The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Puppet Evangelism Targets Impoverished Children

February 18, 2005 3:19pm

Missionary George Verwer is blowing into a ball of opportunities. Holding the globe in his hand, he points to regions he calls a mission field.

''We need to understand the crisis going on in Africa right now.''

Verwer is the founder of the international mission agency, Operation Globalization. He is also the keynote speaker at this mission conference, drawing more than a thousand Christians from all over Central Illinois.

Verwer said, ''I saw a lot of people trying to meet needs of America. Majority of Americans mainly doing what needed to be done in America and I wanted to bring balance so I headed for Mexico, Spain and India. I believe we need to preach the word.''

Verwer challenges local pastors to pray for missions abroad.

''I just walked through the slum in Kenya, one million people. We hardly have that in the U.S.. Again we can see what's next door and that takes our heart but also need to be conscious of situations more difficult.''

Mission work comes in all different forms. Puppet ministry is one medium for missionaries to reach out.

Glenda Finn of From the Heart Puppetry said, ''We don't' know what's going to touch people's hearts and maybe what one of these silly puppets say or just to watch them interact.''

An exhibit of different mission organizations and educational tools reinforce lessons learned from workshops throughout the day.

Liz Gonde said, ''I think I'll be able to go into my class Sunday morning with a renewed enthusiasm about sharing God's word.''

Anna Morris said, ''I can affect the outreach of missions, in any country I wish to pray for, which is really exciting.''


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