75,000 Bhutanese refugees resettled

Officially, the number of Bhutanese refugees resettled to third nations has now surpassed 75K.  Here are the stats and links to a couple news articles:

75,000 Bhutanese refugees resettled | GroundReport: " December 13 2012,  Kathmandu Nepal:  Claiming to have resettled around 75,000 Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed the number in a joint statement. Under one of the largest and successful resettlement programs, more than 63,400 refugees were resettled in United States, 3,837 in Australia, 5,296 in Canada, 724 in Denmark, 710 in New Zealand, 326 in Netherlands, 546 Norway, and 257 in United Kingdom where Yagandra Kami a six year old boy became the 75,000 refugee to be part of major resettlement program. The Program was launched in November 2007."

Same story reported by the Himalayan Times.


Happy Deepawali / Tihar!

Original Painting "Jesus at the Door" by Scott Rayl

The festival of lights is here and so close to Thanksgiving this year.  That means that diaspora communities from India and Nepal who are in the USA can look forward to extended time with family.  May the Lord Sri Yeshu work to strengthen your family bonds this year.  Especially remember that Thursday is Bhai-Tikka.  Brothers, give a lot of money to your sisters to show how much you love them.  Sisters, prepare mitho, mitho food that day for your brothers and give them your beautiful smile to show that you will never be far from them.  And everyone, open the door and welcome the Lord Sri Yeshu into your lives.  You will discover light that you have never imagined!


What if? Global Gates

Here's a cool video from the folks at "Global Gates" and a great diaspora worker and thinker named Chris Clayman.  Check it out, it raises some great questions.  My favorite is "What if churches were started by Skype?" That intrigues me especially alongside another "What if movements were started using networks that already exist?":

What If? from Global Gates on Vimeo.


PeopleMov.In - Terrific Diaspora Resource!

Photo By archer10 (Dennis)
Creating cool visualizations is all the rage these days.  I'm constantly seeing them on RSS feeds that I follow.  Most of them really don't seem all that helpful to me.  However, what Carlo Zapponi has created over at PeopleMov.In is something truly special.  Essentially, he has provided an interactive visualization that allows you to see A=>B and B=>A diaspora movement.  Want to know where Albanians in diaspora are moving to?  How about Turks or Nepalis? Just a click away from a very helpful visual portrayal.

As a bonus, Zapponi has listed what he calls the top migration "corridors".  Here's a sneak peak:

Top migration corridorssee more

He also lists that top nations people are moving to and from.  Great stuff! So, for those of you who have a heart for the "people on the move", do yourself a favor and check out today.


बिजय दशमि! The Symbols of Dashain

The Symbols of Dashain
     Dashain is a great time for devotees of the Lord Shri Jesus Christ!  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to worship the Holy Spirit. Together with all our Nepali and Bhutanese friends and family, we can use the rich symbols and traditions of Dashain to express our faith, honor our families, and celebrate Nepali culture.  There are many symbols and traditions in Dashain. Two of the most important are called “tika” and “jamera.” Beginning on the day of “Bijaya Dashami” tika and jamera are used to show love and blessing to family and close friends.
     Followers of Jesus should feel confident to use these symbols also. First, all these things were created by God for His glory. Second, the red tika reminds us of the blood of the Lord Shri Jesus that provides our salvation. The rice in the tika reminds us of the seed of faith that we have in Christ. Finally, the jamera reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s work to help us grow.   Together, these symbols provide a powerful reminder of the victory that we have through TriEak Parmeshwar. So, we can say with joy, “Bijaya Dashami!”

