Hullo Dear Friends who pray and care for us,
. . . The other important day is June 16, which is Youth Day, formerly Soweto Day, in South Africa. This commemorated the 1976 riots of school kids in Soweto when some 60 young people were gunned down by South African Police. It was a most notable tragedy in our country with staggering long term ripple effects upon our national life. I always thought it a stroke of genius from Mandela that instead of continuing to have Soweto Day and remembering that dreadful, bloody, and anguish-generating tragedy, the day would be turned from one of anger, bitterness, resentment and revenge into Youth Day—a day of healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and celebrating the huge potential of youth to make a deep difference in this or any country.
Yes, indeed it is a wonderful thing to encourage young people, and especially younger leaders. George MacDonald, the great Scottish Christian, once said: “When we are out of sympathy with the young, then I think our work in this world is over.” Nor can we ever know what will germinate from little seeds we can plant into the lives of those younger than us. Albert Schweitzer, whom I had the privilege of personally witnessing getting an honorary degree at Cambridge when I was an undergraduate, once wrote: “One other thing stirs me when I look back at my youthful days, the fact that so many people gave me something or were something to me without knowing it.” I could echo that a hundred percent. So may each of us ask our Lord to enable us to be a means of encouragement and blessing, both intentionally and even unwittingly, to those younger than we.
Mission Africa Leadership Meetings
It was a privilege to be part of these meetings held in Switzerland the week before the strategy meetings near Lausanne of the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelisation. It was out of the Cape Town 2010 Lausanne Third World Congress that Mission Africa was born. This is an endeavour involving evangelists from around Africa, linked to evangelists from other parts of the world, tackling together in a cross-pollinating way assorted challenges of evangelistic opportunity, mainly in Africa, but also in other parts of the world. The new Chairman of Mission Africa, and succeeding me, is Dr. Stephen Mbogo, International Team Leader and CEO of African Enterprise.
40th Anniversary Meetings of Lausanne Movement for World Evangelisation
These meetings, marking the 40th Anniversary of the Great Congress in that city in 1974, ran through the second week of May as assorted strategies were put in place for evangelizing different sectors and domains around the world. It was deeply challenging and inspirational to look at these arenas of need and opportunity along with an extraordinary group of 185 leaders from some 65 countries around the world. These are topflight, class act leaders with specific skills in these different areas. What also thrills me at the moment about the Lausanne Movement is that it is really developing into a movement of real friends who are committed to one another and to the task of evangelism around the world. Jesus said: “I have called you friends” (John 15:15). This fellowship and friendship factor is to me of critical importance, and it really opens the way for the Lord’s blessing to rest on these endeavours. Our chairperson is Dr. Michael Oh from Japan and he did a great job in leading us. From all over the world also came stories of amazing things God is doing in helping His people reach out with the gospel to places where people either have not heard, or else if they have heard, they have not understood. I am delighted to report that the Lausanne Movement is alive and well and is going from strength to strength.
Today I’m preaching in St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral. I will probably preach on the priorities of Jesus and seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). I look forward to this opportunity a lot. In the evening I’ll start the journey home, leaving Kuala Lumpur to Dubai, and then Dubai to Durban.
Well, beloved friends, that’s it for now. I think you can see it’s quite a daunting challenge before me. So having your prayers going up to the Lord on my behalf will just mean the absolute world.
Carol joins me in sending you much love and gratitude for your prayers for us both and all our family.
All possible blessings,
Michael…and of course Carol
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