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12) The BackPage: Toward Cultural Resilience —

For nearly 15 years, our organization’s new missionary orientation has featured a workshop entitled, “Missions is High Adventure,” which pretty much seeks to establish a connection between cross-cultural service and whitewater rafting or an Outward Bound rock-climbing vacation. Seriously, we’ve said for some time that this job is hard work. If we’re going to be successful, we have to embrace it — nearly like a runner embraces a marathon or a mud-laden survival course. After all, people pay good money to hang on the edge of a cliff, with one rope and a couple of toe-holds being the only thing separating them from a 300-foot drop. Our cause, on the other hand, is a bit more eternal — and worth it. So — this is what we do. We believe strongly in member care and have now sought to infuse it throughout every single member of the organization. But at the same time, we also believe that the best way to stay healthy is to pursue our Great Passion of “creative, strategic perseverance until the results are achieved.” Here are a couple of ways one can observe our resilience at work:

 

*** If a critical incident happens on our team, the Protocol Guidebook calls for us to debrief it in the region rather than back in the USA. Research, along with our experience, has shown that our workers recover much more quickly and effectively when we follow this protocol closely.

 

*** In the case of kidnappings, we never pay ransom. Ever. We’re now in our 34th year and, by God’s grace, we have yet to experience a kidnapping. Let’s hope we never do. But if we do, whether it’s an “express kidnapping” (in which perpetrators ask for relatively smaller amounts of ransom payment and try to resolve the kidnapping quickly) or otherwise, for our strategy to continue to be effective, our workers, and their families, need to be of one mind and of one commitment to hold the line on ransom. Because the day we start paying it, our workers the world over will become a bigger target. For as long as we hold out, we lessen our risk. During my watch as president, I’m committed to holding out.

 

*** New to our protocols (as of the past year) — if a worker is expelled, he or she will now be asked to debrief and redeploy to another site in the region without breaking stride by returning to the USA. This mentality requires mental preparation in advance so please help us get the word out — we’re transitioning our thinking to a stance that assumes that, over time, there is now a much stronger likelihood that we might have to redeploy more often. Let’s be ready for it.

 

What are the matching protocols used by your own organization or family? Do these seem difficult or harsh? How do your practices differ and why? To respond, just click “Comment,” below. We appreciate your feedback!

 

Doug

 

12) The BackPage: Trello is like Pinterest for Projects —

For several years, I had been searching for a tool that would help me translate complex projects into simple “dashboards,” thereby helping me remember the intricate web of a project’s relationships, people, ideas, and goals. Interestingly, my son’s girlfriend had just shared her excitement about a website called Pinterest, one of the fastest-growing social networking sites on the web. It’s fast-growing because it allows users to collect and portray their interests by posting lots of pictures, almost like trading cards, adorning their online home much like a bulletin board might display art drawings outside the school cafeteria. Then last week, Jane, an active Brigada participant, wrote to draw attention to Trello.

 

http://www.trello.com

 

Although you could use it in 100 different ways, perhaps one of the most outstanding applications would be a think of it as a planning and picture board, like Pinterest. You can model your project there and even invite trusted cohorts to help you create your vision. Your fellow-designers can work with you simultaneously, real-time (the cards move almost instantly to reflect your friends’ changes). It honestly makes a great brainstorming tool, especially for the price (free!).

 

Example: We’re already using it for trip planning. Start a “list” for background information for the trip, another list for trip participants, then do a list for each “day” of the trip — so a person can see the trip shaping up graphically. Since the “cards” are drag and drop, one can easily float them throughout a day — or to a completely different day. It’s secure (the public can’t look at your board unless you say so)… and, did I mention it’s FREE? You see, the company who programmed it is giving it as a “gift” to the world, saying that the company is already making enough off of its [very profitable] tech support trouble-ticket software (which is pretty much the best there is). Someday the programmers might provide additional tools or features for an add-on “freemium” payment — like $25/year — but they’ve gone on record promising they’ll never charge and never remove boards we start up right now. The public seems to believe them.

 

The only hitch — it’s online only. So… there’s no Windows, Mac, or linux version. But — there’s a great iPhone version and once you VIEW the board, one list at a time, the iPhone ‘remembers’ the cards, even if the iPhone is offline… like a “shadow copy” for reference only (but one can’t add or change anything). Pretty cool, especially for the price. Definitely worth a look.

