Read the Weekly Roundup: May 11

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

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How did Jesus teach his disciples to “do missions?” Was there strategy involved?
Come join us on Monday, May 14th, as a Beyond field director shares key principles in Jesus’ strategy for reaching the lost. In this Nugget Training we will look at Scripture and learn how to implement disciple-making methods that Jesus used. See how Jesus’ disciples did ministry, and learn to recreate that 2000 year old model in the 21st century. This training will cause you to reconsider traditional missionary methods and help you evaluate the ancient biblical model that Jesus used for missions with resounding results. Consider inviting a friend to join you for this next nugget!
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My Blog Articles

Hubs: what the strategy is, and the 4 problems it engages with – Link

The “evil Matthew” effect in missions – Link

Globalization, diaspora, and where the unreached are – Link

Missionaries vs. Evangelists: a (potential) category mistake – Link

The value of limits coupled with the value of diversity – Link

The hype around North Korea – Link

News & Events

Electoral commission attack destabilizes shaky situation in Libya – Al-Monitor
… continues the trend of instability which will prevent Gospel access

1/3rd of Burkina Faso’s population are food insecure – News24
… much of Africa sits in this position, can cause sudden flash disruption

East Africa’s deadly floods a stark reminder of region’s poor disaster preparedness – Quartz
… torrential rains, 100s of 1000s displaced, humanitarian disaster

How Nigeria’s cattle war is fueling religious tension – BBC
… “long-running conflict… herders and farmers… increasingly assuming religious dimension…”

New Study: Boko Haram – Beyond the headlines: PDF
… multipage in-depth study

“After 20 years, can Ethiopia and Eritrea ever reconcile?” – New Statesman
… some positive possibilities

The religious war in the Central African Republic continues – Forbes

“Is Saudi Arabia biting off more than it can chew?” – Al Jazeera
… “economic reality has gripped the Kingdom…”
… “charm offensive… to promote country… as international investment destination”…
… “luring foreign $ to help create a new economy away from oil, prevent future instability”
… Kingdom on schedule to lift driving ban on women as planned 6/24 – Arab News
… “Culture shock within their own country”: Saudis come to grips with swift changes – NPR

Iran fires 20 rockets at Golan Heights; Israel retaliates – Guardian
… Iranian forces have never before fired directly on Israeli forces.nyt
… “edged closer to all out war on Thursday”

Syria: Rebels begin leaving last major pocket – BBC
… “only significant areas still in rebel hands lie along borders in far north and far south”
Life as a Syrian Rebel – NPR
… “as the Syrian civil war enters its eighth year…”

Why Turkey is accusing an American pastor of terrorism – Christianity Today
… “pawn in Erdogan’s geopolitical schemes: wants US to extradite Gulen”

Iraq: Praying for a Peacemaker: what elections mean for the remaining Christians? WW
… “only about 200k to 300k Christians are thought to remain in Iraq now”

Afghanistan: Taliban live openly and share power in Ghazni – NYT
… militants kill 15 as Taliban expands their control … NYT

Pakistan: Islamist terrorism wanes, but religious fervor threatens national unity – W Post

City in Pakistan may have endured the hottest April day ever recorded – WEF
… 50.2C = 122.36 F… “deserted streets, multiple cases of heat stroke, 1.1m inhabitants”

India: How a child rape became a religious flashpoint – BBC

India dust storms – 125 dead, especially Agra, Uttar Pradesh – BBC
… 82-mph winds, lightning, villages devastated, hail storms

India: Why winning the Karanata election is important – Economist
… nearly all election spending is illegal.

China: Recovering from one child: China’s growing fertility problem – CNN
… “100s of 1000s of largely urban Chinese women struggling with infertility”

Abide in Darkness: China’s war on religion stalls Vatican deal – WSJ ($)
… “landmark agreement… in limbo as govt tightens control over religion”

Why the Chinese govt is targeting young Christians in its latest crackdown – America

China’s grand infrastructure plan has spooked its rivals – Axios
… good look at just how sweeping China’s connections to the world are right now
… we might think that this enables Chinese Christian mission to the world
… however coupled w/surveillance, control of diaspora abroad, etc. – maybe more roadblocks

China: A long and informative Twitter thread on the Social Credit System – Twitter
… and a 32-pg paper, “China’s Social Credit System: an evolving practice of control” – SSRN

China is developing a massive media footprint in Africa – Link

Is China winning the “hearts and minds” of African students? China in Africa
… “China a more popular destination for African students than the US or the UK”

N Korea: US pulling out of nuke deal with Iran may impact negotiations with NKor – NYT
… “proved US untrustworthy negotiator… can’t be counted on to honor agreement…”
… there are all sorts of caveats and clouds building around the expectations of the summit
… “Mon-Kim summit is historic, but denuclearization wins aren’t guaranteed” – CNBC
… in leery Score, American missionary couple works for reunification – Religion News