दशैंको चिन्नहरू
     दशैं येशु भक्तहरूको लागि एकदम राम्रो समय हो । यो पवित्र आत्मलाई पूजा गर्नुको निम्ती मङ्गल उत्सव् हो सबै नेपाली-भुटानिहरूसंग हामीले दशैंको चिन्न संस्कृतिद्वरा हाम्रा विश्वास प्रमाण् दिनु हाम्रा परीवारलाई मान्नु सकौं   दुइटा ठुलो चिन्नहरू नै टिका जमरा हो । बिजय दशमिदेखी मनिसहरूले परिवार र नजिक साथिहरूलाई टिका-जमरा आशिषको लागि दीन्छन
     येशु भक्तहरूले पनि यी चिन्नहरू प्रयोग गर्नसक्छन् । पैले, त्रीएक परमेश्वरले सबै थोक उहाँका महिमको निम्ती सृष्टि गर्नुभयो । दोस्त्रो, रातो टिकाले प्रभु श्री येशुको रगत हामिलाई सम्झाउछ । यो रगतद्वरा हाम्रो मुक्ती आउँछ । टिकाको चामल विश्वासको बिउजस्तो छ । यो विश्वासको बिउदेखी मुक्ती आउँछ । र, जमराले पवित्र आत्मको काम हामीलाई सम्झाउछ । उहाँले हाम्रा जीवनमा आफ्न फल उब्जाउनुहुन्छ । जम्मा, यी चिन्नहरू हाम्रो परमेश्वरको विजय एकदम शक्तिशाली सम्झौटो हो । साँच्चै, हामीले भन्दछैं, "बिजय दशमि!"


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Tuesday, 10/23/2012 नवमी (Ninth Day) Self-control Day

By A.D. Thomas

पवित्र आत्माको फल संयम हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control.

पर्खाहरू भत्किएको नगरझैँ आत्मसंयम नभएको मानिस हो। (हितोपदेश २५:२८, Proverbs 25:28)

Today, pray especially for Nepali youth to have self-control. Ask God to give you victory over sin and temptation. Fix your mind on TriEak Parmeshwar.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्- प्रभु श्री येशु, म तपाईंमाथि ध्यान गर्छू। मलाई र सबैलाई संयम दिनुहोस् । मेरो पाप क्षामा गर्नुहोस्।


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Monday, 10/22/2012 अष्टमी (Eighth Day) Gentleness Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल नम्रता हो.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is gentleness.

तिमीहरूका भित्री हृदयलाई भलो र शान्त आत्माको अविनाशी रत्नले सजाओ, जो परमेश्वरको दृष्टिमा साह्रै मुल्यवान् छ। (१ पत्रुस ३:४, 1 Peter 3:4)

Ask God to give you gentleness and humility so that your relationships with others can be improved.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, मलाई अरूहरूसंग शक्त र आनन्दित् सम्बन्ध चाहियो । यसकारण हे प्रभु, ममा कमलो हृदय सृजानुहोस। “


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Sunday, 10/21/2012 सप्तमी (Seventh Day) Faithfulness Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल बिश्वस्तत हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is faithfulness.

हामी पछि हट्ने र विनाश परिनेहारूमध्येका होइ्नौं, तर विश्वास गरी बचाइएकाहरूमध्येका हौं।
(हिब्रु १०:३९, Hebrews 10:39)

Pray that Nepalis everywhere will put their trust in the Lord Sri Jesus and receive his salvation.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, सबै नेपाली र भूटानीहरूलाई प्रभु श्री येशुमाथि विश्वस गर्नु दिनुहोस्, ताकी तीनिहरूले तपाईंको मुक्ती प्राप्त गर्छन्।“


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Saturday, 10/20/2012 षष्ठी (Sixth Day) Goodness Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल भलाई हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is goodness.

प्रिय हो, खराबिको अनुकरण नगर, तर भलाईको अनुकरण
गर। जसले भलो गर्दछ, त्यो परमेश्वरको हो, जसले खराबी गर्दछ, त्यसले परमेश्वरलाई देखेको छैन।
(३ युहन्ना १:११, 3 John 1:11)

Today, ask God to help you do something good for another person.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, तपाईंको निम्ती के गरुँ? आज, के राम्रो कुरा मैले अरूहरूको लागि गर्नुपर्छ?“


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Friday, 10/19/2012 पञ्चमी (Fifth Day) Kindness Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल दया हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is kindness.

