The Editorial of Ralph D. Winter
Founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission
Well I'm back from Thailand---where I caught up with my wife (who had gone two weeks earlier)---and then somehow we had to fly all that way back in separate planes! Marvels of modern transportation.
I am so very happy to inform you that we have added to our staff one of the strongest, senior missionary administrators yet. Few there are in the world of missions today with the kind of experience Dale Kietzman has had. Across the page you can see the details---and why it is important just now for this new help to join us.
His particular assignment reinforces our concern for what is going on in in the U.S. today in the area of training for the mission cause. So, in this issue we have provided a whole section about one aspect of mission training, short terms---along with some amazing cautions!
Speaking for myself however, I doubt if I would have ever become a missionary had I not been lured into a "youth caravan." It lasted only three weeks, but probed clear into southern Mexico. We saw first hand a number of different missionaries in their normal work (not in a pulpit on furlough). We were not there long enough to put a heavy burden on them. We did not try to "help out" other than to minimize the strain of our visit (about 15 young people).
But, alas, in all that bustling, busy exposure, valuable as it was, we were not even remotely introduced to the overall picture, the UNFINISHED TASK. I am not being critical of the missionaries as I say this. Almost no one was thinking about the year 2000 back in 1946!
However, we now have that inestimable luxury. I have added a few comments about recent thinking in this area (see pages 4 & 5).
This morning I addressed the combined graduate schools of Biola University. They gave me the topic, "CAN THE GREAT COMMISSION BE FULFILLED BY THE YEAR 200?" I found a packed chapel, a wonderfully friendly spirit, the eminent leadership of Clyde Cook, their President, himself a former missionary. Would you be interested in the tape of that 25 minute talk? See order page inside the back cover. There is no time to waste. I told them, "It is not our business to predict the Return of Christ. It IS our business to prepare for His Return.: Are you preparing, hour by hour, day by day? What else is there to work for?
Warmly, in His Name,
Ralph D. Winter