These days have been busy with travel and wonderful times of connecting with brothers and sisters from around the world.
Last month, I was in Oxford for a very fruitful and enjoyable week of meetings in preparation for Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010. Ramez Atallah did a masterful job of facilitating a team of international programme consultants who came from Africa, Latin American, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, North America and Europe. Concurrent with these meetings, Lindsay Brown hosted a meeting of the International Deputy Directors. Nine of the twelve were able to attend. Two were unable to be with us due to problems in obtaining visas. During the course of our time together, Billy Graham sent greetings and prayers through his assistant David Bruce who called us on Thursday. That same afternoon, we had a wonderful telephone conversation with John Stott via speaker phone.
The leadership for Lausanne is decidedly global, intentionally younger, and increasingly enriched by women leadership and by world evangelization partners from the realms of business, government, education, medicine and the media.
We are in a very dynamic period of Lausanne's history as we build upon a great heritage of the past and prepare for the considerable challenges and opportunities of the future. Let me give you a few updates:
- Participant Selection Team: This team met in Malaysia during the second week of January to work on the country allocation of the 4000 leaders who will be invited to Cape Town. They also completed the criteria guide and the process, and the timeline for participant selection. Nominating committees will be established in over 100 countries between now and June. In an additional 100 smaller countries, corresponding secretaries will be appointed.
- Resource Mobilization Working Group: This group met for its inaugural meeting last month in Washington, D.C. under the leadership of Ram Gidoomal. Ram is a business and government leader who is a truly global citizen - a man of Indian heritage, born in Kampala, Uganda and living in London. Twenty four leaders participated in this consultation with a vision to develop a global community of women and men who grow in their joy as effective stewards of material resources for the advance of world evangelization. Their next meeting will be in September where the circle of leaders from Africa, Asia, North America and Europe will be further broadened as RMWG gatherings will be organized in each region of the world.
- Regional Consultations: Between now and October when the Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010 Leadership Team meets again in Cape Town, regional consultations will be convened by the International Deputy Directors (IDD's) in the following regions: Anglophone Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North Asia (China), Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
- Younger Leaders Gatherings: More than 120 of the 550 younger leaders who participated in the 2006 Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia are now involved in various positions of service and leadership as they join working groups, national committees and teams preparing for the Congress. They are also organizing Younger Leader "Global Connections" meetings in Europe, Africa and Asia in the next three months.
- Annual Meeting of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization: Dr. Norberto Saracco will host the meetings this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina in June. We will also be joined at that time by 15 leaders from across the Latin American region.
- IT Team and Open Source Architecture: Under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Vijayim of Bangalore, India, an international group of Information Technology specialists is working to develop the technology for an "Open Source" congress whereby people from anywhere in the world will be able to participate with the 4000 Lausanne III participants who are physically present in Cape Town.
- Collaboration with World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): We were so pleased to have Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of WEA, with us at the Oxford Cape Town 2010 Programme meetings. Also members from the WEA Theology Commission and Mission Commission are fully engaged with us as partners in preparation for the Congress and we are so grateful for their fellowship.