You will have to see it to believe it!
AN AFRICAN MUSLIM SPEAKS
But, wait, let us not suppose that our self doubts were entirely wrong. American commercial interests have squeezed the very life out of millions of our own people and also hapless foreign peoples wherever our predatory selfishness has led us. And our careless, calloused tourismsome of it blatantly sex-seeking and most of it insensitive, irrelevant, uncaring, and uncommittedhas hindered the witness of the Gospel immeasurably.
The amazing thing is that the bumbling missionaries in Sannehs sober analysis turn out to be the catalysts of extravagant power and blessing, far better than they themselves realize!
Who is this Dr. Lamin Sanneh anyway? Where did he get these ideas?
First of all, HE DID NOT GET HIS IDEAS FROM JUST SOMEWHERE. It seems obvious that he thought of them himself. I know of no one else from whom he could have borrowed such counter-traditional conclusions. He does not, unfortunately, yet represent a school of thought. His ideas are his own.
Having said that, however, there is no easy way to overlook or ignore this mans credentials either in the scholarly dimension or in personal, home, or family integrity.
A PORTLAND EVENT SHOUTS
The Western Baptist Seminary in Portland just a few weeks ago hosted (unawares?) a meeting the like of which has never quite occurred in history. It finally scaled the peak which other recent meetings have only been approaching.
What happened before?
In a milestone in history, in 1980 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the largest-ever, world-level meeting of mission executives took place, as measured by three crucial criteria: 1) more mission agencies sent delegates, 2) more Third World mission agencies participated (57), 3) these Third World agencies represented a higher proportion (1/3) than ever before.
For the first time in history, in 1986, in Pasadena, Calif.at the Asia Missions Association meeting, Third- World mission leaders took the initiative to meet on a global level to discuss subsequent global collaboration.
But it was the Portland, May 9-13 gathering that actually became a follow-through meeting by committing itself to a global organizational structure to be called Third World Mission Advance.
Knowing many of those select few (35) who were invited to Portland, I have to say that the amazing thing is that not only did it represent all parts of the Third World (Africa, Latin America, and all the larger countries of Asia, etc.) but that the total absence of Westerners was not in the least any kind of slight or snub. There was really no need for any Westerners! The men who gathered there are the finest you could possibly get into one room. They dont have a chip on their shoulders. They are not griping about international inequities. They are aware of them, but they dont personalize these structural evils. They are too busy.
Busy doing what? All of them are up to their necks in sending missionaries to needy placeseither as mission executives, or as heads of associations of mission agencies.
Take Ebenezer Sundaraj, for example. He heads up the India Missions Association, which, last I heard, had 23 member mission agencies. It is founding a training school for all Indias missionaries on the former site of the Yeotmal Seminary.
Or, take Panya Baba. He not only heads up the Evangelical Missionary Society of Nigeria (with something around 800 missionaries), he is also the president of a Nigerian association of mission agencies, and is working toward an all-Africa association of mission agencies.
Or take Petrus Octavianus. He not only heads up the Indonesia Missionary Society, but for many years he has been ahead of his time on the special wavelength where the worlds newer national churches send their own missionaries, thus joining the global countdown to completing world evangelization by the year 2000.
Three of the men who are on the Steering Committee of the AD 2000 Consultation (see page 5) come from this group. And, note, all of the five Program Committee people of AD 2000 are mission men!