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Missionary Legacy

I recounted a conversation about missionary legacy in an article for Eternity recently. In it, I hinted that this is not the only way to view missionaries, and I thought I’d fill that out a bit. Our friend from the article, the one staying with us, gave us his perspective […]

On dependence: practicalities

In the previous two posts, I’ve raised some issues to do with dependence. In an attempt to avoid fostering dependence, we may too easily become task focused, treating people as projects rather than, well, people. But avoiding dependence is motivated by recognising the full dignity of other believers. So where […]

On dependence: doing yourself out of a job

Yesterday, I observed that the opposite of dependence is not isolation but having something to offer. In our case, that means recognising that national church leaders are often far more effective in mission and ministry in their national context than missionaries. (We are expensive, for a start, and often have […]

On dependence: what is it?

The question of dependence is a critical one for engaging in any sort of cross-cultural partnership. In the nineteenth century, CMS’s Henry Venn came up with three marks of a mature church: self-supporting, self-propagating and self-governing. Though he planted churches in west Africa, he believed that autonomy was key to treating […]

Vulnerable mission 3: money questions

The UN’s Millenium Development Goals are widely acknowledged as an important pursuit for alleviating poverty on a world scale, and Christians have got behind this in a big way through Micah Challenge. But all of this involves a lot of outside investment. We can probably all agree that the goals are […]

Living as wageni (foreigners) in Tanzania

In our language classes, we have been discussing reverse racism: while Tanzanians readily view their country people with suspicion, we wageni are given the benefit of the doubt. That’s not to say there aren’t negative stereotypes of foreigners: we’re rich, unused to hard work, impatient, and not well dressed. But […]