12) The BackPage: Kony 2012 — The Sequel is Up and Running —

I’ve asked before about your take on Kony 2012. (See…

 

http://www.brigada.org/2012/03/11_8643

 

Well this week they mounted the sequel. Their purpose was to answer their critics, as well as to continue to develop their promotional theme for “Cover the Night,” a vision to make Kony famous — or rather, to get the word out on how much damage he’s caused for the people of Uganda, South Sudan, and neighboring lands. See the new video at…

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Ue6REkeTA

 

I get all kinds of responses when I ask for input. (See the 16+ comments following the item above.) Some have said that the majority of his evil has faded and that he’s not really a big factor any more. Others say that Christians shouldn’t waste their time on non-spiritual responses like Invisible Children, preferring instead to be focused on church-related responses. Still others believe that, either way, the guy is up to no good and that he should indeed be hunted down and tried in court.

 

So — What’s your take on the whole thing? I go back and forth. Once, during a visit to villages in South Sudan, an LRA contingent marched by along the perimeter of the huts. I’ll admit, it was creepy. Most of the kids looked 14, yet they were all carrying guns. The people were obviously nervous about it, but nobody felt empowered to do anything about it. It definitely felt like a form of intimidation, yet they didn’t really interact with the village I was visiting. But… maybe they were essentially just making their presence known, you know? What’s your take — on the new video especially? Do you feel like they made their case? Should church youth groups get involved? Just click “Comment” below this item’s posting on the web, using the link below. And thanks in advance for sharing your opinion (anonymously, if you desire).

12) The BackPage: People Groups Matter —

I’m not trying to say that God has an official list of Unreached People Groups up in Heaven. But I AM saying that he KNOWS the people who haven’t had a chance to hear his message. He HEARS the voices of those who have been overlooked. He’s the God who will leave the 99 to seek the 1. He’s the One who rejoices over finding one single lost coin.

 

So People Cluster and People-Group-Across-Countries (PGAC) are worth a closer look.  Dan, of JoshuaProject.net clarified with us this past week, “People Clusters are the second level of the ethnic peoples tree.  People-Group-Across-Countries are the third level.  People Clusters are a “family” or collection of People-Group-Across-Countries.  You can see the relationships at the bottom of any Joshua Project profile.  For example, scroll at the way to the bottom of the following page:

 

http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=13592&rog3=MR

 

The upper left quadrant of the “grid” is the Peoples leg.  So in this case:

 

First level – Affinity Bloc = Arab World

Second level – People Cluster = Arab, Hassaniya

Third level – People Group Across Countries = Moor

Fourth level- People Group in Countries = Moor of Mauritania

 

Helpful stuff. (Thanks Dan!)

 

Now I know there are those who feel there are mistakes in one list or another. And where there are mistakes, we need to correct them. But the principle still stands: In general, wherever we have overlooked the establishment of a new beachhead for Christ, we need to mobilize people to go. It’s worth living our lives to draw attention to that truth. Please don’t forget it.

11) The BackPage: Could People Clusters change 6900 to 118? —

At Finishing the Task last December, I finally got it. Patrick Johnstone had been arguing for years (since 1995 maybe?) about the advantages of seeing the world as a series of affinity blocks and people group clusters. He was never AGAINST counting unreached people groups up in the thousands, mind you. He just argued that it mattered just as much to gather them together into FAMILIES.

 

Then came December, when one of the participants (was it Dan Scribner?) began throwing out the term, “People Groups Across Countries.” I’ll admit: I loved it from the start. But now, could it be that the concept of People Groups Across Countries is finally starting to reach that crucial tipping point? To catch the whole concept, read Joshua Project’s new article, just posted this past week…

 

http://www.joshuaproject.net/why-people-clusters.php

 

So what’s your take? Would the concept of People Groups Across Countries — or People Clusters — help YOU and your agency or church to better grasp the unreached on our planet? Find this item on the web, using the link below, and click on “Comment” to respond. Thanks in advance for giving your input.

11) The BackPage: What’s your Take on the C-Scale? —

I’m not talking about the one on your piano. I’m talking about the one your agency or church is probably nervous about.

 

It’s the Contextualization scale. Where…

C1 – describes a church that uses a language likely to be foreign to the people being reached — so that the inner truths of the religion can be shared in the original language. This is what Roman Catholicism used to do when they would do masses in Latin.

 

C2 – describes a church that is one step friendlier, with religious services in the local language of the people — but everything else is still pretty foreign.

 

C3 – describes a church that is starting to “look like” the local community a bit more. But followers still call themselves “Christians,” even if that term causes locals to bristle.

