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A Global Mapping International Newsletter Fall/Winter 1996


Introducing the GMI Training Division

We are pleased to announce the creation of a Training Division within GMI in order to coordinate and promote the training dimension of our ministry. In the past we have done a variety of training activities but always in a rather haphazard manner. With the creation of a Training Division, headed by our staff missiologist Dr. Stan Nussbaum, we want to say loud and clear that we believe training is an increasingly important part of the service the Lord wants us to give.

Training fits as a strategic complement our other two main services, mapping and software product development. We may make many maps but we will never meet all the needs of all mission organizations and churches. However, we can train people to make maps and let them apply their skills in their various settings. We may develop and publish wonderful CDs but those CDs will gather dust if people are not efficiently trained to apply them to current needs.

As the Training Division takes shape, many things are on the drawing board. Perhaps the most innovative and most broadly attractive of these is the "Visiting Trainee Program," for which we are currently seeking 7-10 people or couples for periods of 2-4 weeks during 1997. The program is designed especially for people who live and work in the Two-Thirds World and who have a specific project they want to complete at GMI. We provide housing, office space, equipment and supervision; the trainee provides travel and salary. This and several other programs are explained on the new GMI Web site, from which the following extracts are taken:

  1. Planned seminars, workshops, etc., whether run by us or by others with us fitting in. This can mean anything from a 45-minute workshop at a convention to a full two-day seminar on the use of the 20:21 Library. Potential U.S. sites for 1997 are Dallas, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. Overseas trips are possible/probable to Korea, India, Mexico, Cyprus, England, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
  2. Site visits, consulting, making ourselves available (usually piggy-backed on a trip for #1 above). This usually is done as follow-up personal contacts with people and organizations who attend a seminar.
  3. Written materials such as users' guides, leaflets, articles, etc. Our most recent product was Mark Patterson's User's Guide for the African Proverbs CD.
  4. Contextualization training for theological educators. An experimental three-week "Contextualization Training Seminar" will be offered to two or three institutions in 1997 or 1998. The objective is to train faculty to set up small-scale field research as a class project in one of their current courses in order to affect the way that course will be taught from then on. The first one is set for Nairobi probably in October 1997.

All our training activities have a deliberate bias for the practical. We work best with people who have a certain project in mind, not with those who simply want a generic introduction to a computer skill or research skill. If you are interested in the Visiting Trainee Program or any of the others, please respond and we will assign a staff member to explore the possibilities with you. Where there's a will, there's a way. Our will is to serve your training needs.

From the President

With genuine excitement I received a letter a few months ago from Rev. Fergus Macdonald, Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

Lausanne has always warmed my heart. I studied their white papers back in grad school. Participated in their international researchers conferences in Europe. Presented at Lausanne II in Manila. Faithfully read World Evangelization magazine.

On the more personal side, I've had the privilege of being a friend to some in the leadership of Lausanne over the years. And I've watched with great interest Lausanne's approach to re-engineering itself in recent years.

So, I was both humbled and delighted to become more closedly linked with Lausanne, accepting an advisory role as Lausanne Senior Associate for Information Technology.

Lausanne sees itself today as "a movement for sharing and dissemination of information." At the recent International Committee meeting in Stuttgart, Lausanne leadership officially decided "to pursue electronic communication means as the future media for internal communication."

My desire is to assist Lausanne committees with whatever they need regarding information technology. For starters, that means getting Lausanne committee members connected via e-mail, setting up e-mail conferences for committees and special interest groups, and helping to expand Lausanne's World Wide Web site (

Michael G. O'Rear

Training Conferences

The Overseas Ministries Study Center will host a "how-to" workshop on "Researching Mission in the New Information Age" May 1-3, 1997, sponsored by GMI. For more information, contact: OMSC, 490 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511 USA. Tel: 203-624-6672 Fax: 203-865-2857 E-mail:

The 1997 International Conference on Computing and Missions (ICCM '97) is being planned for June 6-10 in Abilene, Texas. This conference annually draws over 100 people from mission agencies to learn more about current trends, solutions, and contacts in the field of information technology. For more information, contact: Tom Dolan Abilene Christian University ACU Station, Box 83871 Abilene, TX 79699 USA. Tel: 915-674-3706 E-mail: Web site:

GMI now has a Home Page Check out GMI's World Wide Web site. In an effort to increase access to mission information, GMI features a broad array of pointers to mission research and mapping resources on the Internet. Plans call for continuously expanding the site, and we welcome your ideas for what type of mission research information you'd like to see on the Net. Send your e-mail to:

Faces at GMI

Mark Patterson -- Electronic Communications Coordinator

Mark came to GMI in 1987 after working in the computer industry for several years. He provides training, documentation, testing, and technical support for GMI's products, while running GMI's Internet connection, maintaining our network of computers and handling hardware and software problems. Mark also has a special heart for Muslims and facilitates GMI's service to agencies that minister to Muslims. Mark and his wife Terry, who is a full-time mom to three young children, are active at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Colorado Springs.

Cherie Owen -- Administrative Assistant

Six months ago Cherie had never heard of GMI. Now, as administrative assistant to the president, she knows us inside and out! With degrees in Spanish and French, Cherie enhances our ability to serve our increasingly international clientele. Don, Cherie's husband of 29 years, recently retired from the Air Force, having lived in 25 locations with their family of five children. Now, they are back home in Colorado where Don is president of the Air Academy Federal Credit Union. They attend St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church.

New from GMI

African Proverbs CD

GMI is delighted to announce a new CD-ROM. African Proverbs: Collections, Studies, Bibliographies includes:

See the GMI Resource Catalog for more information.The African Proverbs CD is a result of the three-year African Proverbs Project, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

  • Mission Research on the Information SuperHighway
  • Introducing the GMI Training Division
  • From the President
  • Training Conferences
  • GMI now has a Home Page
  • Faces at GMI
  • New from GMI -- African Proverbs CD
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