My name is Sandy Detherage. I am simply a Christian who wants to make a difference in the world by partnering in the mission of God during my retirement.
In addition to our service to the local community through participation at High Pointe Church of Christ in McKinney, Texas, my wife, Cindy, and I are passionate about serving God globally. Our life experiences have provided a network of ministry possibilities.
As just two members of the Lord’s global community, it quickly became obvious to us that one couple cannot evangelize the entire world. However, the life of Barnabas displays the ability to be Christ-like by inspiring others toward greater service. It is indeed possible for all of us to have a positive influence on those around us and those with whom we have contact, through various means of communication, (i.e. face-to-face, letters, Skype, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). We also have daily opportunities to live like Jesus with our family and friends, inspiring and encouraging them to do the same.
As we consider different opportunities for service,I encourage you to imagine living in a culture unlike your own. Where Christianity is something that is foreign, a strange teaching brought to you by people who look different and talk different than you and your family. These outsiders teach a lifestyle that is sometimes counter-cultural and doesn’t seem to fit in your world. Then you are moved by the message and commit to changing your life to follow God’s way. You put on Christ in baptism, but you have little support. Where can you turn for answers, fellowship, and spiritual growth?
Now, go to Google Maps and look at the South Pacific island country of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, or Vanuatu. I encourage you to zoom-in with me on some of those remote locations, the small clusters of grass huts and small buildings in the interior of the country. Notice the lack of roads, the rugged terrain, and the isolation. Zoom-in on the small surrounding islands. Did you notice that what first appeared as a small dot on a map is actually inhabited? Small grass huts and small buildings are there. Roads may be few or non-existent.
How will places like this be evangelized? It must be done through face-to-face encounters. The best results will be from those who know the language(s) and culture(s) in that part of the world. With so many places to go, (just in the country of Papua New Guinea for example), how can this be accomplished on a global scale?
Indigenous Christians must be equipped to minister and evangelize within their own culture(s). Unfortunately, the isolation that many of these Christians experience can also bring discouragement and frustration as they try to continue their own Christian walk while attempting to share the Gospel with others along the way.
This is where The Barnabas Mission seeks to serve.
As a part of this ministry, the Barnabas Mission seeks to serve by encouraging our fellow believers and to equip them for service.
Jesus stated, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV). We can accomplish this by:
1. “Coming along side of,” serving and listening to the people and addressing their needs, especially through coaching and discovery.
2. Teaching the Christians to grow into Biblical roles of maturation and leadership.
3. Sharing our lives through fellowship and building spiritual family relationships that encourage.
4. Modeling a Christian life of service to others.
Although we will gladly share the Gospel message of a loving God who seeks to have His children reconciled to Him, our goal is to inspire and equip the Christians in the host country and/or culture to accomplish this task. Our goal is not to create a North American church in their culture, but to share the message of the Bible with them, let God give the increase, and help them to mature in their faith.
In conjunction with the High Pointe Church of Christ in McKinney, Texas, church planters in Cambodia, Next Generation for Christ/Story of Redemption, the South Pacific Bible College, the Worldwide Witness program and Abilene Christian University, the mission fields currently being addressed are: Papua New Guinea, El Salvador, India, the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand, and Cambodia. Invitations have been made to do the same in Tonga, Fiji, and the Philippines. We are praying for the doors that may be opening in China.
The BARNABAS MISSION is not limited by geography but is defined by the mission itself, "Seeking those who want to know God, Building up the Body of Christ."