NEWS MID NOVEMBER 2010
Wide somewhat empty streets met me in Anderson in Indiana once a hub of industry that has since gone under. Visiting the thriving Church of God University and offices was an opportunity to catch up with colleagues from Kima International School of Theology which has close links with Anderson. Monday kicked off with a three hour class with about 25 post-graduate students. Meeting and talking with them in the corridors of the university the rest of the week demonstrated that I had challenged them to consider ministry options that were previously off the radar. A few more presentations, including with the church's mission leadership, all brought encouraging feedback.
My trip to Chicago coincided with a Saturday conference of missions professors, that I was able to attend and share with very briefly. That sharing opened a door to the third of the three well known Chicago schools. It was a privilege to meet with many of the people leading the missions scene in the USA. Chicago seems to be a pivotal city. I was able to add mine to other responses to reports by PhD students on the fascinating work they are doing. One told of how he sees that the church in Japan needs to relate to ancestral "worship" practices that are proving very hard for Japanese people to lay aside. Others reported on their research in Malaysia and Nigeria.
It was incredible to become a small part of world-renowned institutions like Moody Bible College, Wheaton College and Trinity International University all in Chicago. Wherever I went, students were receptive to the straightforward but sometimes forgotten (in recent times) Scriptural challenge that I expounded using personal experience; to engage in ministry from a position of human vulnerability.
We give thanks for UK based Fiona Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) volunteering to take the role of administrative assistant for the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission. Fiona and I studied in the same college many years ago. She recently came across the AVM and volunteered to help us out. There are indications that some of the US universities I have been visiting may also be interested in working with us.
The next few weeks should find me at Abilene Christian University in Texas, William Carey International University in California, and then Mid Atlantic Christian University in North Carolina.
(Here is the link to the video of my teaching a few weeks ago again for those who want to know in more detail what I am up to.)