How can I impart to you what I received at Lausanne II in Manila? One way is for you to come to the ALL CHURCH LEADERSHIP RETREAT September 8-9 and taste some of what I will share there. Another way would be to write down thoughts and impressions and aspirations that came to me while I was in Manila. So on the 24-hour trip from Manila to Atlanta on July 21 I wrote down 61 "Thoughts from Lausanne II in Manila." Shelley has typed these now and put copies of them in the public file of the church office for your access. I hope you will get them and read them. Here are a few excerpts from the 61:
26. Lunch with a Danish missionary behind the iron curtain: Just had lunch with a man who lives in Denmark and for 25 years has ministered to people behind the Iron Curtain. He has been arrested eleven times and once went four days without food and water. He came to a new commitment in that low time as God tested his primary allegiance. Again and again, as he brought his family and books and rose garden to the Lord as reasons to be freed when they had threatened him with fifteen years in Siberia, the Lord reminded him of Soviet Christians who have the last word in court after sentencing and say, “Christ suffered so much for me, it is a great privilege to suffer now for him.”
He deplored the easy, worldly Christianity in the West. He said he knew believers in China recently who thanked God for the new repression because a new revival and cleansing would probably follow.
30. Joni Eareckson Tada spoke concerning outreach to the handicapped. Her theology of suffering is bracing in its clear strength. “There are no accidents in a Christian's life.” She held up her braced arms and floppy fingers and said with a triumphant voice, “This is the prison where God set me free.” How is her paralysis a gift? 1) It chastises her for sin (1 Corinthians 11:29); 2) it drives her to God, makes her look to “things that are above” (Colossians 3:1-3); 3) it helps her empathize and console others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4); 4) it makes her trust in God (2 Corinthians 1:9); and 5) it helps her submit to God’s will (James 5:14).
We closed the session that night with “O, For a Thousand Tongues.” I opened my mouth with 3,000 others to sing the last verse and could not, as tears welled up at the sight and sound. The text says, “Hear him ye deaf, his praise ye dumb, your loosened tongues employ. Ye blind behold your Savior come and leap ye lame for joy.” As we began to sing, Joni, the lame, lifted her arms in praise with a glorious smile and Ken Medema, the blind, leading us from the piano, lifted his voice mightily as his eyes rolled mischievously in his head and his muscular neck strained in sinewy strength to the Lord.
19. “The message of Jesus is daily less palatable to the followers of Jesus as their prosperity increases."
44. "Far away is far away only if you don't go there."
47. “In America, the most important thing is that people have freedom. In restricted countries the most important thing is what people do with freedom."
48. "God almost never calls his people to a fair fight."
60. We ended with Leighton Ford calling us to “Proclaim Christ until he comes.” He asked three stirring questions as we take up the immense challenges of world evangelization and planting a church for each people by the year 2000: 1) Will we risk? 2) Will we last? 3) Will we burn?
Praying for a Spirit-given YES! to Him
whose whole life was YES to me!