प्रभुको सेवक झगड़ालु हुनुहुँदैन,
तर हरेकको लागि दयालु हुनुपर्छ।
 (२ तिमोथी २:२४, 2 Timothy 2:24)

Today, pray that God will bless all Nepalis with hearts full of kindness towards others. Pray that all quarreling will end.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, तपाईंको आत्मद्वारा सबै नेपालीहरूलाई दयालु हृदयको वरदान दिनुहोस। सबै झगड़ाहरु खतम गर्नुहोस। “


दशैंको सत्संग - Dashain Satsang (Join Us Sunday at 2PM)

Join Us on Sunday, October 21th at 2PM
दशैंको सत्संग
Dashain Satsang
सत्संग, पर्सात्, आराधना, भजन
Satsang, prasaath, worship, bhajan-singing
(Food pani hola?)

TriEak Parmeshwar Mandali

दशैँ प्रार्थना- Thursday, 10/18/2012 चतुर्थी (Fourth Day) Patience Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल धैर्य हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience.

परमप्रभुको सामुन्ने मौन बस र धैर्यपूर्वक उहाँको प्रतिक्षा गर। (भजनसंग्रह ३७:७, Psalms 37:7)

Sometimes it is difficult to be patient. Pray for God to give you patience at work and school and with other people.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, कहिले कहिं मेरो धैर्य छैन । सबै समयमा र सबै मानिसहरूसंग मलाई धैर्य दिनुहोस।“


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Wednesday, 10/17/2012 तृतिया (Third Day) Peace Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल शान्ती हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace.

अब शान्तिका प्रभु आफैले सब समय, हरतरहले तिमीहरूलाई शान्ती दिऊन्। प्रभु तिमीहरू सबैसँग रहुन्(२ थेसलोनिकी ३:१६, 2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Today, pray that all refugee peoples everywhere will know the peace of the Lord Sri Jesus Christ in difficult times.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, सबै शरणागतीहरूलाई तिनिहरुका कष्टहरूमा तपाईंको शान्ती दिनुहोस।“


दशैँ प्रार्थना-Tuesday, 10/16/2012 द्वितीया (Second Day) Joy Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल आनन्द हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy.

प्रभुमा सधैँ आनन्द गर। म फेरी पनि भन्दछु, आनन्द गर। (फिलिप्पी ४:४, Philippians 4:4)

Today, pray that Nepalis everywhere will know the joy of the Lord Sri Jesus Christ. Pray for families who are in mourning now to experience new joy in the Lord.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्- “पिता परमेश्वर, सबै नेपालीहरुलाई तपाईंको आनन्द दिनुहोस । सबै बिलाप गर्नेहारुलाई सान्त्वना दिनुहोस ।“


दशैँ प्रार्थना- Monday, 10/15/2012 प्रतिपदा (First Day) Love Day

पवित्र आत्माको फल प्रेम् हो।
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love.

प्रिय हो, हामी एउटाले अर्कालाई प्रेम गरौं, किनभने प्रेम
 परमेश्वरबाट आउँछ ( युहन्ना :७, 1 John 4:7a)

Today, pray that Nepalis everywhere will know the love of Pita Parmeshwar. Pray also that they will greatly love their friends, neighbors, and family.

