Stuart Oliver, Latin Partners Coordinator, brings us some of the latest views in mission:
It’s been estimated that the cross-cultural mission force from Africa, Asia and Latin America has grown from 1 per cent of all mission workers in 1900 to about 60 per cent today, and will reach 70 per cent by 2040.1
Such a change demands a response. For a number of years Latin Link has been aware of the trend towards mission ‘from everywhere to everywhere’, including the growing numbers of Latin Americans called to cross-cultural mission. As a result it has created structures that includes Latin Partners, which facilitates the arrival and ongoing ministry of Latin Americans called to serve in the UK.
In November I attended Cosecha (Harvest), a gathering of Latin American leaders and leaders of mission agencies that focus on the Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu worlds (where most people who’ve never had the chance to hear the gospel live) as well as contemporary Europe. One key moment was when a Latin American leader asked a Middle-Eastern brother for forgiveness as he felt that in the past Latin American mission partners had failed to consult the national Church leaders in the Muslim world about strategy and how they could partner with them. To quote Peter Tarantal of Operation Mobilisation: ‘True partnership is more than the plans and activities we carry out together. It is a relationship, which needs some kind of glue to be between those that work together. Trust is this glue.’
In February Suzanne Potter (International Core Team) and I attended a Global Mobilisation Summit in Thailand, hosted by Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2). About 125 cross-cultural mission mobilisers participated from 25 nations (many from the majority world) and 71 ministries. The theme was ‘Rethinking Mobilisation Strategies’ and we sensed the Lord returning mission mobilisers to the foundations of life in Christ – to true discipleship – as well as ministry. We forget at our peril the importance of developing our personal relationship with Jesus as the foundation of our service for him.
To find out about SVM2, visit www.svm2.net
The Summit plenary sessions can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/nkfp6tx
1 Jason Mandryk, ‘State of the Gospel presentation’. (September 2006)