 

C4 – describes a group that has stopped referring to themselves as a church. Now they’re a contextualized community and each member is known, simply, as a follower if Jesus.

 

C5 – This designation describes, for example, a Muslim who has come to believe in Jesus — but he still calls himself a Muslim. So local Muslims say he’s a strange kind of Muslim and Christians try to think of him as a Muslim who follows Jesus.

 

C6 – This person calls himself a Muslim and hasn’t owned up to the fact that he follows Jesus. For whatever reason, he’s keeping it all a secret.

 

So — which term describes the way YOU would like to start a church and why. Using the comment box below, see if you can convince us that your part of the spectrum is truth… or at least, more effective at bringing people to the truth.

 

Warning: No matter what part of the spectrum you adopt, it won’t be easy to convince everybody. Some people are still going to be up in arms.

 

Need more background before you answer? I believe the scale was first coined by a worker who used the pseudonym John Travis. Read what might be his first public article on the subject here:

 

http://www.getonyourboots.net/uploads/6/2/2/8/6228171/travis_must_all_muslims.pdf

 

(Note: This last link will “wrap.” If you have trouble copying it and pasting it into your browser, just log on to Brigada today online and find this same item posted there. We’ll make sure the link works on our site. Thanks.)

12) The BackPage: “Serving as Senders Today” is a Great New Resource —

Neal Pirolo has done it again. His new updated and refreshed copy of “Serving as Senders,” adds the word “Today,” thereby taking this long-held standby resource to a whole new level. Similar to his early work, he writes chapters on the Need for Senders, along with chapters on Moral Support, Logistics, Financial, Prayer, and Communication — but adds a focus on Reentry Support and tons of new Resources. He also includes a Group Leader’s Guide. I couldn’t find a section with web links, and therefore couldn’t find Brigada — but maybe I just missed it. Aside from being marred by such a huge oversight [:-) tongue firmly in cheek], this is a great book that should be on all our shelves. What do you think of Pirolo’s new work? Just click Comment below to sound off.

10) The BackPage: Reflections on a Missed Originating Flight —

As I write this BackPage, I’m sitting in the Louisville airport having missed my first originating flight in 33 years of flying. How many times have I cut it close before? Countless. I remember a trip to the airport in Fez in which the taxi cab driver ran out of gas on the way to the airport. He was literally flagging down other cab drivers until one was finally willing to stop and let him syphon fuel *out* of the passerby’s car so he could refill his own. Yet, in spite of all that, I somehow made the flight. And how many times have I overslept? Countless. Scramble, scramble, scramble. Throw everything in the carry-on. Race. Somehow, it always worked.

 

Then came today — a day I’ll remember for all my life. I arrived like always — cutting it close. But today, the TSA line was incredible. And I didn’t want to be one of THOSE passengers. You know — I didn’t want to try to cut line and be impolite. So… there I stood, counting the minutes. (And there were too many of them.) Once I was through TSA, I ran to the gate, only to see the regional jet gate operator showing no remorse. In fact, I’d characterize him as cavalier. “Nope, this one’s gone.” I explained that it was still 10 minutes until the scheduled departure. He responded, “10 minutes early is late. We close the door 15′ before departure.” Did I know that before? Had I just been lucky (or miraculously blessed) all those years prior?

 

So what can I learn about life as I process all this grief — and as I stand by on other flights (to try to make my Storyrunners training in Orlando)?

 

*** If someone asks us to make something happen and we’re unable to do so, let’s at least apologize that we’re unable to accommodate the request, then give a reasonable explanation why. I mean — the jet sat there… and I had paid for a seat on it. Couldn’t the gentleman at least have said, “Sir, if I open up the door and let you on this plane [what would happen??? It wasn’t scheduled to push back for another 10′. Why couldn’t he do it?] Your “customer” — or missionary or donor or teammate — deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. And, based on my experience today, a little remorse, even if feigned, would have gone a long way toward preventing my characterization of his company as being callous.

 

*** If someone asks us to make something happen, and if it’s not going to destroy the harmony of the universe, consider with all your heart and all your mind — just because it’s a rule, do you always have to follow the rule to the letter? In other words, that jet sat there idling for 10 extra minutes. I love it that the flight attendant was taking care of safety stuff. But… I’m a fairly sensitive guy. I wouldn’t have interrupted her much. Bottom line: See if you can make it happen. And if you can, please consider doing it.

