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A Global Mapping International Newsletter Summer/Fall 1998

The ABCs of American Culture

time is money graphic

"Time is money." Three simple words. One profound observation about American culture.

This and 233 other common American sayings are woven together in a 60-page booklet, The ABCs of American Culture, published this month by Global Mapping International. The booklet is GMI's first step into a multi-year project called Listen First, Speak Later, to promote cultural research as a pre-evangelistic approach to the world's least reached peoples.

Though America is not a "least reached" people group, the booklet on American culture serves as a prototype, showing how any culture can be described through a study of its proverbs. The process of writing a booklet like this about an unreached culture gives the pioneer evangelist a focused activity which involves lots of conversation with local people about their beliefs and values, yet does not immediately threaten them. The evangelist listens, learns and writes, earning the trust of the people to whom he or she wishes to speak. The resulting booklet makes an excellent resource for other evangelists, both as a piece of cultural education and as a tool for starting conversations with local people.

Booklets will vary in length, depending on the writer's skill, connections and available time. Some may be 20 pages rather than 60 (like the model booklet on America). Some may even be leaflets rather than booklets, but even here the booklet on American culture gives a guideline. It starts with a four-page overview of "The Ten Commandments of American Culture," ten of our most common and revealing proverbs. In a new culture, a four-page summary like this could be a sensible target for a first-time researcher. Of course it can be expanded gradually as additional insight is gained.

The next step in the Listen First, Speak Later project is a weekend seminar for people interested in experimenting with the method. Dr. Stan Nussbaum, GMI Mission Trainer and the author of the booklet, will lead this working seminar late this year in Colorado Springs. For announcements of the details including a registration form, check the GMI web site ( or contact GMI.

Though designed as an aid for foreigners including those learning English as a second language, The ABCs of American Culture may also help Americans in a couple of ways. Those working cross-culturally need better awareness of their own cultural baggage which may interfere a great deal with their ability to represent God. Those who stay at home need to reflect on their own culture and its relation to the gospel. As The Message paraphrases Romans 12:2, "Don't become so accustomed to your own culture that you fit into it without even thinking."

One thousand copies of the draft edition of the booklet have been printed for distribution to mission organizations and individuals interested in the evangelization of unreached groups. For a complimentary copy of the booklet while supplies last, contact GMI or use the GMI Order Form.

The Ten Commandments of
American Culture
1. You can't argue with success (Be a success).
2. Live and let live.
3. Time flies when you're having fun (Have lots of fun).
4. Shop till you drop.
5. Just do it.
6. No pain, no gain (Get tough).
7. Enough is enough (Stand up for your rights).
8. Time is money (Don't waste time).
9. Rules are made to be broken (Think for yourself).
10. God helps those who help themselves (Work hard).
(Click here to read more about The Ten Commandments of American Culture.)

Mike O'Rear

From the President

GMI's highest priority is serving evangelical ministry leaders in the Third World. From formal written board policy to the heart and soul of each staff member, that is clear. We live out our commitment in decisions of what products and services to develop and in how we market them.

So we were delighted when Overseas Council (Indianapolis) partnered with GMI recently to ensure that 85 seminaries, Bible institutes and mission training centers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe received a copy of GMI's 20:21 Library of Mission and Evangelism Resources on CD-ROM.

Now, up and coming evangelical leaders in Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, Venezuela, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe have immediate access to some of the best mission research resources in the World - right where they are.

That makes us glad.

Valerie Lim

Training That Works

This summer, during her visit to Global Mapping International, Valerie Lim, a mission researcher from Singapore, developed a set of ten color maps on South East Asia, introducing its geography, history, linguistic diversity, religions and economic growth areas (see page 7). The maps were specifically designed to help Christian leaders call attention to this region of the world that is not very well known, though in size and population (500 million) it is roughly equivalent to the entire continent of Europe.

Valerie initially came to GMI for three weeks last October under our Visiting Trainee program. With some assistance from her home church in Singapore (Hebron Bible Presbyterian Church), she was able to return this year as our guest during May, June and July. During her multi-faceted visit she developed expertise with the Global Ministry Mapping System, GMI's mapping software.

