In honor of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Anglican Frontier Missions, AFM founder, The Rev. Canon Tad de Bordenave, oversaw the compilation and editing of 17 chapters that make up AFM’s 25th anniversary book, Shadows from Light Unapproachable.
Providing a holistic if not exhaustive look at frontier missions and an Anglican approach to world evangelization, this book offers the reader a dynamic combination of both a bird’s-eye view of the global mission landscape as well as an in-depth look at how a distinctly Anglican missional approach is bearing eternal fruit among the nations.
AFM’s third and current Executive Director, The Rev. Chris Royer, opens and closes the book with a compelling case for the Church at large and Anglican Church in particular to assign greater efforts and attention to frontier missions.
Present-day unreached people groups (UPGs) that live their daily lives unaware of the redemptive love of Christ remain in this spiritual darkness due in large part to a disparate distribution of resources on the part of evangelized nations in the West.
As The Rev. Royer points out in his chapters, a mere 1% of American Christian offerings are designated for frontier missions. It was this same realization, coupled with a growing understanding of God’s love for all nations, tribes, and tongues, that led The Rev. Canon de Bordenave to leave his position as rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church 25 years ago in order to establish AFM and pursue a stronger Anglican presence in the small but vital world of frontier missions.
Missions Done “Anglicanly”
The Rev. Royer also provides the reader with a foundational explanation of why missions done “Anglicanly” is so vital to the contemporary frontier mission scene.
While many denominations have done and continue to do great evangelistic works among unreached people groups, the Anglican Church offers a unique and beautiful platform from which we can invite those who have never heard of Jesus into a saving relationship with Him.
Most unreached peoples already participate in the majority religion of their culture- principally Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and/or other animist religions. These religions are rich with frequent religious festivals and holy days, celebrated almost universally throughout each region.
While leaving one of these world religions in pursuit of a life lived for Christ, many new Christians discover a surprising lack of holy days in most mainline evangelistic denominations. They are likewise disoriented by an American-influenced casualness in worship.
Anglicanism bridges this cultural gap beautifully, providing new Christians with the same message of the God’s saving grace coupled with centuries of religious practice and holy days that exalt the name of Jesus.
Painting a Global Picture
Filling the chapters between The Rev. Royer’s opening and closing thoughts are 15 contributions from other AFM leaders, missionaries, and partners. These chapters paint a glorious picture of the work God is doing in and through the Anglican community to reach the unreached.
From the mountains of Nepal to the deserts of the Middle East to the influx of unreached peoples into our own Western communities, the contributing authors of Shadows from Light Unapproachable offer the reader an inspiring look at how the Holy Spirit is at work among the nations.
AFM kicked off our year-long Silver Anniversary celebration in Richmond, Virginia on September 15, 2018, and we invite Christians of all walks to join us (more information can be found at http://anglicanfrontiers.com/25-year-anniversary/).
(UPDATE from AFM: Hurricane Florence postponed our 25-year celebration. We have rescheduled for Saturday, March 23 in Richmond, Virginia.)
We also encourage you to take time to read Shadows from Light Unapproachable. You will finish the book with fresh insight into the enduring value of investing in frontier missions, the need for missions done “Anglicanly” among unreached people groups, and a profound sense of wonder that the God of the universe clothed Himself in human flesh to dwell among us and calls us all- people of every nation, tribe, and tongue- into a loving relationship with the Author of life.
Kristin DuMont is the Director of Operations at Anglican Frontier Missions.