Mission Korea Calls Youth to "Declare His Glory Among the Nations"
Over 6,000 people attended Mission Korea 2000 in Seoul, Korea, August 7th-12th.
"Jesus, The Lord of History, Declare His Glory Among the Nations" was this year's theme and Youth With a Mission, Korea served as host. This biennial student mission convention is sponsored by Mission Korea, a collaboration of 9 campus ministries and 16 mission agencies.
During an evening plenary session, Korean missionary Daniel Oh told the participants: "devote yourself to Jesus, not to missions work or the task."
After hearing the message, many yielded themselves to missions with tears. During the afternoons students gained practical insight from several of the over 120 seminars offered. The 64 mission agency booths were flooded daily with hundreds of students trying to discover their next steps towards becoming missionaries.
The new Missions Perspectives, a 500-page Korean translation of the 1999 Perspectives notebook, was recently published and first sold at the conference.
Mission Korea is launching a 10-week prototype course to help follow up and train those students who made commitments to become missionaries. After this first course, a plan is being developed to start courses across the country.
Mission Korea has been key in maintaining, nurturing and strengthening the student mission movement in Korea since its inception in 1988.
Setting a Standard for Short-Term Practice
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada creates a code to guide short-term mission efforts.
Amidst the extraordinary growth of short-term mission coming from North America, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) has formally released a "Code of Best Practice for Short-Term Mission."
"The Code is not meant to be a document for policing mission efforts," says Gary Walsh, President of EFC. Rather, it is an attempt to respond to the growing need of raising the "effectiveness bar," providing a "framework" within which participating agencies can design their short-term programs, according to Geoff Tunnicliffe, Chair of the EFC's Task Force for Global Mission.
Seventy-five agencies were involved with the creation of the document that is a response to what Tunnicliffe describes as a "growing chorus of local church, denominational and agency leaders asking how we can raise the effectiveness bar for short term mission efforts." The existence of the Code seems to be at least a tacit admission of the growing set of problems and challenges the short-term phenomenon poses for the long-term interests in advancing Christian mission. Short-term teams have often been accused of committing cultural blunders. Addressing this concern, the Code has expressed in its core value number one, "a commitment to culturally appropriate expressions of lifestyle and ministry activities."
A Passing of the Torch at Frontiers
The August 7-14 International Conference of Frontiers, the world's largest mission to Muslim peoples, marked an official transition in leadership. Greg Livingston, founder and International Director of Frontiers since its inception 18 years ago, passed the baton to Rick Love, former U.S. Director who will now serve as International Director to the nearly 600 Frontiers missionaries.
In an address at Canterbury, Love recognized that "more Muslims have come to Christ in the past 25 years than in all previous history combined." But the celebratory tone was balanced by a recognition that roughly 3,700 Muslim people groups remain unreached. Love pointed to six critical factors for improving the ministry of Frontiers: mentoring, empowering sending structures, fresh pioneering, a new focus on Muslim women and children, partnering and more prayer.
Christians Protest Islamization
As a growing number of northern Nigerian states implement Islamic law, the cries of protest from Christian leaders are also growing. Christians in Gombe state, which is currently considering establishing sharia, or the Islamic legal code, have warned that the government would commit a fatal mistake if it pushes ahead with its planned "false Islamization of the pluralistic people of Gombe, 75 percent of whom are Christians."
Despite promises from some Islamic leaders that sharia only applies to Muslims, Christians fear their liberty will be increasingly restricted. This year, eight states in northern Nigeria have begun the process of implementing Islamic law. Three others are considering it. Religious conflict linked to the sharia issue has resulted in hundreds of deaths, and increasing violence is likely.