Lausanne Hears From The Suffering Church

Yesterday was wet and stormy in Cape Town so my planned trip to Robin Island was not possible - there were no boats sailing due to the weather.

Phil Jenkins | 09:47, Friday, 22 October 2010

Instead I spent the free day with my hosts visiting the little town of Franschoek and the fascinating museum there documenting the settling of the Hugenots in the Cape in the late 17th Century. It explains amongst other things why they have all those French sounding names in the Springbok team!  de Villiers, Marais, de Toit, du Prees etc. But as well as boasting two of the top restaurants in the world - The French Quarter being one which I saw but didn't visit! - Franschoek illustrates how God has always used the migration of peoples around the world in his sovereign plan for world mission.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we heard so many moving accounts of people who today have had to forcibly leave home and family and flee for safety. In two of the sessions all photography was banned as the faces of those sharing from the platform could not be posted across the world on Facebook and other websites.  That was to protect the participants and, as each one stressed, more importantly to protect the ministries they represented in North Africa and other countries closed to the open proclamation of the gospel.

Then we had the moving session when two young people shared the platform together - a Palestinian young woman and an Israeli young man, both Christians and both now trying to work for reconciliation in the immensely challenging world of the Middle-East. Both confessed that it was only because of Jesus they could stand together and accept each other and work for peace.

We heard the moving testimony of the widow of one of the medical doctors killed in northern Afghanistan in August this year when a team of ten were captured and shot by bandits. And John Piper stirred us all by his passionate exposition of Ephesians 3 on Wednesday morning when he spoke of the inevitable link - indeed God's designated way of doing mission - the link between making Jesus known in our world and suffering for Jesus’ sake.  Piper also sounded a very clear call to Lausanne 2010 when he asked that. amid the rightful voices we raise in defense of the suffering of people in oppressive situations across our world, we do not forget the great suffering facing the whole of the human race in our lostness from God.  "Will Lausanne 3 affirm that we are concerned about all suffering - temporal and eternal suffering  - in our proclamation of the goodnews of Jesus?"  So much to absorb, so much to process, so much to reflect on and still so much to be done.  

Document Actions