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You may or may not be paying attention to what’s happening in Cape Town, South Africa at the 3rd Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism, even though event organizers have made it easier than ever to participate from afar. If you’re not one of the 4,000 leaders from 197 countries who was invited and able to attend, you can connect through a robust website which offers updates in multiple formats and languages, as well as through Facebook and Twitter. You can attend Town Gatherings all around the world this weekend (had I not had prior commitments in Orlando this weekend, I might be in Boston today with a group gathered there).
Most of the event-following I’ve done has been through social media — but not the official feeds of info so much as from friends who are there.
Bob Creson, Wycliffe USA’s president, is in Cape Town and Twittering and updating his Facebook status with occasional glimpses of the event. On the opening night of CapeTown2010, Bob quoted Lausanne executive chair, Doug Birdsall from his opening address:
“We pray that by the time there is a next Lausanne Congress, that the number of unreached people groups will be at zero.”
Since 1999, Wycliffe and our global partners in the Bible translation movements have been focused on this same general goal — ZERO. Our vision is to see Bible translated started in all remaining language communities who need it by 2025. That would mean the number of people without access to God’s Word in the language that serves them best would be ZERO.
The bottom line of this ZERO VISION is essentially that there would be, at the least, a clear Christian witness among every ethne in this generation. We are living at a point in history when this could happen. We are the generation to whom God is entrusting the stewardship of resources beyond most of our imagining — a global Church, filled with passion and equipped with the very Word of God, directed by the very Spirit of God — serving the last, the least and the lost in ways the generations before ours hardly could imagine.
I’m for ZERO. How ’bout you?
Bob Creson shared Birdsall’s statement and his own reflections in an interview with Mission Network News which speaks to this historic time.