Last year, we created t-shirts with the words ‘Love has no Borders’ superimposed on an image of the globe. This t-shirt was designed to demonstrate that God’s love was intended for everyone and to reinforce the message which Jesus modeled during his ministry when he challenged long-standing cultural barriers.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’”
Luke 2:10 NIV
As a Christian mission, we have been challenged in the past year with the rising global trend of ‘ethnic nationalism’. In India, the rise of increased Hinduism, Malaysia and Turkey appear to be moving to a more hard-line stance on Shariah law. Nigeria and Nepal have experienced a shift towards more nationalist governments; the ongoing war in Syria continues to disrupt the Middle East. The populist sentiment which swept Donald Trump to victory in the US continues to be a significant element in the current French Presidential election.
It’s destructive and divisive rhetoric is directed at non-nationals who are viewed as threats to cultural uniformity and economic opportunity.
How does God say we should treat foreigners?
“The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”
Psalm 146:9 NIV
“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”
Deut 10:18 NIV
At Partners International, our goal is to fulfill both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment by going into the world to preach the gospel with love. We call this Integral or Holistic mission. Following Jesus’ example, our local ministry partners work to alleviate social, economic and spiritual poverty through a holistic approach to development, transforming individuals and communities in the process.
With your support, we now work in 22 countries alongside 28 ministry partners. The people we serve are often marginalized and oppressed indigenous groups, which include the most vulnerable sectors of society: the poor, the widowed and orphaned, people with HIV, and those that are easily exploited, such as migrant workers and women excluded from education. People persecuted on the basis of religion or ethnicity are frequently forced to flee their homes, as has happened in Nigeria, Iraq, and Syria. I witnessed the proliferation of refugee camps first hand on my most recent trip to Lebanon.
I pray that this annual report demonstrates how amazing and fearless our partners are in producing incredible outcomes due to your faithful support. Because you continue to stand with us, we are able to provide crucial supplies and to train pastors and lay workers to further God’s Kingdom in some of the most remote and needy places.
We will continue to challenge social exclusion and to stand up for the persecuted. We are excited to see what God has in store for us, for our partners and the people they serve, and for you, our valued supporters throughout the coming year.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 NIV
Thank you for being on mission with us!
President, Partners International Canada