God has led Grant Haynes everywhere from Mexico to America, and plenty of places between. He shares of God’s heart for the foreigners and how we as believers can serve them.
Grant and his wife started Global Frontier Missions in 2000 while living in Mexico. They now live in Atlanta, Georgia. There, they serve refugees in the community and equip those who are called to the nations.
What we talked about
Getting to know Grant Haynes
What are some interesting foods you’ve had in Mexico?
Grant shares about one of his newfound snacks that he began to like while doing ministry in Mexico. And that snack might just surprise you!
“And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
This verse has been a part of Grant’s life as a motivation to see the Gospel spread to places where people have never had access to the Good News of Jesus. (Matthew 24:14)
How Grant was led into ministry
Grant and his wife started ministry in Mexico. They were living in a village with the Mixteco Indians who lived there.
In that area there were 80 villages with no knowledge of the Gospel. As Americans living in a different country and culture, Grant and his wife had to take time to build trust with the people there. After five years, they saw only one person come to accept Christ.
They realized that the process they were using was not very efficient. So they asked God what needed to happen for the Gospel to spread throughout the villages.
What they discovered surprised them: the greatest gains were made when locals met Christ elsewhere. People would leave their villages and enter areas influenced by Christianity. After encountering Christ, they would return to tell their families the Good News.
After this discovery, Grant felt called to return to America. His goal was to equip those on college Campuses to go out and tell the story of Jesus in their own countries.
Raising a family on the mission field
Grant started his time in Mexico as a single man. During that time, spent time learning the language, culture, and customs.
A few years later, Grant met and married his wife, and had three children while doing ministry there. By then, Mexico had become their home, their comfort zone. So they felt led to be stretched by in the 10-40 window.
After 7 years of ministry in various countries, God finally gave clarity on where they should be. The place they least expected (or wanted) to be -- the US.
Although they didn't exactly want it at first, they knew that was where God was calling them.
What are some of the struggles you’ve gone through and how did God help you through?
There was a period in Grant’s ministry where there was no fruit in the village where they were staying. It was a discouraging time for him. There were many points in which he and his wife wanted to pack up their bags and go home.
Still, they stayed because they knew God was calling them there. They knew that what they were doing was impacting people in their church family back home.
During that time, God continually reminded that He had called them there and that their work had a purpose.
What are some good habits you have that you would like to share?
Grant spends a lot of time reading both Scripture and other books that lend in strengthening his ministry. He finds that reading helps him to be a continual learner and to be engaged in what he’s doing.
Grant’s Educational Investments
Unlike most of his family, God led Grant directly into the missions field rather than to college. He tried many times to convince God otherwise before he submitted. Right after high school, he left for Mexico.
Although he felt undereducated and under-qualified, he knew that he was walking in obedience. Although he didn’t have a degree, he was being led by the Great Teacher, the One who is better than any college professor.
God used mentors, books, and even YouTube to train Grant in how to do ministry and how to follow His call. Through that, he was reminded that God can use the “uneducated” to spread the Good News.
Engaging Missions Leadership Minute
Scott McClelland of FX Missions shares about using our advantage for the benefit of others. Listen to discover what happened during some missions training exercises and what you can do if you have failed similarly.
If you have a question about leadership that you’d like to have answered on the show, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the ministry
What is a refugee?
Grant shares the definition of a refugee and how many the United States takes in each year. He also shared the United Nations program for placing refugees.
It works a little like a lottery. Each year, about 160,000 refugees are sent to countries like the US, Australia, and England. Of those, the United States takes about 72,000 per year.
What do refugees go through when they come here?
Grant informs us that most refugees come with just one backpack and what they are wearing. Their highest priorities are learning the language and finding work. With those, they can provide for themselves.
During the first 90 days, a caseworker will help them establish a firm foundation. They will help find jobs, get settled, and find language classes. They are also given a 900 dollar gift from the US at their arrival, but after the first 90 days, they are left to their own devices. Grant shares just how difficult this process is for them.
What does Scripture say about foreigners?
