Weekly Roundup: January 6

The Weekly Roundup

The Weekly Roundup

By Justin D. Long, ed.

Perspective, Insight, Context, Analysis

New events

Afghanistan: struggles to absorb wave of returnees from Pakistan as relations deteriorate
… and, what it’s like for female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan.
Bangladesh: Divorced women on the rise, and why women are driving divorce.
China: Uncertainty over new law rattles foreign nonprofits.
… and, inventing the digital totalitarian state; the implications of its social-credit project.
… and,  party control over religion in Tibet will only increase.
… also,  heavy smoke chokes a third of China’s citiesLung cancer #1 form of cancer.
Djibouti: ‘the country is prepared to welcome Western/other armies to build military bases
Gambia: President refuses to accept electoral loss; electoral commission chief flees country
… hiring mercenariescloses 3 radio stationsarmy declares loyalty.
Guinea: Ebola vaccine proves 100% effective in Guinea trial; yet to be approved
India: a growing center for fraud targeting Americans.
… and, did the demonetization campaign work? Forbes says, ‘no.’
… and, Bangalore’s mass-molestations on New Years Eve: ‘not raising sons right’
Iran: the battle over the Revolutionary Guards Corps business empire
… ‘an estimated quarter of the country’s economy under its control…’
Iraq: Mosul battle can be won ‘before summer’70% of east Mosul retaken already
… ‘after January’ proved overly optimistic; will this deadline, too?
… what it takes to report from behind enemy lines in Mosul
… ongoing violence in rest of country: five car bombs detonated in Baghdad, killing 64
Japan: with manicures & makeup, Japan’s ‘genderless’ blur line between pink and blue
Libya: People smugglers say their business is booming, will only increaseSirte destroyed.
Mali: Christians return to Gao under police protection, begin rebuilding, holding services
Mongolia: Nomads no more: why herders are moving to the city.
Myanmar: the roots and risks of Myanmar’s new Rohingya insurgency.
N Korea: claims in final stages of developing long-range missiles.
… high-profile defector sheds light on everyday life of N Korean diplomats.
Niger: launches amnesty, deradicalisation program for Boko Haram deserters.
Pakistan: Balochistan War: Pakistan accused over 1,000 dumped bodies.
Russia: inconsistency of anti-missionary punishments.
Saudi Arabia: awakening to the perils of inbreeding:  >50% of marriages are close relatives
… Secret Uprising: in the oil-rich Eastern province, a 3-year uprising raging.
Syria: in a suburb cleared of rebels, a gradual return to everyday life.
… and, Why the fall of Aleppo is [probably] the beginning of the end for the rebellion.
… and, A new casualty of Syria’s war: drinking water in Damascus.
… and, Russia, Turkey, Iran propose splitting Syria into ‘zones of influence’
Tajikistan: the success story that failed. Reverting to dictatorship, ‘president for life.’
Turkey: more violence: Izmir courtIstanbul nightclubKayseri busBeskitas stadium.
… Conspiracies: in Turkey, US hand is seen in nearly every crisis.
Uzbekistan: with Karimov gone, unblocks major media websites.
US: big growth in tiny businesses.
… thriving: US companies that employ only the owner. Impact on $, employment, mission?
US: Why are more Americans retiring abroad? Over 400,000 now are.
UAE: Dubai wants to attract more middle-class African tourists.
Yemen: life and death in the hospitals: the health care system collapses after 2 years of war.

New Data

Oxfam: More than 47 million people in need of humanitarian aid in the Middle East.

CFR: Preventive Priorities Survey: 2017.
Foreign Policy: 10 conflicts to watch in 2017.
Earth’s Future: forecasted environmental results of a regional nuclear conflict (academic)
… what would happen if, say, India & Pakistan had a nuclear exchange.
Lifeway: Churches are twice as likely to fear refugees as to help them.
WEForum: four numbers define the importance of our cities.
… 2% of land area, 50% of population, 75% of energy consumption, 80% of CO2 emissions.

Longer reads

Max Roser: Stop saying 2016 was the worst year ever.
… human psychology conditions us to think things are always getting worse.
15 of the best journals by NYT reporters around the world
… sleep mafias in Delhi, Chinese Scions’ Song, modernization among Dulong in China…
Think like a futurist to be prepared for the totally unexpected
… the art and science of futuring is fast becoming a necessary skill.
Jackson Wu: Recovering an Asian perspective of Grace
… God’s grace makes us have an infinite debt to God.
Brian Resnick: Why it can be so hard to change someone’s political beliefs.
… a new brain study on changing minds, with implications for missions & the unreached.
Lizzie Dearden: trauma of a teen migrant: 18 months of beatings, kidnap, rape, murder
… on the road to freedom from Gambia to Europe.

