Borquist Family Update
This Christmas/New Year holiday was extra special for our family. Not only were we able to be in the US with family and friends, but our daughter Elena and son in law Mark were with us as well. They just finished 2 years in Tonga with the Peace Corps, and were able to get jobs that will allow them to stay and work there. It was a short visit before they had to return to Tonga, but we all made the most of it. Asa continues on at Olympic College, and says he is enjoying his classes this winter quarter much more. A big change is coming for Asa and all of us this summer: Mom and Dad are preparing to return to Brazil, and he will stay in the US to continue his studies. Ann is the other new student in our household. She started a D.Min. program at Palmer Seminary in the Philadelphia area last summer with a focus on leadership and missional church renewal.
Here, there and everywhere
Bruce met Pastor Sue from Arkansas at the Central Region’s midwinter mission conference in January. He shared the story of the new thing God is doing in the Global South, and some practical mission mobilization tips for helping God’s people BE God’s mission in their world. After the conference Pr. Sue wrote:
Thank you so much for this information. I was so inspired by God's Story in your lives and those you serve and minister to in Brazil. I have just begun my ministry here in Arkansas and it will be a challenge for sure, but I wholly believe God will renew and restore those who seek Him and call unto Him.
I was inspired by your sharing on missions and the church's role in all that. I see a shift in the mindset of Christians on missions and seeing this as not only “here” but as you shared, missions is “here, there and everywhere.” I see this as a swing in the right direction and much more in line with the teachings of our Lord.
It is a challenge . . . to get most any age of Christian in America to find their passion again in living the life of a disciple of Christ. As I have studied and observed, I believe this passion must stem from a rekindled Love for Christ, and a renewed understanding of God our Father as Sovereign and Holy.
Mobilizing God’s people for mission
Our passion is to equip the whole people of God to participate in the whole mission of God in the whole world. This is not only for Brazil but for followers of Jesus in the US as well. For example, last month in Nebraska Bruce had the opportunity to lead a day-long workshop for pastors called “Global South Lessons for Global North Pastors.” We talked about the hard truth that many middle-class euro-american churches in the US are now irrelevant to their increasingly multicultural communities and to the new generations of unchurched seekers around them.
The reality is that American society is composed of scores of distinct subcultures, and this means that all of our attempts to communicate the gospel must be cross-cultural. This calls for a missional (going out) rather than an attractional (drawing them in) response - one based on the best practices of cross-cultural mission from around the world. Now that the “center of gravity” of the Christian faith is in the Global South, we have a lot to learn from our brothers and sisters in the “majority world.”
In the midst of all this change, there is one constant. The local church is still the mission center for the Kingdom of God. Only the local church mobilizes and trains people to be agents of God’s mission locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
This is what it means to BE the church. The involvement of cross-cultural missionaries in the church in North America is vital, because in today’s world those who are experts in the best practices of cross-cultural mission are essential to the renewal and growth of the local church in the Global North.