North Africa / Warring States
South Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot (December 2017)
… 1.9 million internally displaced, 2 million in neighboring countries
… IS has killed 100 Christians in Egypt since 2016.
… 60% of the children outside the formal educational system
… often start work as garbage collectors at 7 or 8 years old
… ‘country is undergoing a marriage crisis’
… ‘divorce rates alarmingly high’
… ‘number of unmarried men soaring’: est. 50%
Western Africa / Lake Chad
… Counterfeit medicine kills over 100,000 per year.
… although some doubt the rehabilitation claim
Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa
… thousands of old, dirty vehicles; traffic jams that stretch for miles
… 8-lane Mombasa Road, permanently clogged, # of vehicles doubles every 6 years
… air pollution could kill 1.5 million within a generation
Middle Africa / Lakes
Foreign Affairs: Congo’s slide into chaos: how a state fails.
… The SW region of South Africa is gripped by a catastrophic water shortage.
… “Without severe rationing the taps will be turned off on April 22, 2018.”
Central Asia / Caucasus
… ‘competitive election… less affirmation of democracy than its last gasp’
The region is long known as being repressive for the church; these factors correlate
… repression likely not going to end any time soon, could get worse
Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf
… last remaining rebel-held territory
… Iran, underground rebels, reconstruction-transition link, more.
… Unclear impact on presence of US citizens in the region
Homeless in Gaza: longread
… ‘more than 60% under the age of 25… despair takes root…’
… it could all get very messy.
… allows Erdogan to rule by decree without parliamentary safeguards
… ‘regional chaos to continue with no end in sight’
Mosul, 6 months after IS was defeated: in pictures
Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto
Foreign Affairs: The Taliban: too weak for victory, too strong for defeat.
… and the south is paying the price
Nepal / Bhutan / Tibet
Maldives / Sri Lanka
Bengali / Bangladesh
… “nearly a million refugees have crossed … into SE Bangladesh…”
… ‘hijra’: male at birth, but identify as female
… ‘hijra culture is thousands of years old’
… ‘different code words, closed society, different from Western transgender’
… increased to 17.86 million; about half of increase, 2nd children
they Birth rates FELL in 2017, to 17.2 million; the increase was a one-off
… in fact ‘now has the lowest fertility rate in the world’
… less known: fertility rate already declining when 1-child came into force
… not that women were having too many children
… rather that too many women were having children at all.
… consequences of policy will play out over next several decades
Gender distribution: men outnumber women by 32.7 million
ChinaSource: The Linfen Church demolition
… what we know and don’t know.
ChinaSource: The Chinese church in missions
… reflections on the opportunity and challenges
… warns when targets stray from home or workplace
Diplomat: Japan’s North Korean diaspora
… at its peak, over 500,000 members.
… and will field a joint women’s ice-hockey team.
… say they fled religious persecution, here for 20 years, want case heard
… Aid agencies express concern about forcible repatriation.
Notable Europe / Americas
RAND: “Religion, conflict and stability in the former Soviet Union.” PDF (264pp).
… “Volume of essays… multidisciplinary, cross domain look at religion… how it affects stability…”
… nearly 1.2 million in 2016, 3% of all 44 million immigrants
… “no plans yet made about visa processing and passports…”
New global data
… “rules out high and rising inequality as a reason”
… “eat reason is erosion in middle-class income, growing dissatisfaction…”
Brookings: Foresight Africa. PDF, 118pp, free download.
… found only half of them to be completely accurate
… some of the most widely shared had very low credibility
… great interactive graphic from NYT for NASA data.
… (I keep track of these because many unreached locations are already climate stressed)
Longer reads & Resources
… easing visa restrictions might make cross-pollinating movements easier.
… A look at Polycentric missiology.
… to protect those persecuted for non-religion
Lifehacking, Tactics, Skills, Rules
… useful for mission workers in sensitive environments.
“Dormant ties: the value of reconnecting.” PDF: from 2011.
… here are the takeaways.
… I found the bits at the end to be applicable to any system, and important.
… there’s a lot of gold here.
Pioneer Mission Startups, Strategy
UPG Profiles, Travelogues, Stories
Traveling to Dali, Yunnan: the complete guide (plus photos)
… Do VPNs still work in China? Yes, clampdown is mostly on corporate use.
… caught spying on thousands of people
… one of dozens of spying operations around the world uncovered
… software still too expensive for the average driver to own
… generating power, removing CO2 from air at the same time
… don’t panic: take your time about applying patches.
… Buffer’s 200+ post experiment and results. TL;DR: “No.”
… lots of stuff in here about discovering who knows who
What happens when FB stops showing news, priorities friends/family posts?
… Joshua Benton: they people won’t bother to look for news elsewhere
… racism leads to self-censorship workarounds.
… a new paper on price manipulation.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” ~Peter F. Drucker
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” – Mark Twain
“Many great ideas, however, come from creative, strategic introverts who prepare thoroughly and think deeply.” ~Kyle G. Hanser
“The world is full of significance. Part of our spiritual work is to learn to recognize it.” ~Marilyn McEntyre
“If I am hungry, that is a material problem; if someone else is hungry, that is a spiritual problem.” ~Dr. Paul Farmer
“The last thing many believers need is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.” ~Rick Warren
“We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.” ~George Orwell
“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” ~Nolan Bushnell