Training visits are often the beginning of an ongoing, loosely defined but mutually beneficial relationship. Valerie Lim's visit has opened exciting discussions with other mission leaders and the possibility of new partnerships in mission research. In the coming months, Valerie plans to collaborate with GMI and at least one international mission agency in preparing a series of map sets and other resources on unreached people groups in East Asia. GMI is seeking other "trainees" to empower for further service. Potential visiting trainees are those who have:

With a little training and coaching here at GMI, people like these will develop and deliver products and services in their home regions far more effectively than GMI ever could from Colorado. That is why we provide free office space, free training/consulting and (when we are able) free accommodation.

If a training visit of one to three weeks might help you with a current project, send us a note or check out the Visiting Trainee Program description on the Web at

Tim O.

Nigerian Students Called To Mission

Over 8000 students from 385 of Nigeria's 417 universities were challenged to cross-cultural mission at GOfest, a national student mission conference. The first such gathering in Nigeria since 1988, the event this May was planned and led by the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association.

Conference coordinator Timothy Olonade reported that a high point of the conference occurred when the crowd clustered into 200 groups, each group having a copy of GMI's wall map on the status of world evangelization. They cried out to God on behalf of the unreached peoples, including 119 ethnic groups in Nigeria alone. About 2500 commitments of various kinds were made at the conference, including 240 students who will seek to do their graduate degrees at universities in North Africa in order to share Christ there.

In addition to the wall maps, GMI provided over 2000 smaller maps to encourage prayer for unreached peoples. These can now be found in dormitory rooms and on mission organization bulletin boards all over Nigeria. Coordinator Olonade, who is also a leader of a Nigerian mission agency Calvary Ministries (or CAPRO), has just spent a week at GMI discussing future cooperation, learning our mapping software, assisting us with some desktop publishing work and educating us about the Nigerian mission scene.

Ted Limpic

Brazilian Christians Praying

In response to the 1997 Praying Through the Window III prayer initiative GMI produced a prayer map of the AD2000 Joshua Project "Unreached People Clusters." With the impact generated by the English version of the map, Ted Limpic of SEPAL, Brazil saw a terrific tool for mobilizing Brazilian pastors.

Together, GMI and SEPAL worked to produce 1000 copies of a Portuguese version of the Praying Through the Window wall map to stimulate prayer and awareness of unreached peoples among the emerging churches of Brazil. Please pray for Ted and his ministry in Brazil; Ted is currently in the U.S. fighting to overcome cancer and eager to return to his full-time field ministry.

African-American Community Discovers African Proverbs CD

First Peoples Institute, a department of Tutmose Family and Community Services in Colorado Springs, has taken over the North American distribution of the African Proverbs CD. Through the Institute's nation-wide connections with other African-American organizations of all kinds, Dr. Anthony Young and Baba Abiodun Afonja are making the CD known to universities, public libraries, churches, and other groups. At their suggestion the CD has been repackaged and re-titled, The Wisdom of African Proverbs. GMI, which still markets the CD to the mission community and through distributors in Africa, is delighted to see this partnership with Tutmose making a GMI product available to a new constituency.


Aimaq people map  

 Over the past few years you have heard the terms "unreached people," "hidden" people, and "lost" people. Each of these is used to refer to whole ethnic groups that are in some way out of contact with a relevant message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

They are not only clearly distant from the gospel, but they can be quite literally "lost" in remarkably remote areas of the world that are hard to locate. Global Mapping has taken a leading role in the effort to locate and record the present-day homelands of these lost and sometimes hidden people.

Nearly a decade ago GMI committed itself to a systematic mapping of language (or ethnolinguistic) groups. From country to country around the globe via missionaries on the field, thousands of ethnolinguistic groups have been mapped out. Today the result of that mapping project is the World Language Mapping System (WLMS). The WLMS is a global compilation of the finest computerized location information for people groups available for the task of world missions.

If you are in search of a specific unreached people group or need a way to graphically illustrate an "adopted" people group GMI can more than likely help you out. A host of mission ministries involved in the profiling of unreached peoples have used Global Mapping's WLMS to define the location of hundreds of people groups. In addition to distribution of the WLMS (packaged with a complete desktop mapping software and missions information), GMI also uses the mapping system for creating and printing customized maps for the missions community.

