,000 lives across Mexico since President Felipe Calderon sent troops to crackdown on cartels in late 2006. Almost 2,500 have died in Chihuahua state in 2009 alone. The state capitol is where our mission center & the training facilities mentioned above have been located for most of the 30 years NTM has worked in Mexico.
Obviously, the safety & security of our missionaries & students are of the utmost concern. It’s difficult to accomplish our task as missionaries when we’re living & working in volatile environments. Everything that can be done to mitigate or eliminate those risks directly contributes to our being able to effectively take the Gospel to the regions beyond.
David’s ministry will involve overseeing the preparation for & response to the full spectrum of incidents that might affect our missionaries here on the field. Such incidents include natural disasters, epidemics, accidents, arson, burglary, petty theft, mugging, kidnapping, violent crimes & even the outbreak of all-out war (Mexico already suffers the equivalent of a low-level insurgency with the violence of the current cartel wars). The goal is to be prepared ahead of time for such occurrences, rather than merely trying to react to them after the fact.
The end result is ensuring that, as a mission, we’re doing all we can to enable our missionaries to effectively reach the unreached of Mexico, while we still have time & opportunity.
Pryor’s Pondering: Do we have any direction in the Word of God concerning a ministry helping fellow believers be prepared for potential problems they may face? We believe there’s ample Biblical evidence for such a ministry of helps. Consider the following verses. This is not an exhaustive list, but merely representative of the Scriptural principles of being prepared & helping one another.
“A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3)
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” (2 Timothy 3:12-14)
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22)
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (Proverbs 19:20)
“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:1, 9-12)