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This summer deputy managing editor Timothy C. Morgan made his fifth trip to the African continent. His first trip came 11 years ago, when he accompanied a group from Compassion International to Uganda. As a result of that trip, he wrote "The War Against AIDS," the cover story for CT's April 4, 1994, edition. "These trips to Africa have been life-changing," Tim says. "They have given me a whole other way to understand my Christian faith."

In July, Tim accompanied Saddleback Church's pastor Rick Warren and an entourage of large-church pastors to Rwanda, where the visionary Warren met with the country's president and other leaders to outline a bold plan for mobilizing local churches (American and African) to address the problems of poverty and disease in Africa.

But Tim almost didn't make it out of O'Hare Airport. He calls it "the traveler's worst nightmare." When he tried to check in for his flight, the agent told him he had no reservation. It took half an hour for the airline to figure out that the code on his British Airways receipt was faulty and that he did indeed have a reservation—on a later flight.

If Tim hadn't been able to travel that day, he might have missed a truly historic event. In the August 26 Wall Street Journal, Boston College sociologist Alan Wolfe wrote: "Historians are likely to pinpoint Mr. Warren's trip to Rwanda as the moment when conservative evangelical Protestantism made questions of social justice central to its concerns." Although evangelicals have been keen on social justice for some time, Wolfe may be right about Warren being a catalyst to bring evangelicals to a new level of concern for social justice.

Here is one reason Warren's audacious plan may blossom where others have faded. Warren and ...

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October 2005

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