Saturday, June 13, 2009

NonWestern missionary sending

Hwa Yung, a bishop in the Methodist Church of Malaysia and former director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia at Trinity Theological College, Singapore, recently wrote an article for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. (Excerpts follow - Full article here).

Yung attended the global mission conference, Ethne06, held in Bali in 2006, where some of the major mission networks from the non-Western world reported their long range plans.

COMIBOM reported that by 2005, Latin American churches had sent out some 8,000 missionaries to over 150 countries. And more are in the pipeline.

African churches were not to be outdone. For example, Timothy Olonade of the Nigerian Evangelical Missions Association noted that the Nigerian churches have sent out 5,200 missionaries to date. By 2020, their goal was to send out 50,000 missionaries.

Dr. Kang Sung Sam of the Korea World Missions Association reported that Korean churches have sent out 18,000 missionaries to date. By 2030, they hope to send 100,000.

The Indian Missions Association, under Dr. K. Rajendran, covered 208 mission agencies with more than 30,000 cross-cultural missionaries. Most of these are working within India’s borders, but a growing number are overseas.

Then there is the “Back-to-Jerusalem” movement of China’s house churches, based upon a vision that first emerged in the 1920s. The goal is to send out 100,000 missionaries within this generation along the ancient trade routes back to Jerusalem, going through the heartlands of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam along the way. Again, the Philippines Council of Evangelical Churches speaks of sending out 200,000 tentmakers in the form of migrant workers by 2010.