God at Cape Town: What I saw and heard today

The first full day of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa has come to a close. I am exhausted. My fatigue today was so extreme that I know it would be unwise for me to go on for very long.  Still, let me just give a few moments to reflection.

What did I see God doing today?

More than anything else, I see God gathering His Church from every corner of the earth and knitting our hearts together as one. Again, I know that I'm extremely naive.  I'm sure there is all sort of carnality going on here and there.  But I don't really care much about that right now. I'm captivated.  I saw a tweet a few moments ago from Ines Franklin that said it perfectly, "When we get to heaven we are going to want to meet every single person there. Getting a feel for it at Cape Town 2010."  Yes, that's it exactly.  I see God in His people today. In my table (which is now complete with the addition of a pastor from Germany), His Spirit is stimulating very fruitful conversation.  My ear is straining to hear His voice there -- I know He is speaking. I'll be posting insights from our table discussion on the Lausanne Global Conversation.  Not there yet.

I'm seeing God in lots of conversations here and there.  I met so many great people today.  From the famous like John Piper, Doug Birdsall and Ajith Fernando, to the awesome like Ruth. Ruth was a great blessing to me tonight.  I sat down at an empty space where several Nigerians and Ruth (a Rwandan) were eating.  Ruth had already finished, but she settled back in and started to talk with me.  She runs a ministry called Pan African Christian Women Alliance in Rwanda where she minsters to women who have been victimized in various ways by the massacre that happened in that country in the 1990s.  Widows, orphans and others are taken care of there.  She teaches them skills that empower them to earn a living.  She teaches them about forgiveness and reconciliation.  She teaches them about Christ.  In other words, she incarnates our Savior in a remarkable way.

Ruth took her time with me.  She lived right on through the unspeakable tragedies of her country.  She told me about the losses and the pain.  "But you cannot grieve for 15 years. You cannot stay in the past.  You have to hope for the future."  So mostly she told me about forgiveness and reconciliation.  "So, it's like that . . . it's like that."

This is a solemn moment in the history of God's Church.  I believe it with all my heart.  Ebenezer from Nigeria said as much to me over dinner when he spoke of God unifying His people right here, right now, before our very eyes. Praise the Lord!

What did I hear God saying?

Allow me to be simple.

I have heard God saying to me through a number of voices, "Press on in the pursuit of contextualization." This word has come now through God's people from Norway, India, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

God is also bringing a question to my mind about partnership.  He seems to be impressing on me that He has some kinds of partnerships for me here at Cape Town 2010.  So the question swelling in my heart is, "What does the partnership look like?"

I heard God say, "Truth is not a what, it is a who -- Jesus Christ."  And, that "truth must be shared relationally, contextually, and dialogically." Finally, that "discipleship must involve the utter transformation of an individuals concept of God."

And, randomly . . . 

Did you know that there are now more cell phones than toilets in India?

Okay, time for bed. Thank you for reading and praying!


  1. Thank you Lord for Ruth.
    Thank you Lord for Your voice encouraging Cody to press on with contextualization.

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