NEWS END OF OCTOBER 2017
We sat together for breakfast. "I’m writing a book with some colleagues", the professor told me. "We want to advise churches how to go about promoting development in the majority world. We have many Christians who are very keen to use the resources that God has given them to help the poor. Since reading your materials I have become aware also of many issues and difficulties in doing this." My response; "Indeed, I tend to be critical of development. I’d be happy to discuss more if you want to. There are levels of difficulty that many people are not seeing." There, at least, was some clear evidence that my writing is drawing people’s attention! It is causing people to re-think. I do see that promoting development should be more about Western people giving their lives in service, than in what "we in the West can do" with our superior resources.
About 100 students gathered in front of me for the chapel service that was the focus of the "mission-week" at the university. I felt that I communicated clearly; who knows what seed might have been sown? I continue to pray that as a result one or two students might be inspired to devote their lives in service for others in another part of the globe.
This year’s Bible Translation Conference held in Dallas attracted over 450 delegates. While American dominated, people attended from all over the world. Amazingly, people’s discussions and issues constantly brought ‘vulnerable mission’ concerns to the fore. Time and time again people shared their frustrations over being over-strongly oriented to finance and of creating dependency. I was privileged to have a prominent display table that included explanations of what we are advocating. I have been enrolled into a committee that is to look at "translation and power" issues on behalf of Bible translators. I continue to pray that big-people in the Bible translation movement will find inspiration in the message we are sharing. Since the end of the conference, I continued at the nearby university at which Wycliffe trains a lot of their people. A presentation I gave there has attracted a lot of interest, especially from young people. I also contacted Dallas Baptist University, and Dallas Theological Seminary. As I write I am at De Paul University in Chicago.
Please pray for my ongoing programme. I am to be teaching some classes at Moody Bible Institute till 27th October. Next week I am to be at Eastern University in Philadelphia. Thereafter, I am to be the mission week speaker at Trinity School for Ministry near Pittsburgh. That is immediately followed at the same location by our Vulnerable Mission Conference.
(Attached, picture of my home-church congregation. Looking at it makes me wish I was home!)