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GMI Info
A Global Mapping International Newsletter Summer 1999


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Mike O'Rear

From the President

Michael G. O'Rear

The phone awakened me just after midnight on Memorial Day. Mom had died, suddenly and unexpectedly; an apparent heart attack. The next morning I was on a plane to Caracas.

After "retiring" from the pastorate in 1996, Mom and Dad had moved to Maracay, Venezuela to pastor a church as short-term TEAM missionaries. They had planned to move back to the US in June.

I arrived in Maracay, just in time for Mom's memorial service. What a precious time, as person after person shared how Mom touched their lives and led them closer to Jesus. It was a unique privilege to experience their deep affection for her.

The minister at the funeral service a few days later in Montana opened the eyes of my heart further to this very special woman. Dr. Harold Longenecker, a close family friend for the past 45 years, said this of Mom: 1) She Obeyed When God Called - through multiple ministry opportunities, many of which would be shunned by our modern Christian culture; 2) She Was Satisfied with God's Provision - never once did she complain about having to do without; and 3) She Blossomed Where She Was Planted - she brought beauty and joy to those in her churches and sphere of ministry.

How wonderfully and deeply this unusual woman of God has affected my life (in addition to the obvious ways).

Thank you, Mom.

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:7-8)


Malaysian seminar participants

Contextualization in Malaysia

Rev. Dr. Hwa Yung, Principal of Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, is well known as an ardent proponent of contextualization-relating the gospel message to a local context. He invited GMI's staff missiologist, Stan Nussbaum, to come to Malaysia for a two-week faculty development seminar in May.

Assisted by Hwa Yung and GMI's Associate in Singapore, Valerie Lim, Stan coached the participants as each one designed a field research project for his or her students to carry out during the coming term or the first term of the year 2000. The objective of the projects is to gather information that will affect the way particular courses are taught in future years.

Seven of the faculty were Malaysian Chinese; one was a Malaysian Indian (Malaysia is about 30% Chinese, 8% Indian, and 60% Malay, with the large majority of Malays being Muslim). All but one of the participants were first-generation Christians.

Each project focused on one concern arising from the faculty member's teaching ministry and relating to a particular course. For example:

Some intriguing hypotheses were put forward, such as, "An evangelistic approach to Chinese people who know the Chinese classics well may be built upon the wisdom literature of the Old Testament" (Old Testament Survey). Though the final outcomes of the projects are not yet known, the Principal made the following observation about the seminar:

The seminar will next be offered in December in Seoul at the Korea Research Institute for Mission with the assistance of Dr. Steve Moon, Director. It will be reduced to five days and offered to practitioners rather than professors. The content of the seminar is similar to the "Applied Research Training" course available from GMI on e-mail. See our web site (www.gmi.org) for further details.


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