 

*** If things go south with your “customer” — your missionary, donor or teammate — see if there’s some special way you can help him or her with the problem. This was a critical moment for me: These moments determine what I think of this airline. Unfortunately, it felt fairly cold and distant on my end of the relationship. “Nope, that flight’s gone.” (Well it *wasn’t* gone. I could still see it sitting there.) Even in the rebooking process, it went something like, “You’re welcome to try the 8:15am to Atlanta, but that plane’s got a mechanical problem and, if you want to know the truth, it probably won’t fly.” Ouch. That was my only option. Every other flight was full. “Everybody blames the TSA line,” I overheard one employee say to another. Ouch. I wish they wouldn’t rub it in. Frankly, the employee willing to go the extra mile for me at a time like this will probably get a special commendation letter from me. Or, maybe even better, a prayer.

 

Now, we’ve talked about lessons for the person on the other side of the counter. What about lessons for me? :-)

*** I had added 15′ of “padding” in case something went wrong. In today’s era of security lines and travel problems, 15′ is no longer enough. I needed to add a padding of 30′ minimum.

*** I placed the higher value on standing in line, with the hopes that I somehow looked like a better citizen. In the future, I’ll try to add the extra 30′ padding, mentioned above, but if, in spite of that, I’m still behind, I’ll try to gently ask for help from someone next time — rather than stand dutifully in line and miss my flight.

*** “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” still applies. I gently but firmly kept asking for options… and I didn’t give up. As a result, I’m at least headed to Atlanta now. Surely I’ll make it to Orlando *sometime* this week! :-)

 

So… let’s sum up. If something goes South with your “customer” — missionary, donor, or teammate — First, show some compassion. Second, if the problem is related to a typical deadline or milepost, ask yourself — what will happen if I flex a bit on this deadline. If the sky won’t fall and people won’t be abused, consider flexing the deadline. Third, if you can’t flex the deadline, at least try to work with your “customer” to help him with options. And please… do it cheerfully. For God loveth a cheerful disposition toward customer service. On my own end, I’ll add 30′ of slack time and, if necessary, be a bit bolder next time rather than standing still while I miss my flight. Finally, I’ll be willing to play the part of a squeaky wheel if necessary.

 

If all these things come together, perhaps it would truly be a wonderful world. :-)

 

Doug

 

PS. As I finish this article, I’m now on a flight to Atlanta. I hope to make it to Orlando SOMETIME during this week! :-)

12) The BackPage: Seven Epicenters of Emerging Mission Movements —

That’s the title of an article by Howard Brant. Find it at…

 

http://www.sim.org/index.php/content/seven-epicenters-of-emerging-mission-movements

 

(Note: This last link will “wrap.” If you have trouble copying it and pasting it into your browser, just log on to Brigada today online and find this same item posted there. We’ll make sure the link works on our site. Thanks.)

 

A Brigada participant with deep business-as-missions experience highlighted it this past week (Thanks AW!) and it profoundly illustrates the surge of missionary-sending help from areas previously considered missionary-receiving locations. The trouble is — I’m not sure we’ve figured out yet exactly how to work together. I fear that some of the amazing saints of God, ready for deployment for the ends of the earth might reach the end of their respective ropes before we end the Matthew 28:19-20 task. In the process, I fear we will have lost momentum, along with the synergy and force of our mutual combined efforts.

 

I know, in some ways, this is not a new question. In many ways, the Lausanne conference in Cape town hoped to spawn the formation of international coalitions that would generate multi-national sharing of resources, training, and more. I guess, on a grass roots level, I fear that many came home from Cape town and then, as the music faded, many went back to work on business as usual.

 

So let’s get very specific: Apart from word-of-mouth, how do competent and trustworthy individuals from around the world meet hard-working senders, enablers, and teammates from sending nations on the other side of the globe? Have we formed the infrastructure necessary to sustain a concerted global effort? That’s the question — and to me, an answer is long overdue.

 

Do you know of such infrastructure? If you do, would you take a moment to make a comment about it in the “Comment” section below this item on the web? (Note: If you mention more than one URL link in your comment, it might not appear immediately, since it will likely need to be moderated.) Thank you, in advance, for any ideas, resources, or directions you might provide.

 

Either way — Let’s join together with many others to pray that God will empower us all, as a globe, with wisdom, humility, and resources — so that, together, we might finish the task of Matthew 28:19-20.

10) The BackPage: Got a Favorite Commissioning Service Component? —

This past week, we received a request from Dave, a long-time Brigada participant, asking if we had any favorite responsive readings or “charges” for ordinations and commissionings. We sent him about 5 pages, but honestly, we could use a bit of help thinking up something noteworthy. If you have a block of text, a link, a reference, *anything* — would you mind clicking on “Comment” in the web version of this item so we could deliver something noteworthy to Dave and, in addition, to others as well! God bless you in advance for your help!

