Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day One Recap

What a great first day of the Congress!  The morning expository session on Ephesians 1 was led by Ajith Fernando, whose insights were piercing.  We then heard from Carver Yu and Os Guinness (yes, he is the grandson of the Guinnesses) about standing up for truth in a pluralistic world.  Os didn't pull any punches in his condemnation of evangelical weakness on this issue, and the delegates loved it. 

During break time I got to talking with John Piper.  I asked him if we could get two of his books translated into Arabic to help strengthen the believers in Muslim countries.  The first is "Filling up the Afflictions of Christ" and the second is "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God".  Only after we said good-bye did I realize that I hadn't provided him with the names of any Arabs who could do that.  The entire day went by before I saw him again at the reception for the unveiling of the new version of Operation World.  Anyways, he had this big smile on his face and he said, "Guess what? Ten minutes after you left this morning my Arab friends from Country X came up and asked if I needed anything translated!  They said they can have both books done soon."  He had that big old smile going - the smile that he flashes when God does something sovereign, which is like one of his favorite things seeing that he is a seven-point Calvinist!

I attended the afternoon multiplex session on pluralism in a globalized world, which was very informative and sobering, particularly the part about the challenge that faces the church in Europe. 

Before dinner there was a reception for all the US delegates, hosted by Lon Allison and his team.  We got to hear from the likes of Robert Coleman and Vonnette Bright about how the Lausanne movement got started back in the 60's before the first Congress happened in '74. 

The evening plenary focused on Asia and the worldwide persecuted church.  Even though our brothers from China were detained at the airport and unable to be with us, they sent along a recording of a Chinese worship song to share with us, which was moving.  But the highlight of the night had to be the testimony of a young North Korean girl whose entire family has either died or been killed for the Gospel.  After having a dream of Jesus (seems it doesn't just happen to Muslims!), she yielded her heart to him and now wants to return to North Korea and work for human rights.  She received a standing ovation and was brought out for a curtain call.  I think all 4,000 of us were weeping with her as we clapped and then prayed. 

At the end of the plenary, I went with Bill Taylor (President of the World Evangelical Alliance) to the ceremony for the unveiling of the latest (7th edition) of Operation World.  It has been completely updated and revised for the first time since before 2001.  Jason Mandryk took a small group of us through the process of writing and publishing it.  We then prayed over the book that it might unite and mobilize the global church for mission even more than the previous editions.  Jason gave me a copy and told me to take it back to the country where I live.  What a great brother, and what a strategic ministry.

"Uncle Bill" prays for Jason and the book


Marti said...

Love that Piper story. Thanks for blogging this!


Frank & Jeannette Meitz said...

Praying for you brother! F&J