Tag Archives: missions

Missionaries Changed the World Once – Can they do it again?

This is article is a repost from InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholar’s Blog.  Thanks to Tom Grosh for permission to cross-post.

The topic of a recent cover story in Christianity Today is shaking up not only the world of missions, but also academia. The World the Missionaries Made is a report on the work of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist currently researching at the Political Science Department of the National University of Singapore. CT’s Executive Editor Andy Crouch calls it the CT cover story of which he is most proud. Its thesis and Woodberry’s work support a remarkable conclusion – that a generation of “conversionary protestant missionaries” (see note) laid a foundation for democracy around the world. Continue reading

Climate Change and Creation Care as seen from the Congo

Spring 2013 class

At Care of Creation we were recently contacted by a Christian University in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  A group of students there was looking to publish a jointly-written report on environment and climate change as they experience it.   The following article, written by students from Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo/Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC), highlights some recent creation care activities in the surrounding communities.  DRC is a nation wearied by war, severe poverty, governmental ineptitude, and endemic corruption.  It is in this context that the activities described in the report reveal something of the character of UCBC–an institution whose vision is to “raise up indigenous, Christian leaders to transform their communities and the nation of DRC.”  Read, ponder – and pray.  And let us know if you would like to help in some way.  (This article is cross-posted on the main Care of Creation website. The authors are Adeito Masika Tahirana, Annie Mboligihe, Baraka Kambale Alex, Nadine Kavira Vitya, and Patrick Masomeko Mikajo.)

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the majority of the population is rural and lives dependent on the forest and subsistence farming. DRC’s Congo Basin rainforest is sometimes referred to as the  “second lung of the earth” because of its size, second only to the Amazon basin. However, through the growing lumber industry, people who live in this vast rainforest area often seek to supplement their livelihood by clearing forest trees to sell timber and produce charcoal for cooking. As the population grows rapidly, this activity has direct impacts on climate and the health of the land as the rainforest shrinks to make way for farmland and the lumber industry.

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A Tale of Two Cities

I flew into Dubai early yesterday morning from a two week stint in Kenya and Tanzania.  Coming from one of the least developed areas of the world – I spent a week without electricity and running water – into one of the most developed cities on earth and home to the world’s tallest building, I was reminded of this article which I wrote for The Other Journal three years ago after a similar trip.  Enjoy…

There are few air hops that will give you a greater contrast than the four-hour trip from Nairobi to Dubai.

Nairobi is the capital of one of the poorer nations in the world, the home of the infamous Kibera slum, and a textbook case of how population growth, rapid unplanned development, and massive environmental degradation result in poverty and human suffering. Flying out of Nairobi, you can see signs of distress in every direction just by looking out of the plane window.

Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities on earth. Flying into Dubai, evidence of prosperity is as obvious as the poverty of Nairobi. High-rise buildings grow out of desert sands, massive highways clog with traffic. The terminal itself is more of a shopping mall with jetways than an airport: a temple to consumerism. Every imaginable gadget, garment, and trinket is on offer at prices that may be as low as anywhere else in the world.

But there’s another way to look at these cities. Let’s rewind and put on a different set of glasses:

Read the rest of the article here.

If the theme interests you, pick up a copy of my latest book, When Heaven and Nature Sing at careofcreation.net or on Amazon.

How abusing God’s creation makes natural events unnatural

DSCN6254This post comes to you from an airport lounge in Nairobi, Kenya, where I am waiting for my flight to Tanzania to visit the new Care of Creation project in Iringa.  Meanwhile, I am thinking of the many people, sights and sounds from the last week.  One of the most important events is actually one that happened on April 28, a week before I arrived, when an unaturally large rainfall event caused a portion of the mountain above the community where our project is located to slide down.  Such an event is a natural part of God’s creation – or is it?

The evidence of God’s grace and mercy in the aftermath of the April 28th landslide in Kijabe, Kenya, is clear.  The slide happened after midnight on a Saturday night, so the path the slide took down the main street of the town (which runs straight down the slope) hit no vehicles, no houses and  no people.  It did wipe out several hundred meters of the boundary fence of Rift Valley Academy, and could have done serious damage to a local high school and the famous Kijabe Christian Hospital but for a strong fence and row of trees at the bottom of the street – and because of the damming effect of a railway line above the town – but we’ll come back to that in a minute. Continue reading

Ed Brown appointed to Senior Leadership post at Lausanne

The following is the text of a newsletter just sent out to friends of Care of Creation Inc. (If you are not on our e-newsletter list, please join us!)
We have some exciting news to share with you!  The Lausanne Movement has appointed me as Senior Associate for Creation Care.  This appointment represents a new chapter in the history of Care of Creation as an organization, and an exciting opportunity for me personally.  It also represents a dramatic advance for the evangelical creation care movement.
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Environmental Crisis in Haiti: Is the Church Waking Up?

I have recently returned from a Creation Care conference in the country of Haiti – an event that provides an exciting glimpse into one possible strategy for ‘mobilizing the church to respond to the environmental crisis’ on a nation-by-nation basis.  Let me know what you think.

Background

At Care of Creation our strategy, our goal and our dream has been to “mobilize the church” to respond to environmental challenges.  More recently, we’ve grown bolder by saying that we wanted to “mobilize the worldwide church to respond to the global environmental crisis.”  That’s a statement that serves well as a branding tool, but as an actual goal?  Moving the entire global Christian community in any direction seems like a big stretch, even to us.

That is what makes my recent trip to the country of Haiti so interesting.  I don’t need to tell you that Haiti is a country where disasters seem to happen almost on a schedule.  Where the level of poverty displayed on city sidewalks can shock even seasoned travelers.  And where more than one author has used the word “hopeless” to describe one of the world’s worst environmental situations.

But Haiti also has a church.  The people of God are represented in this nation.  And it might be that they are actually starting to wake up and to take responsibility for their own country in a way that they have not done before.  It is dangerous to proclaim that a particular event is historical when it has only just occurred, particularly when that event is a conference.  Can a conference actually accomplish something?

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