MOSES C. ONWIBIKO
PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER
GMI MINISTRY OVERVIEW
From the Founders Desk
“Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Answering the call of many around the world, God in His wisdom and grace established Global Missions Institute (GMI). I have been heartbroken beyond words as I have witnessed firsthand the weeping of the lost and destitute, and the cries of saints hungry for the truth. They ceaselessly urge us, “Please come again to help us; or send someone to us.”
The field is wide open for mission and workers are few. I invite you to feel our Savior’s heartbeat as He makes a passionate plea, “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2 emphasis added). If there is a time when we need to take the Lord’s compassionate plea to heart, it is now more than ever: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Would you keep Global Missions Institute (GMI) on your prayer list and pray regularly for us and for worldwide laborers and fruitful harvest?
In a Middle Eastern country where Christianity is about 0.02%, I ministered underground to a group of people where I taught the Deity of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit struck every heart with “the sword of the truth” so powerfully that my host was in tears as he too grasped the truth of God’s Word. Afterward five men rushed to me with joy radiating in their faces. One of them said with excitement, “We’re members of ISIS. We used to kill people; but now we know who Jesus is. We are ready to go into the street and preach Him; let people come and kill us!” Those words still echo in my ears down to my heart as if I had heard them today. People came to my hotel room and sat on the floor every night sometimes past 3:00 am asking questions. They were truly hungry for His Word. They could not get enough.
In Indonesia, I taught the same lesson, the Deity of Jesus Christ to a group of about 200 pastors. It was an amazing experience. The hall was so quiet that one could hear a dropped pin on the floor. They soaked every word and wrote them down as fast as they could. In the end, one of the hosts said, “Wow, your teaching is clear. A guest speaker from America came last year and taught us the same lesson. We were more confused afterwards. He told us, ‘The more in-depth one gets in the study of Trinity, the more confused one becomes.’”
In Pakistan I had a larger group of pastors and church workers than I had in Indonesia and presented the same truth. One of the pastors came to me at lunch time and said, “Jesus is God? That’s a deep doctrine.” He wanted more. I urged him to join his fellow pastors for lunch, he refused. He said, “Lunch can wait, but you can’t wait. You will be leaving us soon.”
It makes sense as to why Satan clouds the issue of the Deity of Jesus Christ. It is the tenant of our faith. There can be no salvation until one believes that Jesus Christ is more than a Man, that He is God, the Savior (John 4:42). Jesus was emphatic, “You will die in your sin unless you believe that I am [Yahweh-God]” (John 8:24). This is the truth that eludes many in the mission field.
In response to this great need, and in partnership with churches, GMI seeks to train, equip and assist in sending out believers with willing hearts. Keep in mind, everyone is a missionary— everywhere is a mission field. One is called to a foreign land; another is called to the homeland. The home based should cover his/her areas and send support to the one ministering overseas. Working as a team, together they fulfill the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). God’s blessings are shared “alike—those who go to battle [foreign lands] and those who guard the equipment [in the support base]” (1 Sam. 30:24 NLT).
The idea of training missionaries/pastors is not new in America. This country was established on the bedrock of training, equipping and sending out prepared vessels both far and near. Think of it, prestigious institutions like Harvard (1636) were established primarily for training and equipping “a literate clergy” Yale and Princeton (originally Christian school) had a similar policy of training their students to impact the world for Christ.
At that time, America was on the forefront of the Great Commission. It led the world in training and sending missionaries to Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and to the remotest parts of the world, just as the Lord commanded the Church (Acts 1:8). God responded in kind and abundantly blessed this nation beyond measure (Rom. 10:15).
Sadly, painfully, America is no longer on the forefront of missions as it used to be. Can you believe that South Korea (one-sixth [1/6] of America’s population) is now the world’s largest missionary enterprise per capita? Its missionary force has been sent to America as well as Africa, Asia, Britain, and the remotest parts of the world. Thank God that Jesus Christ continues to build His Church as He promised, “I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). He uses willing nations, and willing hearts, “every man whose heart moves Him” (Ex. 25:2) to accomplish His mission. (Note: if America does not wake up as a nation, God will sideline it as He did Rome and Britain).
As for those of us who are holding on, let us be engaged in His mission! You and I have one life, one golden, grace opportunity to leave a footprint in the sands of time, one bullseye to hit in the spiritual arena. Aim well by the empowerment of His Spirit. Do not miss it. Once we exit, we can no longer engage. Or in the Lord’s own words: “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:4 NLT). Let His mission be your mission.