Throughout the Bible, God speaks repeatedly of caring for and welcoming the foreigner, both in the Old and New Testament.
This Scriptural concept is foundational to what Grant is doing. It's part of the reason he felt so motivated to reach out to immigrants, refugees, and foreign exchange students.
Seeing the impact of ministry
Having the ability to see fruit of one’s ministry can be such an encouragement. Grant had the ability to see that through a drunk, Mexican man who came to America, found Christ, and returned to his hometown in Mexico.
Before that, there had been few or no Christians. But over half of the villagers are now believers and attending a church that this man started there.
Stories like that motivate Grant to see foreigners come to Christ, be equipped, and return to minister to their own people. Grant believes that such a form of ministry could cause a ripple effect throughout the world.
How do you plant churches?
Grant talks about how he sees his cities as little “Jerusalems”. They are filled with people from all kinds of nationalities, ethnicities, and tongues, like the story in Acts 2. Grant hopes to see a great move of God come to cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and New York. Then they can take the Good News back to their homelands.
In order for that dream to take shape, Grant has a 5-month training ministry. He equips people to go to unreached nations and share the Gospel. He has a holistic approach in which there is a balance of the head, the heart, and the hand.
And their hands-on work training involves forming relationships and helping internationals in the area. While sharing the Gospel.
What keeps you going in your ministry?
Through all of the difficult seasons, here is one thing that keeps Grant going - the peace that comes from abiding in the presence of Jesus. God continually reminds him that apart from Him, he can do absolutely nothing. By putting his love for Jesus first, other problems and situations fade away.
One passage that really reminded him of that was Mark 3, which speaks of Jesus calling the disciples to be with Him and then go out. In his opinion, being with Him must be first priority, before any ministry, job, or anything else.
Focus on YOU, the listener
How to minister in the marketplace
Grant shares how those who are called to the marketplace can have an impact on those around them. Through people in the marketplace, all spheres of society can be impacted for the Kingdom of God.
“Business is mission, and work is worship.”
The need for job skills on the mission field
In the world of missions, there has been a transition of allowing more businesses and skill-sets to be a part of missions. Grant's ministry needs business workers who can use their knowledge and love for Christ to build well structured and God-centered businesses.
What is the main reason that refugees struggle finding work?
According to Grant, one of the greatest hindrances refugees have in finding work is the language barrier. Due to that problem, many have to work in factories, eventually working up to hospitality jobs.
How to form relationships with foreigners
In order to form relationships with foreigners, simply ask questions. Find out where they are from. Ask about their culture or language, and other things of that nature.Getting to know them will make them feel included and accepted into a culture they once felt detached from.
Fear has no place
“Fear has no place in the life of a believer.”
Internet and book suggestions
Let's run this race really well.
Let's fix our eyes on Jesus - the author and perfecter of our faith.
Questions, Topics, and Times
- [00:27] – Introduction
- [01:06] – Fun Foods in Mexico
- [01:50] – What is one meaningful verse in your life, and why?
- [03:00] – How Grant was led into ministry
- [05:40] – Having a family while on the field
- [08:24] – Waiting for fruit and following God
- [11:20] – Helpful habits as a missionary
- [12:50] – How Grant was called to a unique form of education
- [15:22] – Engaging Missions Leadership Minute
- [17:36] – What is a refugee?
- [20:02] – What do refugees go through when coming here?
- [21:30] – What Scripture says about the foreigner
- [24:06] – Seeing the impact of ministry
- [27:50] – How Grant is planting churches
- [32:30] – What keeps you going in your ministry?
- [35:02] – Encouraging those in marketplace ministry
- [37:45] – The need for job skills on the mission field
- [40:15] – The refugee’s struggle to find work
- [41:04] – How to build relationships with foreigners
- [43:25] – Letting go of fear to expand the Kingdom
- [44:40] – Suggested internet resource and books to read
- [46:20] – Contact info and parting advice
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- Joshua Project
- People Groups
- Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission
- Global Frontier Missions
- Go GFM
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