12) The BackPage: A Penny for Your Thoughts about Urbana —

When I was just getting started, I (like everyone else?) attended an Urbana Missions Conference (1984, if I recall). We had been involved in missions for 2 years and I had heard all about Urbana and was hungry to go. About 2 weeks before the event, I strained my back big-time. Pulled it totally out of place. But wild horses couldn’t have kept me from attending. My wife drove and I laid flat on my back the whole trip there. And I didn’t regret it.

For this week’s “BackPage Editorial” would you mind sharing a synopsis of your favorite Urbana story? Some have said that this one conference has done as much as anything else to ignite a new generation of worldwide witnesses If that’s the case, there should be some great stories out there. Was it there that you came to decide for sure that missions was going to be your ‘thing?’ Did you meet your future spouse there? Do you have a story about not having the money to go… then suddenly at the last minute, the provision came through, but only after you prayed & fasted? Are you a former *speaker* at Urbana? Tell us what it’s like standing on the platform, looking into the eager eyes of 18,000 students hungering to change the world? Let’s sort it out and get ready for Urbana 12. Just click on the “Comment” box below to share your story, anonymously or otherwise. Learn more about Urbana at…

 

https://urbana.org/urbana-12

 

13) The BackPage: Thoughts on Cruise Ships Run Aground —

By now we’ve probably all heard about the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship which recently struck rocks off Italy’s coast. The crash seems to have been caused by human error, with the blame having been the Captain himself. He evidently chose to hug the shoreline to greet a former captain (?), then, to add insult to injury, apparently mishandled the resulting crisis by ignoring the gravity of his actions, failing to take responsibility. At the end of it all, he reportedly tried to escape with his own life, even though his crew and his passengers were in grave peril. At least 16 died. More are missing.

 

The truth is, we’ve seen this kind of behavior before. For example, church leaders throughout the globe have largely ignored the plight of unreached people groups and cities, then systematically tried to explain away their behavior by citing other priorities. By doing so, they (we) have utterly failed thus far to complete the Great Commission, having left large blocks of humanity without adequate witness. If you don’t believe it, just browse…

 

http://www.joshuaproject.net

 

Certainly, the captain of the Costa Concordia will have to face justice — and, unless there’s been some kind of misunderstanding, he’ll likely go to prison… maybe for a very long time. Pray with me that the global church can get the word out to the unreached before judgment day happens on a planetary scale. Otherwise, it won’t be just a ship’s captain trying to dream up excuses.

 

Want to make a difference? Visit

 

http://www.UnleashedForTheUnreached.com

 

today, or call your favorite mission organization, assuming unreached peoples and cities are a priority in their outreach.

13) The BackPage: Lessons Learned in 2011: God is Good! —

So with this edition of Brigada, we wrap up, officially at least, the giving for 2011. The truth is — we can’t begin to thank you… all of you… enough. We’re grateful for those who pray for us, give to make this work possible, and sacrifice to keep us going. Exactly how much came in? The grand total for 2011 adds up to $16,471.92! We’re *amazed* at that number, frankly. As you might recall, our goal was $17,120. To think that we would have come within $648.08 of that goal, all within a very difficult economic year is proof of several factors:

*** Brigada  participants are the greatest friends ever!

*** If someone works throughout an entire year, without charging any subscription fee, then if there’s something valuable to be gained by the material, somebody, somewhere, will be courageous enough to step up to the plate to help keep that ministry solvent and moving forward.

*** We don’t really have to *ask* people very much, in some situations. If we just *do* our ministry, making things happen, then sometimes, people will want to fuel the fire simply because they see the flame.

 

[Note: Gifts received from here on out will now be considered toward the 2012 goal, which for yet another year will remain unchanged at $17,120. Once again, as we did in 2011, we won’t mention money again, except to say thanks for any gifts received, until the end of the year — basically the last 6 or 7 editions. The Brigada world has spoken: We don’t *need* to bother you with appeals throughout the year. God be praised for that.]

 

So above all, the primary lesson learned is — God is good. He provides, even when we start a new year with a zero balance, even when we don’t talk about it throughout the year, and even when we’re sometimes traveling and run behind. Amazing.

