NEWS END OF NOVEMBER 2013
The size of the groups that turned out to welcome Jean Johnson and me to the various churches we visited in the UK on dark wintry evenings, indicate how seriously folks are concerned with global mission. We had evening sessions at New Farm Chapel in Alresford, Wantage Baptist Church in Wantage, Acomb Baptist Church in York, Norwich Central Baptist Church in Norwich, and then Andover Baptist Church in Andover. I am very grateful to the folks in Norwich, the location for our conference, for the use of the church facilities and for excellent service especially from the cooks looking after us as our conference progressed.
The conference, that went from 14th to 16th of November, was attended by about 30 people in total. To see some pictures of the conference, go here: The whole event went very smoothly. This was particularly due to the excellent organising carried out by Tim Reeves from Norwich. Around 12 papers were presented. We were able to discuss the papers and offer comment. In addition, we had worship devotional sessions, a great deal of discussion, and panels who were asked difficult questions. The whole conference was oriented to encouraging mission to the majority world using indigenous languages and resources. Watch this space . . . to hear audio recordings of the presentations given at the conference: we hope they will soon be posted at the blog. Audio visual recordings of Stan Nussbaum and Jean Johnson’s presentations from the September day conference in the USA are posted.
Jean Johnson’s message at the main service of the Norwich Central Baptist Church on the Sunday morning touched all our hearts and I am sure moved many almost to tears. She told of us the response of just one family in Cambodia to the "Killing Fields" there in the 1980s. Four of us then "rushed" back to Andover for an evening "Café Church". Other lights were dimmed as the spotlight focused on Clive, Ross, Jean and myself in front of the gathered crowd. Clive and Ross fired questions about foreign missions which Jean and myself answered as best we could.
After returning Jean to Heathrow on the Monday, Tuesday 19th November, I came to the Academy for World Mission in Korntal in Germany. That is an advanced training centre set up by German churches to give post-graduate education for those interested in serious engagement with global mission and Christian development. My sharing with all students and staff at the Saturday devotion was well received. The Principal of AWM is interested in arranging some further event to alert Germany mission agencies about the benefits of vulnerable mission, perhaps in 2015. Since then I have been based at the OJC. This is a community of Christian people dedicated to service and making God’s word known, with which I have long had a close link especially through Frank Paul (advisory board member of the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission. As I write, I am visiting the Marburg Bibel Seminary, with a view to making a longer visit at a future date, perhaps in 2015.
In the next two weeks I am to visit and teach at two more Bible colleges in Germany. I hope to spend a few days of farewell and some family time in the UK before going back to Kenya by mid-December 2013. Please pray for my remaining activities. At the one Bible college I am to teach a full course on missions to the trainee pastors. I should be meeting large groups for mission orientation at the other. News I am getting from Kenya is good. I am hearing that we have had good rains, and am looking forward to re-engaging in life back there.