April 2024

Have a comment on one of these posts? Email me.


Language Loss

“Of the world’s 7,000-odd languages, almost half are expected to disappear by the end of the 21st century,” writes the Economist.

If we measure the completion of the Great Commission by the number of ethnolinguistic groups left on the list - which is largely defined by language - then striking 3,500 groups from the list is one easy way to “jump” toward the finish line.

But it also brings to mind a striking question: is every language to be represented before the throne? What does that verse mean?

For example, if a language “dies” without any believers in it - has the Great Commission failed?

Obviously not - but then, what precisely does the verse mean, and what are we measuring?


Money Transfers

Fluctuations in challenges to money transfers between countries can significantly affect both access (getting in to, and sustaining access) to certain parts of the world, and evangelistic/disciple-making strategy selection.

Some of these challenges can include:

  • fluctuations in exchange rates that can reduce the value of money transferred in
  • transfer fees from banks and other services for international transfers, that eat away at what is sent
  • Compliance and regulation, for example with anti-money laundering laws and local regulations
  • the lack of local banking systems to transfer to or to store money in
  • some of these regions may have frozen assets or be under banking sanctions
  • some may not have sufficient local currency even available
  • fraud, corruption, monetary theft, fund misappropriation, etc
  • delays in processing transfers or gaining access to money on deposit in local areas.
  • when electronic transfers cannot be made, in-person transfers have to be effected, can be difficult
  • natural disasters and conflicts can introduce abrupt changes to what was moderately stable

One area that I have been particularly watching is increasing levels of anti-money laundering laws, for example between the US and certain countries in Western Asia. These sorts of things make it difficult to get money into the area, which means it’s likewise difficult to support workers in the area. If you see examples of this happening, especially with public articles about it, I’d love to see links - email justinlong@gmail.com.