Partnership Really Works
With the foreign mission presence dwarfed by the presence ofthe target people group at a recent regional consultation, one participant recognizes that partnership really works.
An international consultation focusing on a region in Asia has been held annually since 1990. It has given birth to more than a dozen People Specific Partnerships. The consultation in 1999 drew upwards of 275 participants representing more than 100 distinctive agencies, churches and organizations.
More than 35 leaders of the partnerships in the region meet every year for two days to evaluate and discuss further development of the Christian work done in partnership. One of the key issues discussed this year was if partnerships lead to a more effective and integrated Christian witness and thus to more churches being planted. The overwhelming consensus, illustrated by many examples from various partnerships, was that the practical connection facilitated by the Partnerships has lead to the desired outcome, with dozens of churches planted and hundreds of people coming to Christ. Here is a testimony from one key leader in the region:
"One such noteworthy partnership is the K. Partnership. I attended their 1998 in-country partnership consultation and returned home with a firm conviction that 'partnership really works!'"
Among the 150-plus participants, more than 50 percent were K. believers; westerners were a minority, with a significant number of workers representing various non-western expatriate groups including those from Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, etc. It was a thrill to witness the K. nationals practically taking ownership during the consultation, especially during the time set aside on identifying the needs at hand in small groups and forming working groups for those agreed upon as most important as a whole consultation. At the end of the three-day consultation, some of the national leaders came up to the steering committee and shared how blessed and encouraged they were, emphasizing that it was "OUR" partnership.
God is at work among the K. and is honoring His children's effort and commitment to partner together in tangible and practical ways. Although not without faults and shortcomings, it's a beautiful display of partnership at work."
The over-whelming consensus is that the practical connection facilitated by the Partnerships has led to ... dozens of churches planted and hundreds of people coming to Christ.