I wish we could sit down and read Polycentric Missiology together. We might find ourselves talking together about what difference mission makes. Hopefully, our conversation would take us beyond celebrating or condemning missionaries who went out from a “Christian” North to a pagan South. Instead, we would talk about how the world changed in the 20th Century and reflect on the surprisingly decisive role that Christian mission played.
I would really be excited if reading it together, you might also find a way to help me resolve a long-standing frustration of mine. When we first went to Brazil as missionaries, I discovered the world was not really organized in the way the “missions” narrative I learned from had portrayed it to me. I can’t say that was the frustration. After
I went to Panama for the Global Consultation of the Mission Commission, of the World Evangelical Alliance.
To help the participants from 80+ countries who will meet in Panama, October 3-7, 2017, I wrote this little piece as background from a previous Consultation: the Panama 1916 Congress on Christian Work in Latin America
The 2016 Global Consultation of the WEA Mission Commission took place in Panama City October 3-7, 2016, around the theme of “Polycentric Mission”. The place chosen for this major missions consultation invokes the memory of an earlier event in modern mission history: the Congress on Christian Work in Latin America (CCWLA), held in February 1916 at the Tivoli Hotel, pictured above.
Martureo Assessment September 2016
I have just finished doing an assessment of the work done by Martureo over the last couple of years. This has helped me figure out where I can contribute in my new responsibility as Executive Coordinator. When we finished this Assessment, we were actually quite amazed at how active the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection, Martureo has already been, and are encouraged by the response.
“Never forget” is our September 11, 2001, motto, especially if we were old enough to experience that awful day. I do wonder, though, why is it that holding onto a horrible memory so important?
One vivid memory I have is that, for a few moments, everyone could see that the economic, political and military powers that rule the world might not be invincible after all.
Olympic travelers were told to get to Rio’s Galeão airport 6 (yes that’s 6) hours ahead of their flights today. The airport is expected to be crowded today. But not as crowded as the streets of Rio. Rio traffic is notoriously congested, full of people who live there and want to get where they need to go.
Those airport instructions, just like the geography in my blog title, have little to do with Brazilians.
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio are in full swing. The visibility of the Olympics on NBC is limited. You could get the impression that the USA is taking home all the gold!
Some Brazilians are making visible some hidden aspects of a global event. They both see and and represent the Olympics through religious and evangelical commitments. (I have written about these commitments in posts over the last three days, that you can read, if you are interested).
Did you see the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil?
As expected, they put on a beautiful show. I liked how they focused on how Brazil relates to the world. We got to see representations of how the world made Brazil, how Brazilians transform global culture for their use and how Brazil’s struggling eco-system and struggling economy reflect global realities.
Tonight the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio should be very special. Brazilians know how to throw a party and they know how to Bring people into their shared life, into their community. Be prepared!
When we lived in Brazil, we were welcomed into the lives of people, into whole families and into church communities when we lived there. So much so that, to this day, we will feel like we are part of Brazil, and estranged members of several families.
Tomorrow the Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
You probably know that Lois and I lived in Brazil from 1977 to 1986 where, as missionaries, we provided support to pastors and leaders in the rapidly growing numbers of churches.
Brazil is a VERY religious place, and diverse. Most Americans think that Brazil is strongly Catholic, but that is a mistake.
When Brazilians think about how they participate in God’s mission they are “doing missiology.” Hopefully the work of thinking will help them to do some good. If they are successful we are all likely to benefit.
The numbers of missionaries and the number of places where they work is staggering.
Brazil may now be the second largest sender of missionaries in the world.