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  • Writer's pictureFrom Every Nation (Chris Howles)

Mission Hits #50 (July 2023)

Welcome to Mission Hits, a monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world mission and world Christianity.

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Welcome to Mission Hits #50

Well….here we are with our 50th edition! I can't quite believe that we've made it this far and that so many people are subscribing and enjoying this little monthly blog . But this I know - I'm grateful to you all for your interest and support, and thankful to God for His kindness in sustaining this venture and using it to bless so many. All glory to Him!

Yet alas…. I couldn't quite make it to 50 without missing a deadline. As you may have spotted, there was no June edition. I tried, but keeping up is tough at times and I couldn't make it work. Hopefully that means this July edition is even more useful than normal! I certainly enjoyed putting it together.

A bit of personal news. Ros and I will be leaving Uganda at the end of August after 12 wonderful years here. We'll be in the UK from at least Sep-Dec 2023. I'll let you know our next steps as soon as possible - I know some of you are so kindly interested.

As always, if you know anyone who might find this a useful monthly resource to receive, then please do pass this on and encourage them to sign up. And please feel free to send me any suggestions or feedback (


Chris (Howles)

Head of Theology serving at Uganda Martyrs Seminary Namugongo.

Mission Partner: Crosslinks (UK)

Doctorate in Intercultural Theology (Fuller Theological Seminary)

p.s. Note there's no 'Online Events' section this time. There seems to be a lull in such things over the (northern hemisphere) summer. We'll see how things progress as we move into the Autumn.


ESSENTIALS (if you only have time for one...)

Essential for Missionaries

Jared Burwell writes for The Upstream Collective blog with some very short and helpful 'dos and don'ts' for mission partners communicating about their ministries with supporters back home. A 5-min read that could hugely benefit your relationships with sending churches and partners.

Essential for Church Leaders

Missionaries are not immune to doubts in their faith. In fact, they may actually be particularly vulnerable to it. Why is that, and what might helpful responses be? Obviously this is crucial for missionaries , but I put it in the church leaders section because these are issues that sending pastors might sensitively consider discussing with their sent-out gospel workers.

Essential for Mission Agency Workers

What are some of the trends and topics that might dominate the global missions discourse over the coming decade? Missio Nexus President Ted Esler shares his thoughts and asks some big, difficult questions. Mission agencies would do well to step back from their immediate and pressing issues in order to reflect on some of these.

Essential for Christians Partnering as Senders

"How should we minister in an increasingly urbanized world that embraces much of Western culture? As we prepare for a missionary encounter, here are some lessons I’ve learned from Newbigin and Keller." Short, clear, and crucial. Those who send are also themselves sent.


GENERAL (well worth your time)

An excellent blog post with practical advice on building relationships with immigrant shop/restaurant owners in your area. "By all means, keep praying for little-reached places like Afghanistan, Kurdistan or Mirpur but be ready for our prayers to be answered with us building relationships in small neighbourhood shops and cafés"

"As a post-Christian society advances in the States and beyond, we do well to listen to global contexts like Jakarta. They show us that the objections and challenges that seem self-evident and universal in the West are more contingent and contextualized than we immediately see…They encourage us to have confidence the cosmic gospel will continue to do its work all over the world."

This is ridiculously good and extremely challenging from Harvey Kwiyani (Global Connections, UK). "Given the global dynamics of our segregated existence, the challenge is whether we can actually all be guests at God’s table. This needs a great deal of self-emptying for all of us, a letting-go of our power and entitlement"


AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts & videos)

"In this first season, we explore the true story of Yang Xiaohui, the wife of a Chinese house church pastor who was taken from her children and put in prison. This is a story of her faith, of persecution, and of the power of God." I've not finished this first series (4 episodes) yet, but I'm really enjoying this so far.

Greg Gilbert, Bobby Jamieson, Ryan Robertson and Mack Stiles discuss how to think and teach biblically about 'the missionary call' and its role in sending/going in world mission. 30-min episode of 'Missions Talk' by 9Marks and Reaching & Teaching International.

"Is slowness a virtue in missions? Should short-term missions focus on evangelism outside the heart language? What is the right balance between relational and cold contact evangelism? Join the conversation as Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford navigate these questions and encourage listeners to approach discussions with other believers lovingly" This is fair and constructive on a potentially divisive topic. 50-min episode of 'The Missions Podcast'.


DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)

Alongside 'Mission Hits' you're currently reading, the other primary ministry of is to collate and distribute missions-related academic output. 'Mission Hits JOURNALS' is a quarterly email with links to all journals/periodicals related to world mission/World Christianity. Edition #10 covering Feb-May 2023 is here. If you haven't yet done so, sign up to stay informed, inspired, and thoroughly up-to-date!

Some interesting reflections on the changing demographics (i.e. getting older!) of frontier missiology, why this might be, and how to communicate more carefully with Gen Z etc.. "Instead of an urgency of responsibility perhaps we need an urgency of joy and love. Or we can speak of an apostolic calmness or a non-anxious resolve." Blog post by Warrick Farah.

Professor Emma Wild-Wood is an excellent scholar, author, and speaker. I've not yet had the chance to enjoy this, but I have no doubt it'll be worth it - her inaugural lecture as Professor of African Religions and World Christianity at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.


BOOKS (recent releases)

Links are to Amazon for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...

Robert Falconer

"There are many books about the cross of Christ, but few are written from an African perspective or with an African context in mind. Presenting a biblical perspective of the cross – one rooted in penal substitution and Christus Victor theology – Falconer demonstrates Christ’s power in all aspects of our lives, including over ancestors, evil spirits, witchcraft, and sin. This book provides a deeper understanding of contextual issues facing the African church."

Brad Layland

"How do we get off of the treadmill of crisis-driven fundraising to more sustainable ministry funding? [The author] transforms it into a relational process where donors truly become partners in ministry. Fundraising can become a life-giving, energizing experience of developing partners who fuel your ministry's vision to accomplish the work that God has given you to do."

Sadiri Joy Tira & Laurie Nichols (Editors)

"This collection of essays draws together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners as they pay loving tribute to Dr. Tetsunao (Ted) Yamamori, one of the great leaders of global mission and mentor to a generation. Touching on topics of hospitality, diaspora, entrepreneurship, poverty, theological education, Bible translation, collaboration, leadership, student ministry, the digital age, and church growth, this collection honors one of the great leaders of integral mission while exploring how the church must continue to grapple with the changing landscape of a changing world."


MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)

Missiological researcher Justin Long has done a fantastic job here at collating and presenting vast amounts of the most up to date data available on Christianity and mission in the world today.

"While the focus has been on translating Northern theology into languages of the South, there is a more urgent need for Christian scholarship in Southern languages to be translated into English, French, German, Italian, and other languages of the Global North." There's a quote, and an article, worth spending some time on…

This is a crucial topic, and we would do well do think about how it applies to short-term mission trips, missionary blogs/social media, and mission agency literature. "Before taking a photo of someone other than a good friend, ask yourself, 'What emotional response am I hoping to trigger?' Hoping for responses of pity and personal validation probably mean that the photo is exploiting the subject."


QUOTES (wise one-liners)

(1) "God involves us in his mission not because he needs us but because he loves us."

David Platt

(2) "It is our confidence in the sovereign grace of God that gives us any hope of success in missions."

Kevin DeYoung

(3) "Churches are where faithful missionaries are made."

Andy Johnson


GLOBAL INSIGHT (critical news & trends)

43% of the world's terrorism deaths are now in the Sahel region, a 2000% increase in the last 17 years.

At least 828 civilians have been killed in Sudan this past month. Stats can be hard to grasp, but when you read their stories, see their smiling faces, and understand the pointlessness of this power-hungry civil war, it's heart-breaking.

"UN refugee agency said there were an estimated 108 million people forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations by the end of last year…more effort is needed by the international community"


TWEETS (short but significant)


STATS (noteworthy numbers)

(1) A quarter of a billion people were acutely food-insecure and required urgent food assistance in 2022 SOURCE

(2) China has more skyscrapers than the rest of the world combined SOURCE

(3) Each day on average 86,000 babies are born a day in India (almost exactly one a second) compared with just 49,400 in China SOURCE


HIGHLIGHTS (Most popular from last month's Mission Hits…)


JUST FOR FUN (unrelated but interesting!)

A visual feast! What would your top be if you could eat any for dinner this evening?

Create the world's most unbreakable password. This short game is pretty absurd, but admittedly quite funny too. How far will you get?

I'm benefitting from using ChatGPT, but struggle to get much past that in the world of AI. This is a list of the world's most popular AI sites with descriptions of what they do.


Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1

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