Roundup 2/19

Probability of a major, disruptive earthquake in 2016
Probability of North Korean government continuing/falling in 2016
Potential futures of Somalia
Probable 2016 future of Syria: Stalemate of Death

Two most important things I have read this week:
NYT: Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and me. Link.
Kirk Bowman. TEDxPeachtree: The world doesn’t need another new non-profit. Link.

Current Events / Trendlines / Articles
Africa: drought may affect 49 million. Link.
Asia: Requiem for a river: the slow death of the Mekong. Link.
Life as a female refugee: ‘you don’t know who to trust.’ Link.
Afghanistan: who’s on the verge of defeat? ISIS? The government?
Afghanistan: Taliban controls the drug trade, becomes a cartel. Link.
China: The Golden Generation–why China’s super rich send their children abroad. Link.
China: how it became a country of suburbs (“Chinese Dream”=outskirts of major cities). Link.
Jordan: struggles under a wave of Syrian refugees. Link.
Mexico: 45% of Catholics regularly engage with traditional religious beliefs, practices. Link.
Nigeria: booming film industry redefines African life (‘Nollywood’). Link.
Saudi Arabia: young see cushy jobs vanish along with nation’s oil wealth. Link.
… oil used to be $100/barrel, now $30/barrel, equates to 60% drop in govt budget …
Syria: officer gave a view of war. ISIS came, and Silence Followed. A sad tale. Link.
Syria: why Russia and the West can’t win in Syria (a look at the religious dynamics). Link.
Uganda Election: social media (Facebook, Whatsapp) blocked. Prayers requested. Link.
Yemen: 21 million need aid, ‘human catastrophe’ unfolding. Link.

N Korea
South Korean leader warns of north’s collapse (if it persists in nuclear development). Link.
S Korea ambassador urges ‘extraordinary’ new sanctions on the North. Link.
China talks up prospect of N Korea sanctions that ‘bite.’ Link.
… mostly to avoid US deployment of THAAD missile defense system, unlikely they will actually do it …
CIA watching for Iranian nuclear collaboration with rogue states like N Korea. Link.
… if evidence of this were ever found, it could have significant repercussions …

Studies / Charts / Graphs / Reports / Statistics / Resources
Earth sets 9th straight monthly record for heat: global average 55.5, 1.1C above normal. Link.
Missiographic: 7 Stats you need to know to serve the King (2016 ed). Link.
Female genital mutilation: the numbers keep rising, up (at least) by 70 million. Link.
Does where you’re from affect your leadership style (globally)? Link.
Which cities have grown the most since 1955? Link.
Syrian Refugee Data: UN Inter-agency Information Sharing Portal. Dashboard, reports. Link.
Syria: quantifying carnage: how many people has Syria’s civil war killed? Charts. Link.

Long Reads / Mission Industry News
9 myths Christians believe about pain, suffering and evil. Link.
Martin Lee. As the Father sent me: mission is not an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. Link.
‘Generation Z’ described (uses Fourth Turning language for part), impacts recruitment. Link.
NYT: Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and me. Link.

Missional thinking / Lifehacking / Tactics / Individual Skills
Persons of Peace. (One view. In another, PoPs don’t always believe, but they do open doors.) Link.
Single missionaries and burnout. Link.
Building habits: how, and the long-term consequences. Link. Also: The Power of Habit, Duhigg.
10 things missionaries wished their churches new. Link.

Pioneer Mission Startups / Startup Thinking / Strategic Concepts
Kirk Bowman. TEDxPeachtree: The world doesn’t need another new non-profit. Link.
… instead of investing in ‘idea startups’ provide expansion capital for existing successes …
… instead of investing in ‘the next great idea’ invest in long-term relationships with effective leaders …
… instead of starting our own ripples, invest in existing ripples, and amplify them into waves …
Manifest Conference: Growth is a system, not a bag of tricks. Link.
… tons of applications here, especially around viral growth. Check out 20 minute video. …
… Growth is not tactical (tips+tricks). Growth is an organic model, a system, interlinking parts.
… Growth is about involving one batch of users to invite another batch of users, optimizing loop

UPG Profiles
Iran: the desolate, apocalyptic landscape of Lake Urmia. Link.
A teen rescued from Boko Haram captivity still pines for her militant husband. Link.
34 incredibly beautiful reasons to visit Iran. Link.

