If ever there was a truism for the new millennium it is that change, not stability, is the new status quo. Those who think otherwise need only examine any modern field of endeavor, from aerospace to zambonis (the machines that sweep the ice at hockey games). Change is not only a given, it is relentless.
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The advance of the gospel has all the earmarks of trench warfare.
Several decades ago, Max Atienza, administrative director of the Far East Broadcasting Company’s work in the Philippines, hosted a program at 7 a.m. on Sundays in the Tagalog language. One day Max visited the island of Mindoro and heard about a village of uneducated Mangyan people who listened to his program. He was curious and decided to visit them.
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One of my seminary professors has jokingly said, “Missionaries are expected to ‘go into all the world and write prayer letters to every creature.’” The reality of that statement is not always so humorous.
In 1991 a missionary of long tenure and I entered into a dialogue centered on the work in Somalia. Some of his comments are branded in my soul.
In his books Peace Child and Eternity in Their Hearts, missionary writer Don Richardson proposed that God has placed within every culture certain concepts that find their fulfillment only in the gospel.
The many Chinese who have immigrated to the United States and other Western nations from Hong Kong in the past couple of years present a unique challenge to Christians desiring to share the gospel.
As an adult child of missionaries, and as the mother of four MK children, I am fascinated by literature on missionary kids. Discussions of change, separation and loss, MK schooling, and the formation of a “Third Culture” among MKs have helped me.
An unbiased and honest analysis of the Protestant church of all denominations in Russia not only allows for, but demands, the conclusion that a serious crisis is at hand in the development of this branch of Christianity in Russia.