Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Report from Asia

I have recently returned from attending a Church Leadership Conference followed by the Asian Baptist Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These were wonderful events and involved bringing 1800+ people together from many countries over Asia.

There is an official report or two on the BWA web site at this link:

Baptist World Alliance-Asian Baptist Congress

I did get some good opportunities to speak formally about Theologians Without Borders but the main work was done on a one-to-one level. Email and web sites have a purpose but they can never achieve what is attained by sitting down and talking over some curry and rice or some Thai green tea.

You can get bombarded with business cards at these gatherings. The greatest challenge for TWB is to be strategic and to work out where to concentrate so that speakers for Pastor's Conferences and lecturers for intensive teaching courses are matched where the needs are greatest.

I received numerous ‘Macedonian Calls’—“Come over and help us.” I have gone back to these people, asking them to think carefully about what their needs are and making their requests more specific.

I would like to tell you the countries where these requests have come from but most are from places that are politically delicate and the posting of further details has the potential to jeopardise their ongoing work and our attempts to respond with short term assistance.

I am happy to say more by email so if you are interested in more detail please drop me a line.

It was also worthwhile chatting to people who may be interested to teach and speak beyond their own borders so the conference was valuable in this way.

If there is a possibility that you may be able to assist please go to the posting on this site called Expressions of Interest, paste this pro forma, fill it out on a Word document and send it to me. There is no commitment either way but you never know what might happen from such a step.

Geoff Pound

Image: Part of the contingent in Chiang Mai from Papua New Guinea.