In this episode, we hear from Mary Ho, the leader of All Nations which has a special place in our hearts as Praxeis. Many of us know All Nations from Floyd McClung’s visits* to us in the late 2000s. Floyd poured into us and set us up to run the race of making disciples.
Listen to Mary share her story and the good things God is doing with All Nations…
Born in Taiwan, Mary grew up in the nations with her father serving as a diplomat. As a 17 year old international university student in the US, she describes her life as falling apart. Whilst suffering from severe depression and bulimia, Mary describes how she gave her life to Jesus through the witness of what she calls some “obnoxious Christian students”! Jesus pursued Mary by healing her from her illnesses. From this encounter, Mary would carry a vision of Jesus as the hope of the nations.
As she started working for World Vision, Mary started to realise she had to be about serving the nations. It would be years later when God told her how she had been created “in the nations, for the nations”. It was Floyd who called out the leadership gift in Mary as a young mother. She and her husband soon became involved with All Nations.
After serving as the international director of YWAM, Mary tells us how Floyd started All Nations so that disciple making movements could happen amongst unreached peoples and places. Thirty years later, All Nations is now in 45 countries, forming multiplying hubs of disciple makers.
Mary says that the centre of gravity of the global church has now shifted to the Global South:
“We are living in a time where God is mobilising from everywhere to everywhere. This was always God’s original intent.”
She then challenges us to change the way we have often done missions:
“We really should be proclaiming the gospel in a way that people are not only recipients but also ‘goers’ of the gospel.”
Training and sending hubs:
Mary has a passion to do what she calls ‘polycentric’ sending, where people are sent not only from western nations like the US, but from different training and sending hubs around the world. We have already heard in this podcast of Wilson, one example of an All Nations hub leader, who started a movement in Uganda that has spread into the nations.
One of the focuses God spoke to All Nations after the Syrian civil war was the Muslim diaspora. Mary describes how there has been great fruit as God reveals himself through dreams and visions to these Muslim people. There are stories of Muslim refugees sharing and baptising people back in their homelands. Places where it has often been difficult to send people into.
Mary also highlights the strategic opportunity we have in our receiving, western (and now post-Christian) nations through both these refugee and also our international student communities. She herself came to faith as an international student in the US and is now influencing the nations.
Making the Gospel accessible to all:
Mary shares how DMM empowers the ordinary person to be a disciple maker. Since most of the world’s cultures are oral, she emphasises the need to use simple and reproducible way to share the gospel. Giving examples of how All Nations trains and shares with people in places like Africa and Tibet, Mary says,
“What’s important is not just what we do but how we do it”
Mary’s word of encouragement (from 1 Corinthians 16:8-9)
“The Lord honours those of us who have chosen to stay on in our Ephesus as He opens wide a door for effective work. He knows the daily oppositions that we encounter. He knows how hard it is and honours [those of us] who have chosen to stay and labour. He sees our trials and will come through for each and every one. There is victory and comfort in Christ.”
*Start to listen here to Floyd sharing with us back in the 2000s