Cambodia: a newspaper is sold, and Cambodians fear the end of press freedom – NYT
… sold to Malaysian investor with ties to Cambodia’s strongman PM

Southeast Asian governments always never lose elections. Malaysia’s just did – Quartz
… “In an astounding result” (Economist), UMNO/BN lost… Longer read in NYT
… Maybe not so astounding: Mahathir used to head UMNO – NPRNYT
… So is this really “UMNO lost” or rather a quasi-civil war within the political party?
… Confusion about swearing him in, however – UK Guardian

ICYMI – Putin inaugurated for fourth term as Russian president – BBC
… “opponents have linked his tenure to the reign of a tsar, or emperor”

America: the disappearing Chinese student visa – Axios
… 17% drop in international students in the US last year, 28% decline in Indian, 24% Chinese student visas

Raw Data / Resources / Collections

Top 10 books about North Korea (all secular, but look good) – UK Guardian


Water Pressure: “Water is scarce because it is badly managed” – Economist

When children become scarce – Axios
… Demographics (births minus deaths) one of the biggest factors in church growth worldwide

More people than ever now have electricity in Africa – Quartz
… but 600 million are still in the dark. The reasons have some bearing on the same challenges as the unevangelized.
… more people than ever have chosen to follow Christ – BUT the number of unevangelized likewise keeps growing.

Dropping fertility + expanding life expectancy = aging, fewer workers
… “In a big jump, working-age population is now shrinking in 40 countries” – StarTribune

“Queen of Dragons”: The inside story of Malaysia’s election fixer – Wired UK
… interesting look at election dynamics, role of religion, fake news, etc

Blogs & Opinions

Scenery of ancient city of Luanzhou in China’s Hebei – Global Times

Want to be a great storyteller? First, break these habits – FastCompany
… too much background, “telling, not showing”, too much time, not including any dialogue
… useful in partner development, mobilization, etc.

Egypt’s women street sellers – Al Jazeera
… stories of 5 village women supporting their entire families by selling produce in markets

On the streets of the Dalai Lama’s town – Diplomat
… scenes from Mcleodganj, also known as “Little Lhasa”

5 mistakes that could derail your short-term missions trip – IMB

Inertia: the force that holds the universe together – Farnam Street
… “sometimes inertia helps us… questioning everything would be exhausting”
… “important thing about inertia: only the initial push is difficult. After that, progress tends to be smoother”

Future, Tech

Digital in 2018: in Northern Africain Western Asia. Each a 200+ slide set. h/t @davehackett.

Criminals use drone swarm to obstruct FBI hostage raid – CNet
… “drones harassed, surveilled agents in crisis situation”

Lockheed-Martin “drone-sdploding baby missile” ways just 5 pounds – Wired

iOS 11.4 disables USB port after unlocked for 7 days – Link
… new change has implications for security, theft, mobile forensics

AI cracking open the Vatican’s secret archives – Atlantic
… new project untangles handwritten texts in one of the largest historical collections

Google Duplex: an AI system for accomplishing real-world tasks over the phone – Link
… gained huge media attention: AI system calls restaurants etc, makes appointments
… ripe for abuse, however: robocalling, should a robot announce itself as a robot?

Amazon Transcribe: can analyze audio files, return a text file – Link
… I want to try this with some audio recordings of interviews.

NVidia has developed an AI imaging technique that can edit/reconstruct images even when parts of the image are completely erased, using deep learning. Twitter


“The simpler you say it, the more elegant it is.” ~August Wilson

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Einstein (?)

“When it comes to obedience, we think it’s a great idea for everyone else… but not so much for us.” ~Alex Himaya

“Just because God is silent doesn’t mean He is absent.” ~Micah Fries

“We’re tempted to chase after the American dream and sprinkle a little Jesus on top.” ~Lance Finley

“Just because God has given you great gifts doesn’t mean that he’s required to let you use them publicly or successfully.” ~Tim Bertolet

“God does not want us to come to Christ by faith, and then lead a life of defeat, discouragement, and dissension.” ~BIlly Graham

“The greatest stumbling block for a child in worship is a parent who doesn’t.” ~John Piper

“We live in failure, convinced that failure will prove us to be frauds.” ~Erwin McManus

“Change comes in three wavelengths. There are changes to the game, changes in the rules of the game, and changes in how the rules are changed.” ~Kevin Kelly
… see also, “Three ways to change the world,” that I wrote a while back

Read More

What I’m reading right now:
… Measure what Matters: John Doerr on how to write OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) and their impact on big companies, lots of stories and practical illustrations
… The Square and the Tower: Niall Ferguson on decentralized networks vs hierarchies, lots of lessons for movements
… Slide Deck: Networks and the Next Economy (Tim O’Reilly, 95 slides)

Justin Long, a missionary researcher serving with Beyond (a Missio Nexus member) provides the Weekly Roundup. Sign up to get it every week or visit his daily blog: Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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