Like the thousands of Iraqi landmines strewn across the desert, potential booby traps can blow up in the faces of church-planting teams that take to the mission field with high enthusiasm but little knowledge of the territory.
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Finding a balance between staying too long and leaving too early.
Joachim Hettiarachi, principal of the Ibbagamuwa high school, arrived home one afternoon to find a mother and her teenage daughter waiting for him. The girl was ill. The village doctor could not help her; neither could the witchdoctor. Someone had suggested that she take her daughter to Pastor Hettiarachi.
After visiting missionaries on a number of fields over the past few years, I’ve come away dismayed because far too many of them have only a vague idea about what they’re supposed to be doing.
We’re hearing more about power encounter these days among non-charismatics. We are more open and less afraid of spiritual power than we used to be.
According to the Jesuit-sponsored Bellarmino Center and the Chilean Department of Sociological Research, Protestantism has exploded in Chile. In 1970, the “evangelicos” (synonym for Protestants) comprised 5.1 percent of Chile’s people; in 1980, 7.5 percent, and in 1985, 9.6 percent.
In the first of this two-part series (April, 1991), I described what I call the “double bubble syndrome” that missionary kids grow up in. The first bubble is their idealized perception of their local culture and church. The second is their imported evangelical ghetto and world view.
The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA, Kenya), which grew out of the pioneering missionary zeal of the Church of Scotland in 1891, will be celebrating its centenary this September. For many years the church depended on financial and personnel assistance from Scotland. In 1956, however, the Kenyans formed their own General Assembly, thereby becoming autonomous.
Increasing financial paternalism and the accompanying westernization of the gospel are the two most critical issues facing us in world missions today.
Adult learning research shows that too often highly trained, highly motivated people, like the missionaries and church leaders we serve, are not highly motivated when it comes to sitting through training seminars.