The theme of our January conference this year is “Without Borders.” I’d like to introduce you to two of our plenary speakers who emulate that theme in the way they have chosen to live their lives.
In the 1980s, the Proclaim Conference, a national emphasis on prayer and missions, came to Portland, and I joined in. One of those leading the conference was Steve Hawthorne, who also co-authored the Perspectives Study Course with the legendary and late missiologist, Dr. Ralph Winter. Today, Steve works with WayMakers, a mission and prayer mobilization ministry…and travels widely to help start Perspectives classes in strategic locations around the world.
Steve is working hard to build “local movements of united prayer …in order to prepare the way for great gospel harvest and community transformation.” Using prayer to mobilize Christ-followers is truly “Without Borders” and we’re thrilled to have Steve share his heart with us in January.
Born in the U.S. to Korean parents, Michael Oh is the Executive Director/CEO of the Lausanne Movement which “connects influencers and ideas for global mission, with a vision of the gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact in every sphere of society”. Before coming to lead the Lausanne Movement, Michael, his wife Pearl, and their five children spent ten years as missionaries in Nagoya, Japan, which uniquely prepared Michael for his role now.
In January 2004, Michael founded a ministry called Christ Bible Institute, which includes Christ Bible Seminary, the Heart & Soul Cafe, and a church-planting ministry. For someone with a Korean background to be serving in Japan, (and in a dynamic leadership role at that), is not only cross-cultural, it is truly a “Without Borders” proposition because the two peoples differ in facial structure, mannerisms, fashion, history, religion, and language – plus Michael is an American!
Two leaders without borders – One using prayer to reach beyond borders of missions mobilization. The other choosing to go beyond geographical, social, and cultural borders to reach people in a country where missionaries and church leaders face cultural challenges that can be overwhelming.
Perhaps God is calling you to do something similar.
If so, I hope to see you this January 15-16, 2016, at Sunset Presbyterian Church in Portland!