Our gospel ambition as a church is rooted in the missionary storyline of Scripture—God’s mission, through Christ, for the earth to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2.14). God has a mission, and his mission creates a church. As disciples of Christ, we are therefore called to join the Lord in his work as we go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28.18-20).
Paul had a gospel ambition to proclaim the glory of the gospel among those who had never heard. With Paul, Heritage’s gospel ambition is to proclaim Christ among the world’s least reached peoples.
The idea of being least reached or unreached can be hard to understand. In the United States there are countless opportunities to hear about Jesus. Unreached people aren’t ready to be told to believe in Jesus, they first need to be told there is a Jesus to believe in. There isn’t yet an indigenous, reproducing church involved in that work. Therefore, God calls his people to leverage their time, talents, treasures, and very lives for the sake of proclaiming Christ where he has not yet been named.
Heritage has a beautiful legacy of international missions involvement. Our desire as a church is to focus that love for God’s mission onto one place and one people—the Riau Melayu.
Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world and the largest Muslim country. There are over 700 distinct people groups represented, and over 100 of those are unreached with the gospel. One of those unreached people groups is the Riau Meylau (REE-ow Meh-LIE-you), a group of over 2 million people scattered over about 1000 islands in the South China Sea.
As a church family, Heritage is committed to spreading the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Riau Melayu.
Through prayer, sending and supporting new missionaries, partnering with existing missionaries in Indonesia, and going ourselves, we hope to see Riau Melayu Muslims become Riau Melayu Christians.
Our endeavor is to proclaim Christ in order to establish reproducing, indigenous churches among the Riau Melayu. Every member of our church has a role to play. Here are a few ways you can join the family business:
Pray regularly for the Riau Melayu. Set an alarm for 9:38 on Monday morning “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:38
Start by learning to pronounce their name correctly Riau Melayu (REE-ow Meh-LIE-you). Learn more about them at PeopleGroups.org
Give yourself to this great mission: your resources, your talent, your treasure, and your time. As our plans mature for the gospel’s global advance we hope to leverage an array of our assets as a church for the Riau Melayu. One strategic and ongoing way to give is financially. You can give in person on Sunday or online here.
In the future, we hope to offer short term trips to support the work of our missionary partners and care for them. Pray that God would soon open a way for trips like this to happen again. Pray for our missionary partners as they experience travel restrictions themselves. Pray and ask God whether he might be calling you to mid or long term missionary work among the Riau Melayu.
Starting in March 2021, we asked the church to increase weekly general fund giving by $2000 in order to build an opportunity fund for the work among the Riau Melayu and to help us hire a full-time worship director in 2022.
Our church constitution provides for a conservative budgeting process—the budget for next year cannot exceed actual giving this year. Increasing giving until the end of the current fiscal year will allow us to budget for the new hire. Read more about our plans to hire a full-time worship director on Pastor Trent’s blog.
The additional giving this year will be set aside into an opportunity fund. As our partnerships in Indonesia deepen, this fund will be ready to help send missionaries, print Bibles, produce audio Bibles, scholarship short-term trips from Heritage, and more.