Area Offices Report
The Harvest of Mission Activists is Plentiful. Workers Are Few!
Steve Wecks reports that "a real vision and earnestness for renewal and evangelization" is spreading through their prayer groups. Most of these groups have been "finding and networking with existing mission efforts to their adopted people groups. This has served to fuel and fan the fires of these prayer groups."
Their second quarterly newsletter with its theme "Intimacy with Christ and the Great Commission" was sent out to 1050 mobilizers. This office really needs workers. Will you help?
Director David Park and his staff continue to mobilize the Korean Church in the USA. They received encouraging response from mission classes held for pastoral staffs and seminarians. They are also thankful for new part-time staff member John Oh.
This office continues to have a busy training schedule. Recent activities include: 85 trained by Don McCurry and Jacqueline Brown for ministry in Indonesia, London, Israel, Turkey and Trinidad; 40 trained for ministry in the Asian neighborhoods of Philadelphia; a Perspectives Coordinators' Training Workshop completed for class of twenty representing nine locations; and collabor-ation with local educators in developing a cross-cultural training program and other courses.
Fran and Sue Patt are also busy with the planning and promotion of a national Perspectives Coordinator Conference/Retreat for winter of 1991 and the preparations for a second baby in February!
Charlie Powell and his staff report the successful completion of their Perspectives course by 30 students. "Four courses are running this fall in Maryland and Virginia." They also stated that fifteen attended the Perspectives Coordinators' Training Course and from this group they expect to receive adequate volunteer help for the fall courses.
Future plans include a "Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor" seminar scheduled for October 26, 27.
NEW ENGLAND CENTER--Boston
Staff members Patty Murray and Greg Orr are thrilled that two students from a recently completed Perspectives Course will be going overseas shortly for a year of service. Patty and Greg also held a successful Open House and Muslim Awareness Seminar. "One result of the seminar has been a monthly prayer meeting focused on Muslim outreach sponsored by a Brazilian church."
Plans for an October Vision '90 Conference in inner-city Boston are well underway. The staff will work in conjunction with others to commemorate the work of missionary John Eliot and focus on reaching unreached peoples in their city.
Jim Nielsen and his co-workers continue in relentless efforts to mobilize churches in their area. In addition to their regular activities, they are considering the "possibility of establishing a missiology forum among the Christian college and seminary professors in the area that would be open to the public." At least five major institutions will be included in this effort.
The Perspectives classes held by Bob Stevens and his staff in Nashville, Chapel Hill and Charlotte went very well. They are encouraged that several excellent future coordinators for classes in other locations seem to be emerging from this group.
They are believing God for at least 3000 to be in attendance at their November 2nd Concert of Prayer. So far, 60 pastors in the area are working on this project. Future plans also include an Adopt-A-People conference the last weekend in October. The weekend before this rally the Covenant Church in Raleigh will host a conference, a section of which will include a one-day Perspectives seminar by George Miley and an Adopt-A-People workshop with Dan Davis.
GULF STATES--New Orleans
Wayne Gregory reports, "We successfully conducted three seminars during the past five months....Plans are moving ahead nicely concerning Perspectives classes in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Houma, Louisana, and Mobile, Alabama, for Fall. We are confident that God is going to make 1990 a great year for mobilization in this Gulf States Area."
Gateway Center--St. Louis
Ken Shirkey, pulling the Gateway Center for World Mission together, reports the background of mission vision in St. Louis:
"That His name might be known." Those words written above the platform seemed to leap out of the dimly lit sanctuary. This was the personal prayer portion of a three-hour monthly prayer gathering of pastors and mission leaders. As I looked around at the 20-30 pastors and mission leaders who were praying, I knew that the Lord had given each one of them a special burden for the fullness of Jesus in the Church and the fulfillment of His mission both in St. Louis and the world.
I began to reflect on how the Lord has planted a growing unity among people from across the spectrum of the Body of Christ. There is an expectancy of a move of the Lord worldwide and a realization that St. Louis has a strategic role to play in it.
In other parts of the city, the Lord has raised up Concerts of Prayer from an initial frequency of once per month to the first three Mondays of the month and a quarterly evening offering. Mission pastors and leaders are gathering in various parts of the Metro St. Louis area with a hunger to share information and resources.
I began to ask, "What is it that makes St. Louis a strategic city?" St. Louis has a long history as a center for equipping pioneers and launching new missionary efforts. Today it stands as a major center of influence for many expressions of the Christian faith. It is a major center for transportation and international business, poised close to the geographic and population centers of the U. S. As a center for training, it offers five major universities, two Christian colleges or universities, four seminaries, and several smaller schools. What better place for a center for world mission!
It is the goal of the Gateway Center to serve the Central Midwest and Plains states by working with local churches, mission organizations, denominational structures and key mission activists to facilitate frontier mission movements. We hope to spark frontier movements in as many parts of the Central Midwest as the Lord will give us. We will also be able to provide a local response to those people in our area who are already familiar with USCWM activities.
The foundation is already being laid to reach a target of actually opening an office late this fall. Key mobilizers have already begun to rally in various parts of our area. Almost 50 people have gone through the Perspectives course here, and the next offering will begin in January of '91.
Our task as Christians is not to wage a defensive war that will maintain the status quo, but to focus everything we have to mount an offensive war that will carry the Gospel of Jesus to every tongue, tribe, people and nation. What part will you play?
If you are in the St. Louis area:
- Contact us about resource needs.
- Set up a World Christian Display Table in your church.
- Help establish the Gateway Center! Our needs are: staff--fulltime, part-time or volunteer; office space--possibly large enough to share with collaborative mission organizations; computer equipment, preferably Macintosh SE with hard disk drive; laser printer; office equipment; avenues of obtaining startup & operating funds.
For more information contact: Ken Shirkey Gateway Center for World Mission 8945 Old Lemay Ferry Rd. Hillsboro, MO 63050 (314/285-3692 or 789 -3901)