A Tale of Two Conferences
The Father of modern Missions, William Carey, was a man ahead of his time. In 1810, he proposed a World Missions Conference, and he suggested Cape Town as the ideal venue! It was 100 years later, in 1910, that the first World Missions Conference was held, in Edinburgh. Two hundred years after William Carey had proposed it, Cape Town hosted the Third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism, October 2010.
Cape Town 2010
It was a tremendous privilege to participate in this Congress on World Evangelisation. With over 4,200 invited participants from 198 countries, and extending through global link sites to another 700 venues across 95 countries, Cape Town 2010 was the largest and most representative Missions Conference in history.
Although I did not hear anyone in any of the plenary sessions refer to Edinburgh 1910, I had to conclude that surely it had been the intention to mark the centenary of the first World Missions Conference.
How Well Do You Know Africa?
Look at the Fields
"Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" John 4:35
At 30,244,000 square kilometres, 20% of the worlds land surface, Africa is the second largest continent.
The total population of Africa now exceeds one billion people (15% of the worlds population), growing at 2.3% per annum. 41% of Africa are under the age of 15. Average life expectancy in Africa: 54 years.
Livingstone 200 Mission
It was quite a contrast from my first visit to Livingstone in Zambia. In 1987 I had been arrested and abused. The Frontline Mission team I was leading had been arrested at Kazangulu after refusing to bribe Zambian officials. After an excruciating day and night of abuse at the hands of the Zambian security forces, we were thrown into filthy cells where the overpowering stench was nauseating. After a night of being attacked by swarms of mosquitos, my skin had been turned into relief maps of angry red bumps and bites. Then blindfolded and shackled, we were taken to Lusaka where weeks of interrogations and incarceration followed. That was October 1987, when Zambia was a one-party dictatorship under Kenneth Kaunda's UNIP. Their official policy was socialist humanism.
Strife in South Sudan
Arab North Seeks to Exploit Conflict
The only Christian country in the 10-40 window, and the youngest country in the world, South Sudan, is being shaken by civil strife, which has already reportedly taken the lives of over 1,000 people. 400,000 have fled the country and another 200,000 refugees are internally displaced.
Tribal Tensions Threaten New Republic
Fighting erupted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, on Sunday, 15 December 2013, within the presidential guard. Fighting quickly spread to Yei, Kajo Keji, Bor and Bentieu.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, the SOMALI PIRATES and GUN CONTROL
Columbia Pictures' presentation of the hijacking of the US Container ship MV Maersk Alabama, in April 2009, is a well-made, riveting and intense film. However, the issues that it raises are deeply disconcerting.
Defenceless and Vulnerable
The fact that a massive, multi-billion dollar, 17,000 tonne, 155 metre long, container ship, was hijacked by four skinny Somalian pirates with AK-47's is outrageous. Despite hundreds of hijackings by Somalian pirates having already taken place before that date, this extremely large and valuable container ship was effectively defenceless before four pirates in a small speedboat with small arms. The sight of the crew reduced to using fire hoses and hand held flares to attempt to protect a leviathan of a ship from a handful of pirates in a small speedboat was ludicrous.