Jonas Kang was stuck. Kang, director of the Korea World Missions Association, had several young couples who wanted to be sent as missionaries, but no opportunities to send them.
The couples desired to serve for one to two years, but all the existing programs through Korean missions sending organizations required a more long-term commitment.
Then, at an International Mission Board globalization summit held recently in South Asia, he discovered they could be sent for two years through the Global Missionary Partner (GMP) initiative to IMB teams in South Asia who would happily receive them.
It was a perfect match, one Kang had no idea was possible before the globalization summit. He said he was eager to return to Korea and share the good news with the couples.
“I am so thankful that GMP partnership is for all workers from different backgrounds,” he said.
Kang’s story is just one example of many conversations that took place over the course of the three-day summit, designed to be a catalyst for more partnerships between IMB workers and believers from South Asia and the Asia-Pacific Rim.
These two regions of the world together are home to more than half the world’s population, and more than one-third of the world’s least-reached people groups. These are people groups with little to no gospel access, and no known missionary effort being made to reach them.
The need for the gospel in these regions is immense, but so are the opportunities for gospel partnership, says Jeremiah Farmer, globalization strategist for the Asia-Pacific Rim.
There are roughly 140 million evangelical believers collectively between these two regions, and Farmer says unity and partnership among them will be critical to reaching the lost.
“We hope to raise up the largest mission force in history from this part of the world,” Farmer said. “The potential is clearly there, and it’s exciting.”
Key building blocks
And being able to realize that potential begins with honest conversations and fervent prayer, two main building blocks of the schedule for the summit. Participants also had a chance to learn about different ministries and needs in both South Asia and the Asia-Pacific Rim, as well as resources available to help train and support missionary sending.
Days of conversations, presentations and prayer concluded with a time of worship on the last day where participants could share the commitments they felt God calling them to make.
As believers from many different countries sang praises to God in no less than three different languages, it was a snapshot of the only way the global church can accomplish the Great Commission — together, with eyes fixed on Christ.
“Summits like this help us recognize that we are a part of a much bigger church, and together we do have a common vision,” Farmer said. “It’s a quick glimpse into the whole of the church working together to finish the Great Commission.”
*Some names in this story have been changed.