This is an article from the May-June 2005 issue: Churches and Agencies

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Responding to “7 Deadly Sins: How to Kill a Church- Planting Movement” (November-December 2004)

I greatly enjoyed the article [on] “The Seven Deadly Sins.” …. I especially enjoyed the section listing foreign leadership as one error …. It would have been beneficial … to include a short list of what will spur on growth of a people movement, especially focusing on what is not taking place. The top of the list must assuredly be Bible translation followed by good discipleship, but do not forget development of Bible reference material. Development of good Bible reference material is critical to encourage self-discovery and empower local leadership ….

-Michael Eppley

Responding to “Desert Rose: Hope Amidst Horror for the Peoples of Darfur” (March-April 2005)

Just wanted you to know how encouraged we were to see the last issue of Mission Frontiers with the article on Sudan. Our church (Burke Community) had just adopted the Fur people as our unreached people group mission project. We have a ten-year dream to see a growing, reproducing church planted among the Fur people of the Darfur region of Sudan. We would be interested in partnering with churches, agencies, etc, who would like to join us in this great effort. As a graduate of USCWM, missionary with the Navigators, and Perspectives teacher, it is a thrill to pastor a church that shares God’s heart for the least, the last, and the lost.

-Dr. Jack Elwood ([email protected])

Burke Community Church, Burke, Virginia Responding to “Editorial Comment” (November- December 2004)

Dear Dr. Winter, I read your editorial in the latest (Nov-Dec 2004) Mission Frontiers which arrived in our mailbox today. It’s so refreshing to find another believer who knows how important it is to agree on things with Muslims, and not just disagree with them for the sake of disagreeing (because they are Muslims). I am convinced that most Christians see Islam as totally Satanic and forget that behind every Muslim is a person who feels, thinks, loves, hurts, and cries just like we do. Their faith is important to them. Antagonizing them by assuming that everything in Islam must be bad and showing our ignorance by not acknowledging how much the world has to thank Islam for its sense of science and technology is indeed to be naive.

-Carol Dodd

MAF Australia Responding to “Shackled: Student Debt and Missionary Service” (July- August 2004)

We would like to thank you for taking on the difficult topic of student debt. It is not an easy question to face and currently one that few are bold enough to stand up and address. We pray your latest issue caused many to consider the gravity of this problem in the missions community and its impact upon those going and those giving. We are currently overseas serving in the 10/40 Window. We have had 15 short-termers in our city the past two months. The average amount of debt of these students and recent graduates was $14,000 USD. These short-termers’ dilemma brought to the forefront the complications school debts bring to long-term service. We fear this problem truly exposes the lack of discipleship currently going on in the Western church. Rather than placing our faith in the Master, we have learned to trust in MasterCard. In addition, we must consider the facetiousness that Christian universities and colleges engage in. They ask students to sign “Conduct Contracts” that require students to abstain from premarital sex, alcohol, pornography, tobacco, ungodly behavior, etc. Meanwhile, these institutions saddle these same students with debts that hinder the students from following the will of God in their lives. Many of these “Conduct Contracts” even have a clause on fiscal responsibility! We need to look at the current situation of student debt with the same horror we would if someone purposely cut off their leg without reason or need. It is a self-inflicted handicap that now must be overcome in order to follow God’s will. Christian institutions need to be called upon to reform their operating procedures to enable their graduates to serve God instead of disabling them.

-Trevor Creighton and Patrick Lai


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