The driving force behind this ministry is Christ’s commandment to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. We believe that the best way that Heaven’s Family can be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission is through partnership with those who are already “on the ground”—particularly those upstanding indigenous evangelists and church planters who are already successfully laboring for the sake of the gospel.
Although both cross-cultural and indigenous missionaries are needed to fulfill the Great Commission, national missionaries often have some distinct advantages over cross-cultural missionaries.
• First, they can often serve where cross-cultural missionaries cannot. Many countries and regions of the world are closed to cross-cultural missionaries.
• Second, national missionaries already understand the culture in which they are serving and already speak their language, two hurdles that often require years of research and study by cross-cultural missionaries.
• Third, national missionaries are often able to live at the same income level as the poor people whom they serve, whereas cross-cultural missionaries (especially those from wealthy Western countries) find it impossible to live at such a reduced standard of living. Consequently, it is often possible to fund ten to fifty national missionaries for the price of one Western cross-cultural missionary.
• Fourth, when national missionaries share the gospel of Christ, their message is less likely to be viewed as one about a foreigner’s god.
All of this is not to say that there is no need for Western or cross-cultural missionaries. In some cases, they have definite advantages over national missionaries, and Heaven’s Family is proud to be partnered with a number of fine Western cross-cultural missionaries.