 

As we “close out our books,” so to speak, for 2011, I just want to make special mention of the folks who, week after week, cull through every news item possible… They’re readers, pray-ers, and boosters. They send us items totally because they want to share the news… “as one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” So thank you to all the unsung heroes of Brigada, some of whom don’t ever want their name mentioned. Thank you to those who *gave* — sacrificially. Thanks to those who went to their church missions committees and said, “Hey, this guy is doing his best. Let’s help him out some.”

 

In 2012, then, boosted above the waves by an outpouring of grace and mercy, we’ll do all we can to stay in step with the calendar. We’ll do our best to receive, find and share the best news, resources, trends, tools, and more — for cross-cultural travelers, for those sharing the Good News, and for all our other readers, near or far. Thank you Brigada Participants. Thank you Volunteer Contributors! And most of all, thank you God.

 

Doug

10) The BackPage: My Prediction for 2012: CHE will Transform Us —

This past week, I attended my first formal “Vision Seminar” on Community Health Evangelism, commonly known as CHE. Our workers had been utilizing the unique strategy for some time. On several of our fields, CHE had transformed the entire approach. But I had never trained in it myself… until now.

 

I thought it was for health workers. Somehow, I had understood that it had to do mainly with medical practices. Who knew there were 2500 lessons on nearly every topic ever known to plague mankind. Actually, the goal of CHE is to establish a development ministry whose purpose is to bring together Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 25:37-40). This is accomplished by training community members as Community Health Evangelists (CHEs) who regularly visit 10 – 15 neighboring households, sharing the gospel and promoting principles of disease prevention and healthy living. The program is designed to be transferable, multipliable, and ongoing after the training team leaves the area.

 

There’s no doubt — within the next handful of years, CHE will have transformed the way we do missions (if it hasn’t already). What interests me as much as anything is — the way the revolution is taking place. How can a grassroots philosophy make such a huge impact on our globe? How can a set of practices, primarily articulated by a handful of practitioners, become so ubiquitous that church after church would insist that every mission partner train in it?

 

It’s too early for me to answer those questions. I only know that my admiration has gone through the roof for Stan, Terry, Val, David, and the other pioneers who have patiently mentored and facilitated these trainings. I’m inspired by the way they’ve adopted such an “open source” approach to something that might have been able to make them rich. But perhaps, one of the secrets to its popularity is the essence of the fact that they gave it away to the world so freely — and continue to do so.

 

Read more about CHE by downloading this introductory 50-page manual.

 

http://www.u4theu.com/files/u4theu/docs/CHE_Overview.pdf

 

Isn’t it crazy that the author isn’t even named? Literally nobody is taking the credit… and nobody is getting a payoff… primarily because of the unselfishness of those who envisioned and experienced these tools. Hats off Stan. Well done Terry. Way to go Val. We appreciate you!!!

 

Doug

13) The BackPage: How Do we Really Mobilize Nationals For Their Own? —

Seems like, by now, we’d have this down pat. But in a recent conversation with a good friend, his response came back like this: “I fear we are still mobilizing Americans to go to countries where colonialism and recent foreign policy has pretty much burned the bridges for Americans to serve there. People in the heart of the Muslim world are in their hearts resistant to Good News when delivered by Americans.  How do we better utilize the money from the West but send workers from cultures closer to those where the remaining UUPGs live?” No my response was, “It varies. In some parts of the Muslim world, we might be despised. But in other parts, they constantly say, “You are American? You are my friend. You might not be the friend of my government, but — hey — I’m not a friend to my government either!”

 

So what’s your take? Are you in the first camp? (the “bridges are burned,”) or the second (“You’re American? You’re my friend.”). Which do you believe most accurately portrays the people where you live? To respond, just click in the “Comment” box below. And thanks, in advance, for sharing your opinion.

 

Doug

13) The BackPage: How Do we Mobilize Nationals to Reach Their Own? —

Several of us have been wrestling with this question now for some time. How do we effectively mobilize nationals to reach their own people groups? One worker wrote, “I fear we are still mobilizing Americans to go to countries where colonialism and recent foreign policy has pretty much burned the bridges for Americans to serve there. People in the heart of the Muslim world are in their hearts resistant to Good News when delivered by Americans.  How do we better utilize the money from the West but send workers from cultures closer to those where the remaining UUPGs live?” Please keep in mind — not *every* bridge has been burned. In many locations, Americans still are loved, cherished, invited, respected, and treated with dignity. But … then there are some other spots. What’s *you’re* opinion? How do *you* propose we manage things in those spots? How is your church and/or agency working with other cultures… say… someone from the Global South? Your thoughts? Just click “Comment” below to leave your opinion. And remember, you can do so totally anonymously.

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