आज, प्रार्थना गर्नुहोस्-“पिता परमेश्वर, सबै नेपालीहरुलाई तपाईंको प्रेम दिनुहोस तपाईंको आत्मद्वारा हामिलाई मदत गर्नुहोस्, ताकी हामी हाम्रा साथि, पेरिवार्, छिमेकि हाम्रा शत्रुहरुलाई पनि प्रेम गर्नु सकौं ।“

बिजय दशमि! Dashain Aayo! 2012 Dashain Prayer Book Available

"बिजय दशमि!" Today begins the season of Navaratri (नवरात्री), the nine nights leading up to the Nepali Dashain (दशैँ) festival.  During this season, we at TriEak Parmeshwar Mandali like to encourage everyone to enter into a season of prayer especially to ask God to fill our lives with his Holy Spirit (पवित्र आत्मा) and to produce the Spirit's fruit in us.  If you'd like to download a free copy of the 2012 Dashain Prayer Book, for daily guidance on how to pray, you can do that here.  Or simply follow this blog for the next several days for posts on how to pray during this season.

Cover art by Scott Rayl

What is wrong with Biblical Missiology's Critique of the Insider Movement?

Photo By JD Hancock
I had made a note to myself that I should eventually get around to responding to an article that I often see tweeted and retweeted related to contextualization.  The article appears on the website Biblical Missiology and was written by Georges Houssney.  You can find it here if you like: "What is Wrong with the Insider Movement".

Let me begin by saying that the article itself is difficult to take seriously. It offers no citations (I'll return to this point in a moment) and is very poorly edited.  I understand that Houssney is not a native English speaker, but it is still incumbent upon Biblical Missiology to raise their standards of editing and research if they are to present the most reliable and helpful information and debate possible to the Church.

Further, it is very difficult to respond point-by-point to this article.  Let me explain why:

1. There is no such thing as "The Insider Movement" -- A very, very common mistake (or tactic) made by proponents of "outsider movement" methodologies is to refer to those who pursue contextualization in mission as "The Insider Movement".  We are supposed to all share the same views, values, approaches, etc.  Houssney's article is entirely built upon this completely false premise.  There are in fact many different insider movements among different people groups which take different positions on many issues.

By using a term like "The Insider Movement", Houssney and others seem to be trying to foment opposition towards all insider approaches (i.e. contextualization) by attributing all the high-shock-value positions to all proponents of contextualization.  As a case in point, in this article Houssney wants his audience to believe the following:

- The Insider Movement affirms the Quran as God's word.
- The Insider Movement believes that the Quran contains the message of salvation and has the power to transform.
- The Insider Movement holds Muhammad in high regard.
- The Insider Movement relies on a purely cognitive approach to evangelism which effectively denies the role of the Holy Spirit.
- The Insider Movement has a low view of the universality of the Church.

The fact of the matter is that those who pursue contextualization among Muslims have a number of different views on these and other issues.  Houssney should take the approach of arguing against specific practices or forms instead of simply trying to oppose an entity which doesn't actually exist.

2. There are no citations!  Houssney at various times charges certain entities (e.g. "Common Ground", "Camel Method") with advocating particular practices or taking certain positions.  However, we are given no information about the specific details of these nor are their links to articles or resources that we can examine.  It is really pretty impossible to engage meaningfully with Houssney on these points as a result.  We aren't, for example, given specific information about who "Common Ground" is nor do we know what they actually have to say.  We are left essentially having to take Houssney's word for it.  This is not acceptable.  I strongly encourage Brother Houssney to do the hard work of providing specific quotations and citations that allow us the opportunity to fully engage this debate.

3. There is no substantial interaction with Scripture.  With all of Houssney's charging "insiders" of failing to give proper place to the Bible in their evangelism, it is ironic that he himself utilized it so sparingly in his article.  His central charge is that "the Insider Movement is unbiblical", but he doesn't actually demonstrate this from Scripture.  Note:

- In his first three points he doesn't use the Bible at all to support his positions.
- In point two he suggests that "insiders" incorrectly use Acts 17 to support their approach but doesn't explain how this is done nor provide a counter-exegesis to support his own view.
- His references to Bible verses in points 4 and 5 are decorative at best (not that it is surprising for "outsiders" to neglect context). Houssney does not demonstrate exegetically how these verses are supposed to support the points he is trying to make.

