Headed to Africa: The 3rd Lausanne Congress in Cape Town

At 3:30 AM tomorrow, I’ll begin a 30+ hour journey that will end in Cape Town, South Africa, site of the 3rd Lausanne Congress.   I’m just one of rough 4,000 believers that will be gathering from more than 200 nations for “Cape Town 2010,” which Christianity Today recently predicted will be the most diverse gathering of Christians in history.

The goal of the organizers is to bring together “leaders from more than 200 countries to confront the critical issues of our time – other world faiths, poverty, HIV/AIDS, persecution, among others – as they relate to the future of the Church and world evangelization.”   The week they’ve planned is densely packed with presentations, worship, prayer and deliberation.  Meanwhile, Christians around the world will be able to participate online,as well as in-person at more than 600 “Global Link” sites worldwide.

I feel deeply privileged to get to be a small part of this moment.  I am thrilled by the thought of this chance to worship alongside, learn from and be challenged by brothers and sisters who share a passion for Christ, yet see the world from very different vantage points than I do.  I also desire to be a voice that reminds of the power and beauty seen when Christians’ are known both in the Church and beyond as a people who defend the fatherless.

But perhaps most of all, I anticipate the opportunity to see, physically, the Body of Christ visible in a way perhaps unmatched since the Church began:  believers from virtually every nation on earth, together, united in spirit and purpose.  It will be but a shadow of things to come, but a breathtaking shadow I believe it will be.