48 Hours and Counting in Cape Town

After four years, with total hours that equal a “man-year” of my own work, it seems strange to be in Cape Town with the third Lausanne Congress only a few days away. Everyone feels that we have done all we can to build a gigantic wood pile. It’s all in place, waiting for God to light the fire.

None of us knows how it will impact the global church, but it’s been called the most broadly representative group of Christian leaders ever assembled in one place. Four thousand people from nearly 200 countries. Most from the global south. Some of the best minds and the most courageous practitioners in world evangelization.

Only a few dozen of us are here so far. But this morning I had probably my last relaxed conversation with the Chairman, Doug Birdsall, until the Congress is over. Hundreds will arrive tonight and tomorrow. Thousands more the next two days. The work will ramp up quickly.

Please pray that all goes well as nearly 5,000 people, including all the volunteers and staff, fly in from all over the world. Pray especially for the Chinese delegation. It appears that the 250 carefully chosen leaders might all be prevented from leaving their country. That happened in the 1989 second Lausanne Congress. It would be a shame if it happened again.

Steve Woodworth