Thus, Houssney has failed to provide meaningful support of his claim that insider approaches are unbiblical. Without a clear, biblically-based argument, it is impossible to have a real exchange as to whether or not contextualization is biblical.

In the end, I am left once again feeling that Biblical Missiology is still not an organization worthy of serious attention.  My own position on contextualization aside, it baffles me that they would publish an article that is so inadequately conceived, written, edited and researched.  It further puzzles me that individuals would actually consider it worthy of a "retweet".  My hope is that BM will remove the article and ask Houssney to go back to the drawing board. There cannot be progress made in the Body of Christ on the issue of contextualization unless we are all committed to high-standards of debate, research, mutual understanding, and communication.  I humbly call my brothers and sisters in Christ at Biblical Missiology to rise up to this higher standard for Christ's sake.  I am certain that they are capable of doing so.


Southern Baptists and Baptism

Well, I found this to be interesting.  Some of you will know why.

For the rest, just enjoy the read ...

Between The Times: "LifeWay Research released a study yesterday demonstrating that a slight majority (52%) of the Southern Baptist pastors they polled believe that any professing believer can participate in communion. Only about a third of those polled (35%) believe that baptism is prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper. Still others advocated other positions, which are less relevant to this post. (The poll also had some interesting statistics about how frequently Southern Baptists celebrate communion, but that’s another topic for another day.)"

Where are you on this?


#SaveMaryam: The Islamic Campaign to Halt the Spread of the Gospel in Indonesia

Have you heard of the #SaveMaryam campaign? Muslims in Indonesia are concerned about the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in that nation and are predicting that by 2035 it will no longer be a Muslim-majority country.  The following is the promotional video created in order to generate financial support from Muslims especially in order to stop the mass movement of Indonesian youth toward faith in Christ.  The video is pretty amazing actually. I don't think I've seen very many example of "counter-missionary" propaganda. What are your thoughts?


Muslims, Insider Movements and the Issue of Identity

Photo By Stuck in Customs
I enjoy very much following the Circumpolar blog and the much needed balance they bring to the too often over-heated and ill-informed debate regarding contextualization in mission among Muslims. I've spoken before about the "insider v. outsider" controversy and won't get into it all here (e.g. my response to John Piper).  I do, however, wish to direct you to a recent post by Warrick Farrah over at Circumpolar that is well-worth a read.

Farrah is reflecting on an article by Tim Green entitled "Identity Issues for Ex-Muslim Christians, with Particular Reference to Marriage".  Farrah focuses his reflections on Green's challenging of the so called "C-scale", which I have also challenged here.  Green raises issues particular to the Muslim context that are very helpful and form yet another compelling reason why we should abandon the "C-scale" paradigm in our discussions about contextualization in mission.

Read Farah's post at Circumpolar - "We need to change the model, change the debate, and make room for “identity transition” in MBB conversion experiences." 

Additionally, Circumpolar recommends a number of links for Muslims that I'd encourage you to take a look at. 


How Missionary is Your Church? (An evaluation)

By © Salim Photography/
The following comes from David Bosch's Transforming Mission.  Usually, I post extended quotations on my Scatterings blog, but felt this was worth posting here.  I found the list personally challenging as I reflected on my career as a pastor and church planter.  I encourage you to do a bit of self-examination of you are leader in a local church.  Forget about your seating capacity and offering plates for a moment.  How does your church measure up to Bosch's keys below:

Manifestations of the Missionary Dimension of a Local Church

1. True worship

2. Hospitality and welcome to outsiders

3. Pastor doesn't monopolize ministry, treating members as mere objects of pastoral care

4. Members equipped for their calling in society

5. Structurally pliable and innovative

6. Doesn't defend the privileges of a select group

7. Intentional and direct involvement in society

8. Moves beyond the "walls of the church" to engage in mission in areas of evangelism and work for justice and peace

So, how about it? How "missionary" is your church really?  Also, I'd be interested to hear from you if you have points to add.  What would you add (or challenge) to Bosch's list?