Futuristics / Tech
By 2020, more people will have mobile phones than electricity or sanitation. Link.
… and 75% of world’s mobile data traffic will be video …
2016 trends: video in business (slide show). Link.
Some Syrian refugees can now pay for food just by scanning their eyes. Link.
Military robots: lethal, but how dangerous? US DOD bans autonomous weapons until 2020s. Link.

“It is possible to be orthodox and irrelevant.” And we will be “if we exegete scripture and fail to exegete culture” ~Steve Moore

“The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of…skill.” ~Albert Einstein

“It takes more than clicking like for a good cause to change the world.” ~Michael Oh

“I’ve never seen a problem that was solved by only complaining about it.” ~Steve Keating

“Just because we’re being ‘obedient’ doesn’t mean we’re being ‘legalistic.’” ~Nathan Rittenhouse

“In the midst of change we often discover wings we never knew we had.” ~Ekaterina Walter

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” ~John F. Kennedy

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” ~Warren Buffett

“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.” ~Oprah

“Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work out for the rabbit.” ~R. E. Shay

Roundup 2/12

Probability of a major, disruptive earthquake in 2016
Probability of North Korean government continuing/falling in 2016
Potential futures of Somalia

Current Events / Trendlines / Articles
Algeria: after the Arab Spring–the good times could be over. Link.
Europe: the stunning acceleration of Europe’s migrant crisis, in one chart. Link.
Cambodia: Transformation: one country’s progress on child sex trafficking. Link.
Central African Republic: a forgotten crisis. UNHCR video. Link.
China: students, even those abroad, need more ‘patriotic education.’ Link.
China: 30,000 North Korean children are living in limbo in China. Link.
China: Chinese students are flooding U.S. Christian high schools. Link.
Iran:, new app w/info on locations of morality police patrols. Link.
Libya: the next front against the Islamic State, whose influence is spreading. Link.
Turkey: the consequences of not talking to neighbors. Link.
USA: Why Brooklyn Park, MN is the new face of suburbia (demographic trends, poverty). Link.
USA: Swiping leads to spike in online dating for young adults. Link.
… will impact how young people in the church find others …

North Korea
The January nuclear test and last week’s long range ballistic missile launch have severe consequences.
North Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor. Link.
The US is consulting with Korea about deploying a THAAD missile defense system.
… China has opposed this in the past, but the current situation seems to require new measures.
South Korea has closed the Kaesong Industrial Complex where North Koreans worked. Link.
… A first, will deny hard currency to the North, represents serious and significant pressure
This is a period of severe tension, and North Korean leaders may respond aggressively
There is a much higher chance of accidents, provocations, and threats
N Korea: Generals could turn against Kim Jong Un. Link.
… as he makes a habit of killing off his most senior military leaders. …
N Korea: North Korea’s next Dare: what is coming, what to do about it. Link.

470,000 dead (11% of population), 1.9 mln wounded, dropping life expectancy. Link.
… and 45% of the population displaced …
Russia: 3 scenarios: successful peace agreement, Syrian military victory, or regional war. Link.
Aleppo: “There is no hope”: residents say world has abandoned them. Link.
14 hard truths. Link.
Drone footage captures the full, horrific extent of Syria’s destruction. Link.
Lost Generation: 79% of Syrian children have death in the family, 60% witnessed violence. Link.
“The death of the most generous nation on Earth”: Sweden, taking in too many? Link.