MissioJournals: EMQ ($), Mission Frontiers, more
The January issue of Mission Frontiers focuses on nomads.
… Especially note DMM+Nomads in “Why focus on nomads?”
Jarvis, Miles. Can we measure dependency?
… five categories: source, duration, nature of funding, ownership of vision, functional ops
Rosa, Pierre. A South-to-South mission force can lead the way in South-to-North mission.
Ricks, Heather. The untapped training potential of support-raising.
… note also her book, God and Elephants: a worshipper’s guide to raising support.
Tira, Saidiri Joy. A diaspora mission strategy for local churches.
… a missiological framework for understanding and participating in God’s redemptive mission among people living outside their place of origin
Review: “Pioneering movements: leadership that multiplies disciples, churches” by Addison. See the book.
Review: “Becoming native to win the natives: cross-culturally becoming all things to all men.” See the book.
Review: “Apostolic Church Planting: birthing new churches from new believers” (Payne). See the book.


Bookmark Mission Catalyst’s 2017 Calendar of Mission Events.
Chinese try out Christianity, queue up for festive feasts at Christmas
China emerging as a mission sending country: but watch for pitfalls
… and, Chinese nationals working for, in and with international agencies.
To many in Japan Christmas is about KFC and romance: and visits to temples & shrines.

Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules

Why you should plan for 2018, not 2017. ‘Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard.’
What’s an hour? Why 15+15+15+15 does not equal 60. Guard your time.
You need to practice being your future self.
… if you want to be productive, spend time doing things that are [right now] unproductive.
How to map your members in Google for local outreach.
The Top 10 Airlines in the world, according to millions of passengers.
… 1. Emirates, 2. Qatar, 3. SingAir, 4. CathayPacific, 5. ANA, 6. Etihad, 7. Turkish, 8. EVA…

Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy

How Amazon innovates in ways that Google and Apple can’t
… Google: engineering challenges 1st. Amazon: what people will pay for 1st.
… Possible many in church do the same thing: focus on theological issues few face?
The 30 best pieces of advice for entrepreneurs in 2016 (FirstRound.com).
… many/most/(all?) directly applicable to pioneer mission teams.
… hire originals; be bold; 4 types of troublemakers; observer effect; more

UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories

China: 2017 Spring Festival to be hard as # of trips during holiday to reach 3 billion.
… getting hold of a rail ticket will is proving harder than ever.
China: seeing 2016 through eyes on China: 20 images from an intimate distance
Mali: supporting Mali’s women to adapt to climate change
Mauritius: how it became a hotbed of Chinese food.
Nepal: Humla, the remotest district of Nepal, not yet connected by road


#AI: going to make it easier to fake images and video.
… this isn’t 20 years off. It’s here now, in prototype, and perfected in <5 years.
#AI: The Machines are Coming: China’s role in the future of artificial intelligence.
#AI: future a mix of opportunities and risks.
… what happens when so sophisticated it can take the job of computer scientists?
#AI: Japanese white-collar workers already being replaced by artificial intelligence.
#Robots: Mining 24 hours a day with robots: already on the job in Australia.
#Robots: iPhone manufacturer Foxconn plans to replace almost every worker with robots.
#Robots: Amazon’s army: 45,000 bots in 20 fulfillment centers, vs. 230,000 humans.
#Food: This startup puts everything you need for a 2-acre farm in a shipping container.
#Energy: Big Utility sees pathway to $10 oil: five energy “tsunamis” in next decade
#Language: How Google wants to make the Internet speak everyone’s language.
…’at least 30 languages w/1M speakers currently unsupported online…’


“I have come to think that the challenge confronting Christians is not that we do not believe what we say, though that can be a problem, but that what we say we believe does not seem to make any difference for either the church or the world.” ~Stanley Hauerwas

“For followers of Jesus, being safe is not the highest priority. Following Jesus is not the safest option.” ~Alex Hawke

“Bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to those who need it” ~Basil of Caesarea

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ~Albert Schweitzer

“Bad evangelism says: I’m right, you’re wrong, and I would love to tell you about it.” ~Timothy Keller

“Writers don’t need more goals. They need better habits… Significant accomplishments are the result of regular habits, not arbitrary goals.” ~Jeff Goins. This could apply to just about everybody.

“If you’re not confident in the authority of the Scriptures, you will be a slave to what sounds right.” ~Matt Chandler

“Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.” ~Albert Camus

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” ~Will Rogers

“If you are always trying to be ‘normal’, you never known how amazing you can be.” ~Maya Angelou


District Outlook Key

I maintain a list of provinces & districts, with outlooks computed by factors:

#Demography: how fast is the population growing vs. the church
#War: external war, internal war, violence, civil war, unrest
#Stongholds: structures of sin, oppression, dictatorship, organized crime
#HDI: Human Development Index, Poverty
#Lit: Education, literacy, global education connections
#NC: Concentration of non-Christians
#1Religion: Concentration (>60%) in one religious block
#Festivals: global religious festivals, sites, pilgrimages, holy cities
#MobP: persecution by non-government actors (community, violence)
#GovP: persecution by sanctioned government actions (arrests, jailings)
#CVisibility: how increasingly visible or underground is the church
#Foreigner: how welcome are foreigners (esp. Christians)?
#Mission: new mission initiatives in the region
#Denom: churches organized into networks, denominations, groups with influence

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: justinlong.org. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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