International Partnership Ministries is classified by some folks as a “non-traditional” mission board. If a “traditional” board is one which sends and supports American missionaries only, then IPM certainly does qualify as being non-traditional. While IPM does have some American missionaries and is in the process of recruiting others, the main focus of the mission is to encourage and support the work of missionaries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Why is this non-traditional approach so important? This approach is vital to world missions because more than half of the world’s population is cut off from traditional missionary work. Vast areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have little or no traditional missionary work due to government restrictions. Most inhabitants of the Islamic world, the Buddhist world, and the Hindu world will never hear the gospel from Western missionaries. Mission boards which limit their ministry to the sending and supporting of American missionaries are neglecting the half of the world’s population which has historically received the least gospel.
An Asian missionary can go to areas in Asia where Americans cannot go. IPM currently supports S. H., Indian missionary to the limited-access country of Nepal. N. L. K., national missionary in Myanmar (Burma), is doing an excellent job of evangelism and church planting in an area which is even restricted to foreign tourists, much less missionaries. In 2001 IPM began supporting T. S. G., an Indian missionary to Bhutan, a country which is totally closed to missionaries from the West. IPM is looking into the possibility of sending Filipino missionaries into areas of Southeast Asia that are closed to Westerners as well.
In the Middle East IPM is partnering with a brand new mission organization, the Arab World Baptist Mission. The founder, Rev. R. A. M., from Lebanon, dreams of finding ways to get literature and people into Arab countries where Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are not permitted to live and work for the Lord. If Arabs are going to hear the gospel, most of them will need to hear it from another Arab.
Non-traditional mission agencies are springing up rapidly as church and mission leaders realize the urgency of getting the gospel into places where you and I cannot go. This is a very positive trend in modern missions, one that should be encouraged by fundamental leaders, and not discouraged.
IPM is making every effort to work with outstanding Asian, African, and Latino missionaries, men and women of character and principle, missionaries who are willing to be accountable and transparent in every area of their life and work. God has blessed IPM with some of the world’s most outstanding national leaders, men such as Dr. P. D. Cherian in India, Rev. Lucien Saül in Haiti, Dr. Seth Mohenu in Ghana, and Rev. Iván Alegría in Chile. These missionaries are accomplishing a great deal in their part of the world. They are worthy of our respect, our support, and our prayers.
Thank you for joining us in our efforts to help them be all that they can be on their part of the planet.
Timothy B. Shorb
Your Partner With National Missionaries Around The World