In Acts 13, at God’s leading, the early church sent Paul and Barnabas. This was the beginning of what we know as the three missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. There is no biblical model, where believers stayed in one place and studied God’s Word without reaching out, making disciples and teaching them to observe the mandates of the Lord (Matt. 28:19-20). In fact, when they failed to go as commanded, they were dispersed by persecution. (Acts 8:1-4) Everywhere is a mission field. Hear the bell of the Great Commission: Go, or support those who go! That is the accurate interpretation of the Commission. It is a command, not a suggestion for the church. History is in the making; be on the side of winning souls for Christ!
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom. 10:15).
They will shine like stars forever (Dan. 12:3).
May the Lord richly bless you as you make His heartbeat of the Great Commission, your own!
Welcome on board the GMI Ship Line in route to the Arabian desert, a site for spiritual training. It was where the Lord trained the apostle Paul. God uses prepared individuals. If anyone prepares themself, they can be useful as an instrument in God’s hands (2 Tim 2:21). Preparation must precede service. This is God’s way. It is the only way. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Cutting corners leads to defeat or, just as bad, the spread of confusion and misinformation. The idea that God sends unprepared men and women to His field is scriptural unfounded. God spent decades to prepare Moses. That was also true of King David, just to name two of the Old Testament spiritual giants. Jesus Himself, the perfect God-man, underwent years of training.
It took three years of training before the Lord sent His disciples on a mission to “Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He did the same with the great apostle Paul. Even though his education in the Mosaic Law surpassed that of his contemporaries (Gal. 1:14), Jesus Christ had to prepare him before He could use him. It is interesting to note that the Lord spent the same amount of time (three years) training the apostle Paul as He did with His disciples (Gal. 1:12; 18).
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not rush to consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to the apostles who came before me, but I went into Arabia and [3 years] later returned to Damascus (Gal. 1:15-17 BSB).
GMI’s training focuses on the missionary’s spiritual life as much as on biblical knowledge. Spiritual training is an ongoing, lifelong pursuit. GMI pursues two goals in this short training. First, expose one to the fundamental truths of Orthodox Christianity, to be better equipped to defend the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ “with gentleness and reverence [respect]” (1 Peter 3:15). Second, challenge one in spiritual life, the powerhouse of mission.
The secret to a successful ministry lies in this phrase “spiritual inside-out.” You cannot impact anyone’s life until your own life has been impacted. Until someone in darkness sees a glowing light in you, he cannot be drawn to the “light of the world” in you. Ezra knew this truth. His task, which is equally our task, was to lead God’s people from darkness into light. He did three things as Scripture unveils: “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, to practice it, and to teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10 BSB).
The first and foremost thing Ezra did was to study God’s Word. You are commanded to “Study to show yourself approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15). It is imperative. The early missionaries took this truth to heart. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). The word devote is the Greek proskartereo, which has the connotation of intense perseverance. They stayed with it, no matter the difficulty. They made studying God’s Word a priority.
The second thing Ezra did was to allow the truth he had learned to change him from the inside- out. A changed life is the greatest tool for spiritual publicity. You cannot convince me to buy a product that has not worked for you. A changed life, reflecting the love of Christ, was the calling card of missionaries of old, “being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:31), they “were of one heart and soul” (4:32). They cared for one another; there was no spirit of self-centeredness (vv. 33-37). “[they did everything] with gladness and sincerity of heart” (2:46). They practiced what they learned from the Lord. Those around them “kept feeling a sense of awe” (2:43).
The third thing Ezra did was to teach others the truth that had changed his own life. That was true of the saints gone-by. “They spent a long time…speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace” (14:3). The result was incredible! “The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (2:47).
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
According to 1 Peter 3:15, every believer in Christ is like a Gospel defense lawyer. The Greek word translated in our English Bibles “prepare to give an answer” (NIV) or “make a defense” (NASB) is a legal term, apologia. It means, “a defense.”2 It has the connotation of apologetically mounting a defense for what one believes to be true. Our job is to defend the Gospel “with gentleness and respect.” We do so “in love” (Eph. 4:15). We make our case and persuade the unsaved to accept the grace of God. To be a good defender you must know the law books, which in our case are all 66 books of the Bible.
I submit to you that Christianity has the worst defenders of any of the world religions. Many Christians can hardly give the Gospel accurately let alone mount a defense for their faith. I was listening to an interesting debate on a national radio program. The topic was hell fire and they were arguing whether hell is real or a metaphor, and whether God really sends anyone to hell.
I could scarcely believe the answers they gave. Many of the professing Christians on the show were seminary professors and ministers. Their answers were not grounded in the Bible. Imagine, unbelievers listening in, wanting to know the truth about hell. That was the reason the apostle Peter mandated, “Be prepared to give a defense.” You and I cannot handle the Gospel as we should until we know the Gospel. We cannot know it until we are taught. We must be trained.
