July 2023

Denominational Focus: Mission to the World (MTW) sends out Christian workers to countries all over the world to make disciples of Jesus. These missionaries are pastors, doctors, teachers, and other professionals who help establish, grow, and mature the worldwide church through telling the world of God’s love by serving people who need Him.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

‒ Matthew 28:19-20a


July 2-8

Over these 50 years, MTW’s size and kingdom impact have grown from a few missionaries with a budget of $100,000 to a global agency of more than 800 missionaries around the world. Praise the Lord!

July 9-15

Praise that all across the globe MTW missionaries are planting churches, discipling university students, and training local Christian leaders with solid Reformed theology, using their diverse callings with the Church at the center.

July 16-22

Pray for those whom God is calling to missions, that God would clarify their call and equip them to serve Him.

July 23-29

Pray along with MTW that by 2030, 486 new churches will be planted and that God will raise up the new missionaries need to accomplish the task.

July 30-August 5

Prayer for the PCA to continue to be true to the Bible and the Reformed faith and obedient to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.



An “Original” Missionary

Ellen Barnett has served as an MTW missionary to Acapulco, Mexico, for 48 years—the last active missionary of the original 11 who started with MTW at its (and the PCA’s) founding in 1973.

Back then, Ellen was a 24-year-old teacher determined to dedicate her life to sharing the gospel of grace and advancing the kingdom of God. Over the course of her nearly half-century of faithful service, Ellen has been part of planting churches, starting a presbytery, running an annual church music training program, founding a Christian school, facilitating theological education for local Christian leaders, and even starting a seminary.

She’s seen her team grow and shrink and grow again, weathered organizational changes as MTW evolved over the decades, and has served alongside and discipled four generations of local Mexican Christians. Hers has been an extraordinary life—a joyful witnessing of how God has been at work in MTW, in her life, and in Acapulco.

We often think of missionaries as extroverted visionaries who lead gospel movements from the front of the crowd. But God uses the shy and the introverted, working behind the scenes, just as much or more. Ellen, the introverted, shy teen who was once terrified at the idea of talking to strangers about Jesus has faithfully served, discipled, led, and taught four generations of Mexican Christians. Ever in the background, few have heard of her or know about her quiet impact, but God has worked mightily through Ellen Barnett, and both MTW and Acapulco are more beautiful for her having been there.

Looking back at all that she has been involved in over the years, Ellen is extraordinarily humble. She’ll tell you that the projects weren’t her initiative. That she has “just sort of been around” there to help when people needed it. But when you zoom out and take in the scope of all she has been a part of, you realize that her impact—however quiet, however in the background—has been massive.

To read Ellen’s full story visit: Ellen Barnett: The Extraordinary Life of MTW’s Last Original Missionary.

God’s Work Against the Odds

Today, Japanese are the second largest unreached people group in the world, with less than 1% of the population professing faith in Jesus—and those numbers are only dropping. Though Japan saw a wave of missions and Christian revival shortly after World War II, that generation of Japanese pastors is aging, and the country remains in urgent need of young pastors to take the reins and lead, revitalize, or plant churches throughout the country.

Yet, even in this seemingly bleak context, God is at work in Japan. Even as the total numbers of Japanese Christians are decreasing, MTW church plants have grown and thrived. But there’s the problem. Japan simply has too few Christians and too few Christian leaders to meet their great need. As wonderful and inspiring and exciting as these stories are, there is still so much more work to be done in Japan, and that work will take an “all hands on deck” approach.

Japan needs a new generation of Japanese pastors to rise up, plant churches, and lead ministries across their country. And Japan needs many more missionaries from America and across the globe to rise up, plant churches, and lead ministries across Japan.

“Indigenous church planters is our goal, but the Great Commission is our bigger command—to do whatever it takes to make that happen,” MTW Japan Director Dan Iverson said. “A person’s character and call are more important than their passport.”

To read two stories of God’s powerful work through MTW in Japan, visit A Tale of Two Ministries: God at Work in Endings and Beginnings in Japan

God’s Faithful Call

For MTW missionary Grace Chung, the story of her call begins with grandmother in Pyongyang, North Korea. In 1907, a Korean Presbyterian minister’s preaching sparked a revival that would take the city by storm. Grace’s grandmother, born the year of the revival, became a Christian decades later as a result of its influence, and she raised Grace’s mother to be Christian as well. Although Grace’s father was not a Christian when her parents married, after his dramatic conversion, he felt the call to missions.

After the Korean War, when many Koreans were immigrating to the United States in search of opportunity, Grace’s father felt the Spirit calling his heart and took his family and immigrated to America—not in search of the American dream as for some—but so that he could eventually go to China as a missionary.

“He believed that he could go, but God led him to wait,” Grace added. “He waited until God called him home.” Grace’s father passed away. He never set foot in China.

Although Grace herself, felt the Spirit leading her to missions as well, it was more than thirty years later before she would reach the mission field—not in China, but in Bulgaria!

Today, Grace is an MTW missionary in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She’s using her skills as an occupational therapist to help people through their health issues and as a platform to share the gospel. She also works with the local church where she has spearheaded volunteer programs ministering to local special needs orphanages.

After many generations being drawn toward the mission field, Grace Chung finally made it. She’s living out her lifelong dream and serving God overseas, looking forward to how He will use her for His glory.

To read the full story of Grace’s journey to the mission field, visit A Multigenerational Dream for Global Missions.

Fun Facts

  • In the past 30 years, we have approved 2141 missionaries to serve for 2 years or longer!
  • MTW currently has 649 missionaries and 980 national partners serving in 105 countries, more than half the countries in the world.
  • We have more than 660 mission stories on MTW’s blog, Stories & More, and over 110 videos on our Vimeo channel .
  • Missionary Michael Oh is currently the president of the Lausanne Movement; Missionary Sarah Young authored Jesus Calling which has sold more than 40 million copies; Missionary kid Micah Iverson was a top five contender on NBC’s Season 18 of The Voice.
  • We have over 200 opportunities to serve and 26 different types of ministry listed on the website
  • 131 Churches have committed to our 1% Challenge to pray that God would raise up an additional 1% of their church members to serve in missions.
  • MTW’s Center for Estate and Gift Planning has processed more 2,000 estate designs over the last 30 years.

Kids’ Activities



  • Choose a missionary your church supports.

  • On the attached map, mark the continent where that missionary lives and write his/ her name next to the continent.

  • Find some facts about the country. For example: what language is spoken, what percentage of the population is Christian, what kids there like to do.

  • Using an online translator (such as Google translate), find out how to say, “Jesus loves you” in the country’s language and write it under the prayer. For example: Jesus loves you in Hungarian is Jézus szeret téged.

  • Next, pray for your missionary using the prayer (based on Matthew 28:19-20). Use this page throughout the month to pray for the missionary and all MTW missionaries around the world.

  • If your church is able to share the missionary’s address, write them a note of encouragement and let them know you are praying for them. Print attached card. Fold into fourths to make a fold-over card with “Praying for you” in the front and the Bible verse on the inside.