A Front Row Look at the Cross’s Front Lines
Consider joining Pastor Jonathan Matías at FX–The Frontline Experience this November 6-7, 2015 in Newark, Delaware.

Hear from Tim Keesee–one of our very own missionaries, David Hosaflook (who has spoken at GCA), and a missionary couple sent to a restricted-access nation by Heritage Bible Church which planted our church. This is an event you won’t want to miss! This FX will be unique, and worth attending even if you already attended as part of the GCA group that went to FX in Virginia Beach several years ago.

FREE Registrations…If You Act Fast
Jonathan Matías has a limited number of FREE registrations ($199 savings). If interested, see him right away before they are gone.

What’s Frontline Experience?
This training is designed to prepare men and women who are open to serving Christ in restricted-access countries and educate church members to knowledgeably get behind missionaries and missions efforts in the world’s hardest places. (Update: see the Delaware event agenda here, which was just posted on 10.13.15) Topics from recent Frontline Experience events include:

  • The Cross in Cross-Cultural Missions
  • Muslim Evangelism (Getting Them Into God’s Word)
  • Risk Taking for the Gospel in the World’s Difficult Places
  • It’s Not What I Expected! (a missionary mom)
  • Training the Next Generation of Gospel Risk-Takers
  • Dispatches from the Front screening
  • May You Happy: Solid Joys in TESOL

To obtain a free registration, please see Pastor Jonathan Matías. Or, to register and pay your own way, register here.


Correction: an earlier version of this post had the wrong date. Film showing is on May 10. 

A Front Row Seat to Gospel Advance
Join us for a front row seat to the gospel’s advance in China and Inner Mongolia, as we show No Regrets, No Retreat on Sunday May 10 during 10:30 am worship service. A brief missions-and-persecution-related sermon will be followed by a showing of No Regrets, No Retreat. Watch the trailer at the end of this post.

In this film, follow our church’s missionary Tim Keesee as he travels throughout China,

  • meeting courageous witnesses,
  • visiting house churches,
  • interviewing persecuted Chinese believers,
  • and seeing how the Chinese church is Christ’s hands and feet to marginalized peoples.


Dispatches From the Front #8
No Regrets, No Retreat is the 8th film in the Dispatches from the Front series, which have all been shown at GCA. Tim is a veteran missionary, partner of Grace Church, and leader of Frontline Missions, who blogs gospel thoughts at www.timkeesee.com and has written this compelling book about the kingdom’s spread under pressure.

Through the Fire, to the Feast
This unforgettable film will help set the stage for the new sermon series launching in April, Through the Fire, to the Feast: 1 and 2 Peter. The film visualizes the very real, contemporary, and difficult pressure that Christians face throughout the world because of their faith. This sermon series, launching on April 19, will wrestle with the presence of suffering in the believer’s life, comfort in God’s election, responding to marginalization for your faith, and yearning for the kingdom to come.

Watch the Trailer

Trailer – Episode 8: No Regrets, No Retreat from Frontline Missions International on Vimeo.

How should we think about violent and bloody persecution against Christians across the globe right now? What in the world is going on as 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were beheaded last week by an ever-advancing ISIS? Is the gospel losing ground as 7,000 Christians have been martyred by Boko Haram and al-Shabaab recently?

In his latest prayer letter, one of Grace Church’s friends, Tim Keesee of Frontline Missions, reminds us of the wise words of Samuel Zwemer, an early missionary to Muslims, who said:

“When you read in reports of troubles and opposition, of burning up books, imprisoning colporteurs, and expelling workers, you must not think the Gospel is being defeated. It is conquering.

What we see under such circumstances is only the dust in the wake of the ploughman. God is turning the world upside down that it may be right side up when Jesus comes. He that plougheth should plough in hope. We may not be able to see a harvest yet in this country, but furrow after furrow, the soil is getting ready for the seed.”

Are you wondering how we get involved in global missions here at Grace Church of Alexandria. Looking for ideas on how to do missions with the limited resources of a small church?

GCA’s Missions Mindset

Grace Church of Alexandria’s global missions efforts are featured in the October 2014 edition of Postings: The Missions Mobilizers’ E-newsletter (p. 3). In it, one of our pastors and our missionaries who have been working in the Middle East describe Grace Church’s heavy emphasis on relationships and spiritual care for our cross-cultural workers, since we have limited physical resources as a church of one hundred people.

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A Surprising Request
What’s amusing to me is that I’ve been seeking advice from the missions team at Catalyst on how to leverage our limited resources as a small church in order to do missions well. What began as conversations seeking their advice ended out as an interview featuring the intensive spiritual care we provide our missionaries, along with our missions advocate program. You’ll also find the 3 other interviews in this issue of Postings helpful to think about global missions with a limited small church missions budget.

Resources for Developing Missions at your Church
I heartily recommend for missions committee members, pastors, and missions-minded Christians to become familiar with these resources by Catalyst.