If you are interested in custom people group mapping services from GMI, here are some of the basics. GMI can design and print maps in black and white or color formats (we can also create image files or PowerPoint slides). We print anywhere from 8x11 inches up to 36x48 inches; however, the most common format for people group mapping remains 8x11 inches in black and white for reproducible reports or in color transparency for quick presentations. Pricing typically depends on the amount of customized detail included, but generally runs $20-$25 for an 8x11 inch completed project. If you have questions about these or other larger mapping-related services please send e-mail to: , write to GMI at the address on the back of this publication or call 1-719-531-3599.

Lampung map

London Tour Bus

Volunteer Opportunity in England

GMI does not normally advertise openings for work with other organizations, but the following opportunity with one of GMI's partners in England is so good that we had to let you know. This invitation is from Rev. John Hayden, director of the Evangelical Literature Trust. He visited us in July to discuss collaboration in electronic publishing for the benefit of overseas Bible institutes and seminaries. He writes:

Taking a Break

How about some mission work in England for the benefit of the developing world and Eastern Europe. The Evangelical Literature Trust UK supplies the theological and Bible colleges in the Developing world and Eastern European countries with books for library, staff and students. They also supply books to around 60,000 graduates who are now pastors. To do this ELT needs to keep its database on colleges, staff and graduates up to date from the many letters that come in to the office from well over 100 countries.

The challenge is to give your data entry skill and your time-ideally around 3 months-to work on the database.

The post is located at Bury St Edmunds, a county town 20 miles from Cambridge and 80 miles from London in some of England's best countryside. When it is time for a break from the computer screen, you could not be better placed to see the best of England. It is also easy to catch the train or ferry to other European countries.

Accommodation can be arranged in a local Christian home. This is an ideal opportunity for a single person who wants to achieve a great deal for the developing world, learn about such countries, as well as see the UK and Europe from the security of a good home base. If you want a glamourous short-term mission assignment, look for something else. If you want to serve in an effective role behind the scenes, let us hear from you.

Enquiries for more details to Rev. John Hayden, who will be your supervisor. E-mail: Fax: 011-44-1284-725910. Phone: 011-44-1284-754860 (7 hours ahead of Colorado).

South-East Asia Map

New South East Asia Maps

Now Available!

Want to help your church better understand Asia? Singaporean mission researcher Valerie Lim's heart for helping the church really see South East Asia shines through in this new set of ten full-color overhead transparencies from GMI. (See the article about Valerie above.) "Focus on South East Asia" introduces the region's geography, history, linguistic diversity, religions and economic growth areas to those who are not familiar with it. The set comes with an excellent Leader's Guide developed by Valerie to ensure you make the most of these great new mission graphics. See GMI's Resource Catalog for additional information and sample maps.

Field Research Training by E-mail

Nearly everyone with a year or two of cross-cultural ministry experience has at least one ministry concern that repeatedly bothers them. The Applied Research Training course developed by GMI's staff missiologist, Dr. Stan Nussbaum, trains people to transform these personal ministry problems or opportunities into manageable research projects that have practical results.

In a four-month process involving one or two e-mail exchanges per week, "Coach Nussbaum" takes trainees through the whole process of defining the problem, designing the research, doing it, writing it up, and working for change. Tuition for the course is $400 (discounts available in special cases). The training will next be offered starting in January 1999. If you are interested in being one of the five trainees in that group, send an e-mail to requesting an application form.

Faces at GMI
Bill Gerdes, Mapping Apprentice

God brings people to GMI in unusual ways, but Bill Gerdes' introduction to GMI may be the strangest one yet-it happened on a blind date! Bill had a degree in geography and communication from New Mexico State as well as a sense of calling to ministry since his high school days. When he told his date about his long-term dream of finding a way to apply his mapping skills to Christian ministry, she mentioned that she had heard of a Christian organization called Global Mapping International. He got in touch, came for a visit, and has now been approved for an initial two-year term as a Mapping Apprentice. His spiritual desire is to know God more deeply, not just to know about Him, and we trust this desire will blossom as he joins the GMI team. He continues working at a Land Surveyor's office in Tucson, Arizona, while raising the support he will need to serve at GMI.

Administrative Assistant

GMI is looking for an administrative assistant with a heart for missions. Is that you?
Call Laura at 719-531-3599 or e-mail Laura at

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