After six years of teaching Christian ethics and morality to public-school educators in the former Soviet Union, CoMission is going global with new programs in Africa and East Asia.
Under the new name of CoMission International, the coalition of eight missions agencies is launching literacy training and English as a second language classes at the invitation of local missionaries. "Literacy is a tool to get people reading the Bible," says Rex Johnson, a professor at Talbot School of Theology and a leader of CoMission International's work in Africa. Mozambique, one of the new ministry areas, has a 75 percent illiteracy rate.
Evangelism and discipleship continue to be goals of the partnership, says Alan Nagel, director of global resources for Campus Crusade for Christ and chair of CoMission International's leadership council. Language and literacy classes help build relationships and provide opportunities for Christian witness. "If that's the open door, great—we'll take it," he says.
The coalition has relied on a volunteer corps of lay leaders, many of them second-career adults, to commit to one-year terms of service. Since its inception in 1992, CoMission has deployed more than 5,000 lay missionaries.
CoMission was founded as a five-year partnership between 85 Protestant organizations to teach Christian ethics in public schools in Russia and neighboring countries. During that time, CoMission held 136 weeklong convocations where trained lay leaders presented the Jesus film and an ethics curriculum to more than 44,000 educators in 116 cities.1
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