I am thrilled that Tim Keesee’s Dispatches from the Front book will be released by Crossway on May 31st. This is a book you will not want to miss. Tim is a long-time friend of Grace Church of Alexandria and one of the original people who encouraged our team to plant a church in the D.C. area. His book is a gripping account of the gospel’s progress in the world’s difficult places.

Dispatches from the Front is a series of moving, well-written stories from Tim of how the good news is making strides in places we’d least expect it. In reading my preview copy, I could barely keep the tears back during each page as I read of believers who have risked all for Christ and have lost so much through persecution. I have also come away simply amazed at the progress that the good news of Jesus Christ is making in places where it hardly seems possible: the gulags of Siberia, the war-ravaged Balkans, and Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

Do yourself a favor and read the preview, then order a copy.

While you’re at it, give a follow to Frontline Mission @flmissions

HT to Melissa McKinnon for alerting me about the book release date and video!

Title: Dispatches From the Front: Stories of the Gospel’s Advance in the World’s Difficult Places
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-1-4335-4069
Release date: May 31, 2014


The videos, talks, and stories about evangelism from Together for the Gospel 2014 are well worth your time. This was the most encouraging, practical, refreshing ministry conference I’ve been to. All the audio and video are free for viewing. The theme this year was Unashamed…we have every reason to share and offer the good news of Christ to our broken world.

May I suggest you watch and listen to these T4G ’14 highlights first?



  • Evangelism stories
    In short 5 minute videos, hear from believers about the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the payoff from being persistent in witnessing.



Join me in 2 years for T4G on April 12-14, 2016.

Battle Wounds…

March 17th, 2014

It’s always been a mystery to me how the gospel advances best through suffering. These lines from veteran missionary Amy Carmichael help me see why it is that the gospel and Christian living are both cross-shaped.

Captain beloved, battle wounds were Thine,
Let me not wonder if some hurt be mine;
Rather, O Lord, let my deep wonder be That I may share a battle-wound with Thee.

Amy Carmichael from “Swords Drawn”

Join us Sundays at 9:30 am at Grace Church of Alexandria for an engaging, discussion-oriented class about how to share the gospel with Muslims, and really, anyone who holds different values than you.

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Chris Sicks, NavPress author and pastor in Alexandria, will be preaching about mercy ministry at 10:30 am on Sunday November 17, 2013, at Grace Church of Alexandria. Join us at 10:30 am to hear Chris–an engaging, thoughtful, compassionate believer–share how we can make God’s gospel love tangible to people in our city.

Chris has an incredible story of grace to tell, about how God has led his church Alexandria Presbyterian Church to have a powerful ministry to refugees in the Washington D.C. area, which has opened up countless doors to witness. Read the story here.


As I’ve gotten to know Chris, by his life I’ve been personally challenged to reassess how I should more actively and lovingly care for the physical needs of people in my life. By sacrificially meeting physical needs, this opens up doors to speak the truth of the gospel to hurting hearts. Chris has challenged me–what he would call a “word” person”–t0 also be a “deed” person, to make God’s gospel love touchable and real to people, so they will be more open to the saving message of Christ. As Chris says,

“I find it fascinating that Jesus chose to help hurting people as the most frequent proof of his divinity. He could have commanded the sky to rain or snow, moved mountains, and turned rocks into diamonds. These acts would have demonstrated his divinity as clearly as healing and feeding did. He once calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee, but even then his attention was on the terrified men in the boat. Jesus’ heart of compassion was always moved by people and their needs.”

– p. 30 from Tangible

Chris’s book Tangible is available from NavPress and will be for sale at Grace Church on November 17th. Here’s the print version and the Kindle version. I invite you to come hear Chris!

What Is the Day of Prayer?
Each November at Grace Church of Alexandria we take a Sunday to observe International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We join half a million churches worldwide in remembering and interceding for Christians who are oppressed because they follow Christ.

Day Of Prayer at Grace Church – November 10, 2013
This Sunday November 10, 2013, at Grace Church we will actively think about and pray for our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Christ. We invite you to join us at our 10:30 am service in remembering “those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).

How to Pray for The Persecuted
Here are five resources I recommended to stay informed about Christians suffering for their faith in Christ. These magazines, emails, and books will help you get started in remembering your brothers and sisters in chains, as bound with them.

Christian Freedom International (CFI)


CFI was founded with the help of a religious freedom lawyer on whose legal team I worked. The CFI Newsletter, mailed for free, provides a stunning visual report of persecution against believers.

Frontline Missions, International

Download and print Frontline’s 31 Days Prayer Calendar for the Persecuted. Frontline works with Christians in oppressed regions and gives a gospel-minded way to think about mistreatment of believers.


Voice of the Martyrs (VOM)

Their web site is a treasure trove of resources on this issue.

Operation WORLD
This handy book is an excellent guide to prayer you should consider keeping next to your Bible. For over a decade I’ve used Operation WORLD to help me know how to pray for the spread of the Gospel and for the persecuted church. Every country in the world is described, along with suggestions for prayer for each nation. It is a worthy investment. Click here to download a sample .pdf. Purchase it here.