Lausanne: Highlights and Take-aways

The young North Korean woman wept as she told of losing her mother, of coming to Christ while living in China, of her father’s choice to return to North Korea to preach the gospel.  He was arrested and she has no idea if he is alive or not.  Now living in South Korea, she told of her commitment to finish her education, then return to her nation to take the love of Christ to her country—no matter the risk.We all wept with her.This is just one of the powerful stories we experienced at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.  I was there for only the first half, but the constant tweets kept us all informed of every event, session, dialog.  In a few paragraphs I will try to mention a very few highlights and thoughts I came away with.  There is so much more!!RECONCILING THE WORLDI loved the theme verse:  God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself—2 Corinthians 5:19.  The fact that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life was reaffirmed—even in our pluralistic world, Christ is the way of reconciliation with God and we are the carriers of that reconciling message.I am grateful for the call for the Whole Church to take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.  This embodies all God’s children, men and women, from every continent, working together to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment  in every corner, in every city, to those who read and those who don’t, to young and old, to rich and poor, to every person!Each day’s focus enabled us to consider vital realities:  The truth of the gospel.  Reconciliation to God and to each other.   We are making few inroads to world faiths of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.   Global priorities include reaching oral learners and urban centers containing most of the people of the world.  Youth and children are the largest population group.   A call to the global church to humility, integrity and simplicity.  The absolute necessity of partnering together.PROGRESS ON SCRIPTURE TRANSLATIONWe celebrated great progress:  Scripture translation is happening at 5 times the speed of just 10 years ago.  Unreached, unengaged people groups of more than 100,000 have dropped from  639 just  5 years ago to 2/3 now engaged, and virtually all of those not engaged have been adopted.   But much more is still to be done, including working on groups of 50,000.Some of the realities of our world—the move of the church to south and east, the overwhelming prevalence and desperation of extreme poverty, the scourge of slavery and trafficking—were addressed from the platform and in dialog and multiplex sessions.CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMENI, of course, loved the contributions of a number of women, including Bible exposiition of Ephesians 2 by Ruth Padilla DeBorst,  presentations by Pranitha Timothy (International Justice Mission) of India and Canadian Salvation Army officer Christine MacNeill, emceeing by Brenda Salter-McNeill.   Elke Werner of Germany presented a plenary, calling for a stronger voice for women and premiered a video produced by Synergy Women’s Network, which you can view here.Another profound moment brought tears to all:  Libby Little, long-time missionary to Afghanistan, told of the recent visit of medical missionaries to their mission and the subsequent murder of the medical team and her husband.  She called us all to be the beautiful aroma of the grace of Christ.Want to know more?  To participate in the conversation?  Visit personal takeaway?  I feel a call to be more radical.  To not settle for the comfortableness of my life.  To use my influence to challenge others to believe God for the more He wants to do in and through them.  To increase the heat and intensity of the Kindling of my life!  To start more fires in hearts and minds!c 2010 Judy Douglass