NEWS MID OCTOBER 2013
There is definitely something attractive about Anglicanism, I thought to myself as I visited an Anglican seminary near Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. The solemnity provides a space for getting serious with God. Folks at this seminary, which I had last visited in 2010, had split away from the very liberal Episcopal Church in America. They have re-grouped and are re-affirming their faith in the living Christ.
My host, the professor for missions at this seminary, welcomed me enthusiastically to share with his class, and then the following day for a lunch time presentation. I was able to incorporate drama into my presentations, as I had begun to do a few weeks back. In addition to the many interested seminarians, I visited Anglican mission organisations near the seminary. The seminary is available to us should we want to use it as the location for a vulnerable mission conference in the years ahead, I was assured.
On to Dallas, I visited Global Institute for Applied Linguistics. A good anthropologist friend of mine hosted me at this institute, one of the major training arms of Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL. My lunch-time presentation there was packed-out. Folks in Wycliffe are clearly very interested in what we are promoting by way of vulnerable mission. Partly this is because of the language focus that we have in vulnerable mission. It was a good opportunity to have many interesting conversations with missionaries and budding missionaries who have very serious interest in the promotion of indigenous languages.
From Dallas, to the Carolinas, where I have been hosted by the international office of Serving in Mission. Recent developments in this large international interdenominational mission agency are very encouraging from the "vulnerable mission" point of view. A new international director, a Nigerian, came into office earlier this year. I was able to share a small part in the reviews that he is making to the structure of the mission operations, recruiting and so on. As a Nigerian, born and raised in Nigeria, the new director is concerned that missionaries enter the field with an appropriate humility and "weakness". I cannot say much more at this point. This is the mission that I was a part of from 1988 to 1991. It was good to be able to make albeit a small contribution to their contemporary plans for their strategic development. I was able to meet up with various new and old friends, including the head of the mission in Zambia, and the one-time director for the UK who is now looking at global missions strategy development.
After this, my latest stop has been a very professionally planned conference with TWR (once called Trans World Radio). The aim of the conference was to look at the interaction between business, the church, and mission. Today was a long day of listening to a list of speakers. My turn came 4:30pm to 5:30pm. I took the opportunity to share about vulnerable mission with some very high-flying and well-known church and mission leaders. (The whole conference is being recorded on video.)
I have now joined forces with a New Zealander friend who I first met in Kenya. Tomorrow we set out with him and some of his wife’s family for a 20 hour drive from North Carolina to Dallas in Texas. The Bible Translation Conference, I gather the biggest in the world with an anticipated attendance of 350 plus, is to start there on Friday 11th October. Thereafter I am to go to a Christian university in Indiana, then to a missions research and teaching centre in New Haven.
Evangelical Alliance is promoting the November conference on vulnerable mission to be held in Norwich, UK: Spaces are still available for this conference. The conference will run from midday on the 14th to midday 16th November, at Norwich Central Baptist Church. Cost £50 including meals but not B and B. The conference is co-sponsored by TWR and by WMA.
PS My computer crashed a few days ago. I have been able to recover it, and have retained most files.