Unfortunately, many churches do not offer missionary training for their members. This I know from experience having traveled to many cities worldwide. Many have gone to the mission field ill prepared and ill equipped. We encountered a group of American college students (40) in Romania who were going from country-to-country ministering in the Balkans. After attending our program and one said to me, “it is sad that we have to come all the way from the U.S. to learn what we are learning here!”
It cannot be repeated enough, everywhere is missionary territory. Today, a mission field is often wrongly assumed only to be in a foreign land. Of course, they are in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe or The Middle East, but your neighborhood, community and town are also His field.
Recapping, there are two categories of missionaries, home based and overseas workers. The home-based workers should do two things: cover home territories and support those overseas. The apostle John praised his friend, Gaius for his unwavering support for missionaries. “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth” (3 John 1:5-8)
Every believer needs constant training. In preparation for training to serve others ask yourself, “Do I know God’s Word as I should? Is my spiritual life attractive and contagious?”
Five Essential Missionary Assets
(GMI Core Values)
Earlier it was said that spiritual life is the essential empowering ingredient of mission. Love, grace, humility, truth and wisdom need to be the key components of your spiritual life, if you are to be successful on the mission field. Many people fail even before they are settled in the mission quarters because they lack these crucial assets. They go to foreign lands with the assumption that they know everything. They look down on those they have come to help with “I am better than you” attitude. Sensing this, their hosts become resentful and uninterested in the message of such prideful servants of Jesus Christ.
There is no substitute for agape love. You must love them. It cannot be faked—people know if you love them—even if you do not speak the same language. It is in your voice, your eyes, your body language. It is said that “people do not care what you know, until they know that you care.” They must see the love of Jesus in you and your action. It is the only commandment the Lord gave to us, “A new commandment I give to you, that you should love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). He repeated the word love three times in two verses. The
love is the only badge that shows we are different. Agape love cannot be concealed; it is observable. “By this [love] all men will know that you are My disciples.” People will observe; see the difference and acknowledge that you are different.
This real tangible love is all-important. It is the one indispensable element that builds a bridge between you and someone who looks different, speaks different, eats different foods and moreover thinks differently than you. But you both are made in the image of God and He desires that none should perish, and that all should grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But can you love someone you do not know? Yes! It flows from your spiritual life. God loves them—and He will give you His love for them. “For the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love” (Gal. 5:22). You can have genuine love and compassion for the unbeliever who is destined to spend eternity in hell. You can have the desire to reach out in love and compassion to the believer tangled in a web of false doctrine. This love is what gave Paul the desire to be all things to all people that he might win some. So, begin with love and build upon life giving, transforming agape love.
Your life and action must be woven from the threads of grace. You vertically “received grace upon grace” from the Lord; in the same way and proportion you must reciprocate horizontally to those around you (John 1:16). Deal with people in grace. Actions speak louder than words; hence your actions are the best way to explain grace. “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Thess. 2:8)
Humility means teachability. It is a mental attitude, which is developed with time through studying and practicing of Scriptures. On the other side of the coin is arrogance. It is also a mental attitude, where one thinks he or she knows it all, or is somebody, when, we all are a nobody. Arrogance is the Christian’s greatest enemy lurking about to render one useless in God’s Vineyard. Resist it at every turn of your life and ministry. “But He gives greater grace. Therefore, it says: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). Always remember that you are what you are by the grace of God (1 Cor.15:10).
You must be armed with Gospel truth if you are to reach the unreached and lead them to Christ. You must also be well-rounded in God’s Word (1 Peter 3:15) to combat heresy. “Many false prophets [teachers] have gone out into the world” (John 4:1). Missionaries with false religions or bad theology have often gone ahead of you. Arm yourself with biblical answers to questions confused people might ask you. To do this, you must study God’s Word and allow it to speak to your heart daily. Search His Word like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).
In teaching them the truth, the apostle Paul tells us how best to accomplish it: “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Let them know that you truly love them. Don’t force the truth down anyone’s throat. Do not be argumentative. Do not use the Word as a confrontational sword. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot do without God’s wisdom. It is essential in life and your missionary endeavor. You need wisdom in dealing with people of different cultures, ethnicity and social and economic backgrounds. You need wisdom in handling life’s issues and exigencies. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Dear Heavenly Father,
It is Your will and purpose that we be prepared. Therefore, I ask on behalf of Your child, who has undertaken the challenge to be prepared through GMI, that You will equip this individual. I pray that You will prepare and use Your beloved child in Your field to the praise of Your glory. Grant him or her the wisdom he or she needs to serve you in Your field. To the end that honor and adoration will return to you in full measure. This I pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
 William J. Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations (St. Louis MO: Amerisearch, Inc., 2000), p. 280
 A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament vol. VI (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press 1933), p. 114