Paternalism was the last thing in the world I expected to find myself guilty of when assigned to university work. Perhaps your experience— and disillusionment with yourself — has been similar.
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Since August, 1971, a monetary crisis has been shaking the commercial world. It had an immediate effect on the lives and work of missionaries. In major areas of the world the U.S. dollar now buys less units of the local currency than in past years. The purchasing power of the missionary was immediately cut when this revaluation occurred.
“Everyone in Latin America sighs for `the revolution’ as if they were sighing for the Messiah,” says Orlando Sandoval, director of the University Student Center in Chile. In his country “the revolution” came quietly when Salvador Allende, a Marxist, was elected president in 1970.
(An interview by John K. Branner)
Allen Thompson didn’t receive my sheet of paper with resolutions on it at the close of GL ’71. Nor did I send it to him. But I did take his exhortation seriously when he warned against putting off what you intend to do as a result of what you have learned at GL ’71. These reflections express the burden of what grabbed me.
In April, 1906, speaking in tongues broke out in the Azusa Street Methodist Mission, Los Angeles. The experiences in Azusa Street blended with similar events in other areas to give birth to the modern Pentecostal movement. Whether or not it is accurate to speak of a “Pentecostal Revival” in 1906 is a debatable point (Orr 1965:240).
The need to plant vigorous evangelical churches in Europe is acute. It is illustrated by the statement of a State Church pastor in Germany who declared, “We are all Christians here without having the least suspicion as to what Christianity is.” Four hundred years after the Reformation there are still 250,000 towns, villages and cities without a Protestant church.
Belgium is still a mission field. If missionary work as traditionally understood is needed anywhere in the world, it is needed in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. A Congo missionary told me that the Belgian churches— the free evangelical ones— are way behind the Congo churches.
What do mission leaders think about the current status of missionary training and education?
Every message basically has two dimensions: form and meaning. Form involves the given language, a specific language level or style, the particular grammatical patterns, specific words, the gestures, etc. Meaning relates to the content.