The Mk As Prototype?

More than 500 delegates attended the second International Conference on Missionary Kids (MK’S), held recently in Quito, Ecuador. The emotional and social problems of children raised in foreign cultures have become major considerations for current and prospective missionaries.

“We still need to find that balance between ‘ministry at any cost’ and dropping ministry because of its impact on MK’S,” said Dave Pollock, chairman of the conference, which was sponsored by HCJB Radio and the Alliance Academy, a school for missionary children in Quito. Several speakers testified to the painful emotions they experienced as a result of growing up on the mission field. The problems include separation from family members and the continual shifting between two cultures.

However, Ted Ward, dean of international studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Ill.), talked about the advantages of growing up overseas. Ward, who has lived in 42 countries, said missionary children have the benefit of having the worldwide Christian community as their “third culture.” Stating that Christian internationalism is a growing trend, Ward said, “The MK of the ’90s will be the prototype of the Christian of the twenty-first century.”


If Dialogue Fails

Cardinal Jaime Sin, the leading spokesman of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, said recently that he would support an all-out war on “hard-core Communists” should current peace talks between Communist rebels and the government of President Corazon Aquino break down.

The influential archbishop of Manila, speaking before a lay women’s organization, said, “Cory [President Aquino] is right when she said we would have to prepare the armed forces for a full battle” if Communists refuse to lay down their arms.


Christian Continent?

Much is often said about the phenomenal growth of Christianity in Africa. Some have claimed Africa will be a Christian continent by the turn of the decade.

However, a study by David Maranz, a director of field programs for the Summer Institute of Linguistics in several countries, observes that Islam is also growing in Africa, and that Christians and Muslims have enjoyed little success in converting each other.

Writing in the Evangelical Missions Information Service newsletter Pulse, Maranz acknowledges that “Christianity is indeed growing rapidly in parts of Africa, particularly central and southern Africa.” But he adds, “Christianity in West Africa and parts of East Africa has grown far less spectacularly.” Maranz notes that Ghana is the lone West African nation with a Christian majority.

He continues, “In northern Africa, where Muslim influence is especially strong, Christianity is at a standstill, and in some cases has experienced negative growth.”

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, 45.4 percent of Africa’s population are Christian, and 41.5 percent are Muslim.


Women’S Ordination

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland could begin ordaining women as pastors next year if a constitutional amendment passed by the church assembly gains the approval of Finland’s Parliament.

After considering the issue for 30 years, the church assembly approved the ordination amendment with the required 75 percent majority vote. The measure would allow parishes not to accept pastors in whom they lack confidence. And opponents of women’s ordination were assured freedom to function in the church. If the nation’s Parliament approves the measure, more than 100 women are expected to apply for ordination.


Protestants In Poland?

A Protestant society has been founded in the predominantly Catholic nation of Poland. According to Lutheran World Information, the new society’s purposes are “to secure the foundations of religious tolerance and pluralism of faith, to broaden moral principles, to lead cultural and social activities, to combat social ills, and to organize educational programs among Protestant youth.”

Meeting in Warsaw, assembly participants elected an executive committee, with Lutheran theologian Karol Karski as chairperson. The new organization unites more than 50 people from the country’s Reformed, Methodist, and Evangelical-Augsburg churches.


The Children Of The World

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that the deaths of 10,000 children every day of last year could have been prevented through immunization. That number is down from 14,000 in 1980. UNICEF hopes to reduce it to under 1,000 by the end of the decade.

The African continent presents the biggest challenge to UNICEF’S goal of universal child immunization. Currently the focus is on Senegal. This African nation is working toward total child immunization by April 7, 1988, which has been designated World Health Day.

UNICEF estimates that 280,000 children under the age of five die each week from malnutrition and disease.

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