Some examples of things that churches can do, contributed by Facebook friends:
(These are examples. More examples can be contributed at Facebook or in comments.)
Baby showers, transportation, help completing forms, English classes, citizenship, technology, driving
Toronto has a list of local groups helping refugees; maybe other cities do too. Link.
AURA is a Canadian charity helping sponsor, resettle refugees. Link.
Matthew House is a community of homes welcoming and assisting refugees in Canada. Link. – DVDs of the JESUS Film for distribution among immigrants. Link.
Heart For Lebanon – working with refugee families in Lebanon. Link.
Fellowship Missionary Ch (Ft. Wayne, IN) Christmas offering for Syrian refugees. Video. Link.
Baptist Global Relief providing relief in refugee camps in Greece. Link.
Christian Peacemaker Teams in Europe. Link.
Samaritan’s Purse teams meeting refugees arriving in Lesbos, Greece. Video. Link.
Charities – UNHCR. CharityWatch Recommended List.

Studies / Charts / Graphs / Reports / Statistics / Resources
Biggest missionary receivers: US #1, Brazil, Russia, DRCongo. Link.
Hunger Map 2015: 795 million people in the world go to bed hungry every night. Link.
Yeshu Bhakti: challenge Hindu friends to pray only to Jesus for 10 days. Link.
New Scientist: Belief in a moralistic god makes you more likely to help distant strangers. Link.
Algeria: a call to prayer (and profile). Link.
City prayer guides for Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, London, Shanghai. Link.
US intelligence chief on 2016’s biggest global threats. Link.
Free Download from Upstream: The Sending Process (vetting candidates). Link.

Long Reads / Mission Industry News
Joey Shaw. 5 common myths about the Great Commission. Link.
Jeff Fountain. How to pray for local governments. Link.
Daniel Im: embracing bivocationalism as a missiological strategy. Link.

Missional thinking / Mission hacking / Tactics / Skills
Introverts for Jesus: surviving the extrovert mission field. Link.
… introverts have unique talents of going deep with individuals: discipling…
Testimony from the Pew: how regular people can minister to internationals. Link.
Crossing Cultures with Ruth: lessons on thriving in mission. Nelson & Wade. Link.
Mobilizing smaller churches: a case study. Link.

Pioneer Mission Startups / Startup Thinking / Work / Lifehacking
How each MBTI type reacts to stress (and how to help). Link.

UPG Profiles
Istanbul: combo of religion, culture and practicality gives cats prime status. Link.
Kuchi nomads: struggling & stateless in war-torn lands. RFE Video. Link.
City of Thorns: nine lives in the world’s largest refugee camp. Link.
Life inside an Afghan psychiatric hospital, in pictures. Link.
The changing face of Saudi women. Link.
Surrounded by diamonds, villagers go hungry in drought-hit Zimbabwe. Link.

Futuristics / Tech
Google’s self-driving car software considered a driver by NHTSA. Link.
Over 800 million people use Facebook Messenger each month. Link.
Whatsapp: 1 billion monthly active users, 42bln messages/daily. Link.


“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.” ~CS Lewis

“Every step in the progress of the Great Commission is directly traceable to prayer.” ~A. T. Pierson

“I am not yet reaping; I am not yet sowing; I can hardly be said to be plowing, but I am gathering the stones from the field.” ~Robert Bruce, missionary to Persia in 1869 (one of today’s fastest growing churches)

The ‘persecution’ narrative doesn’t do justice to the intricate and multi-faceted reality of most Christians in China today. ~@BrentSFulton

“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” ~George MacDonald

“The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.” ~Eric Hoffer

“If your vision doesn’t solve a problem, it will die on arrival.” ~Will Mancini

If you say: I believed in God, I trusted God, and He didn’t come through-You only trusted God to meet your agenda. ~Timothy Keller

“Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.” ~Adrian Rogers

The secret to success is doing the stuff other people won’t do & doing it for a really long time. ~John Jantsch