NEWS FOR END OF FEBRUARY 2007
Moving Mountains in the USA?
One month into my USA trip - the news is good. Thank-you for your prayers. I thank God for the experiences I have already had here. I have been welcomed into Christian communities in which a month ago I knew no-one. People committed to supporting foreign mission from the USA have been able to put time aside and make efforts to take on board the message that I bring them from Africa.
I remain with 12 days here at the US Centre for World Missions. Founded by renowned missions leader Ralph Winter this is a complex of Christian institutions of all sorts gathered on a 25 acre campus in the city of Los Angeles. The complex includes a university (for distance learning) with which I have been working the most closely called the William Carey International University. This offers a curriculum called World Christian Foundations at different levels of formality and depth around the USA and beyond. I have been assisting in some curriculum revision for them. There are numerous offices of various organisations on the same site as well as a well stocked library, dining and conference facilities, accommodation and so on. All personnel (or at least many of them) gather together daily in the morning for fellowship, Bible study and prayer. On some days this fellowship time culminates in seminars - which for two weeks running I have been privileged to lead. I am offering other seminars for those interested in acquiring in-depth understanding of mission issues in Africa on Tuesday mornings, and was able to share a power-point presentation last Thursday evening.
Fuller Theological Seminary, I have been told the largest evangelical post-graduate school in the USA, is 3 miles down the road. I was invited to share a seminar with their senior staff on Tuesday. I am glad to say that I probably had more affirmation from them than anywhere else where I have in the past presented some of my more 'controversial' ideas. I was encouraged to find that we were in agreement, and the Fuller lecturers shared my concern over Western initiatives in overseas-mission that are poorly thought out and often inappropriate for the cultures being reached. I hope to have opportunity to share with a group of doctoral students at Fuller next week.
I plan to use my remaining time in further research, writing, consultation and tentative planning for a future forum or conference to further promote 'vulnerable mission'. (That I am defining as mission to a people using their language and without ministry resources.) I am due to move on to Colorado on 8th March, till 20th March.
JimThis email is made of recycled electrons.