<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12585839\x26blogName\x3dthe+old+SHLOG+(moved+to+shaungroves.c...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6606949357892583233', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

2/22/2006

WILKINSON LEAVES AFRICA: LESSONS ON MISSIONS AND LIFE

Given that Africa has often been a graveyard for missionaries, Bruce Wilkinson's sad and sudden departure probably shouldn't surprise us. In 2002, flush with celebrity, the Prayer of Jabez author determined to use his newfound wealth and influence to address Africa's tremendous social and spiritual problems. Eventually, his territory-enlarging vision narrowed to Swaziland, a tiny, impoverished kingdom abutting South Africa. Swaziland, with a population of 1.1 million people, has 70,000 orphans, mostly because of AIDS.

Wilkinson announced plans to start Dream for Africa (DFA), a $190 million project that would house 10,000 orphans on a 32,500-acre complex by the end of this year. The plan included a golf course, a dude ranch, abstinence training, and the planting of 500,000 small vegetable gardens. But facing hostile, misinformed accounts in the Swazi press and resistance from government officials, Wilkinson, 58, announced last fall he was leaving Africa and taking an early retirement from active ministry. The dream would continue, but in other hands and on a much smaller scale.

"Bruce was quite broken at this time," a source who requested anonymity told CT. "[DFA] had physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially taken a serious toll."

Like many missionaries, he burned out. Wilkinson, who admits that his Jabez-like prayer for the audacious project did not work, told The Wall Street Journal, "I'll put it down as one of the disappointments of my career."

And a disappointment to his followers. A Swazi pastor told the Journal, "I don't know how to handle this. People won't understand—to them Bruce is everything."

What went wrong? From a missions perspective, a lot...Read more here.

5 Comments:

Blogger Geppapa said...

interesting. didnt know that. africa is a different world.

2/22/2006  
Blogger NerdMom said...

One quote really worried me."And a disappointment to his followers. A Swazi pastor told the Journal, "I don't know how to handle this. People won't understand—to them Bruce is everything."
I know that it is hard for missions and churches to move on past the founders but we all have to make sure the focus is on God not a man. I have seen churches combust when a beloved pastor leaves. I love our pastors but if called them somewhere else our church wouldn't fall apart(I think:) because of the structure, leadership and focus they have helped our church grow with.

2/22/2006  
Blogger Lydia said...

I was bothered by the same quote. There is obviously something wrong missionally when the people think the person, instead of JESUS, is everything.

Speaking of Africa, thanks for informing Geron and I about the
INVISIBLE CHILDREN project. I pray that the Lord will show us what to do to help.

2/22/2006  
Blogger ks said...

This is the kind of thing Steve Saint (nate saint's son) talked about in his book the Great Omission.
But at least Bruce was doing something. I don't think a lot of us would even be willing to try something like that.

2/22/2006  
Blogger bobbie said...

from what i've been able to find was that he truly didn't understand the culture in which he was trying to minister.

he really thought taking these kids to 'disneyland' was going to make their day, when they really wanted to stay in their villages and have a sustainable life.

i think africa is a graveyard for missionaries who are exporting western christianity instead of trying to find cultural relevance and places to meet africans where they live.

just my 2 cents...

2/26/2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home