In preparation for the writing of this paper, many missionary and national leaders who serve the evangelical church in Central America were consulted. Their opinions reflect, in general, the thinking of a large number of Latin American Christians on this important issue.
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No part of the world is immune to the startling and accelerating tempo of change. In fact, the sudden exposure of nearly all the world to modern technology, the new ideologies, and the upsurge in literacy and education, plummets in the span of a decade or two whole societies and cultures into complexities which have required many centuries for development.
Where are missionary candidates coming from, and what means does the Holy Spirit use to move them out of their own cultures? Mission boards, field surveys or even previous experience do not provide a satisfactory answer because they represent a past generation.
The proposed program for developing Christian leadership in India is the program of the Lord Jesus Christ found in the gospels. We shall confine ourselves to His program that developed the twelve apostles to become the first Christian leaders.
At the East Asia Christian Conference meetings in 1964 in Bangkok it was unequivocally stated that, “inasmuch as theresponsibility for in-service preparation rests upon the receiving Churches, it is essential that they accept this responsibility fully. They must provide for adequate language study and also for general orientation.”
The average American university student believes Christian missionary service is obsolete, paternal and culturally alien. Conversely, on-campus recruiters tell him that the Peace Corps provides opportunity for service which is relevant, fraternal, and culturally accordant. In the resulting conflict, many missionary-oriented youths are faced with the dilemma, missions or Peace Corps?