Glenn Davies describes Cape Town’s closing session.
Technology was a major feature of Cape Town 2010. Technology was employed to facilitate preparation for the Congress as well as to enhance the experience of the Congress for participants with prepared videos, impromptu videos and vox pops, highlighting the many facets of Congress.
Free wireless internet usage was available to participants, including access to on-line feedback forms and bar-coded name tags for easy electronic identification.
However, the technology was not just limited to those who came to Cape Town. Seven hundred GlobaLink sites across 95 countries have been relaying the platform addresses to audiences scattered across the globe.
Unfortunately there were a few hiccups with the internet and GlobaLink relays, which were difficult to identify and we were asked to pray for those investigating the problems.
Our prayers were answered by a volunteer steward, who happened to be a highly qualified IT problem solver. Within an hour he had identified the problem and within three hours he had fixed it.
However, once these matters were remedied and the internet systems were working well, we were told that there has been more internet traffic during Lausanne III than during the World Cup held in South Africa three months ago!
The Bible exposition from Ephesians 6:10–24 gave Ramez Atallah (Bible Society in Egypt) the opportunity to remind the participants that our war is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers. He cited the internet hacking as the work of the Evil One and the power of prayer as one of our weapons.
Although the exposition was not as strongly exegetical as other studies during the week, Atallah spoke passionately about our responsibility to put on the armour of God which contains the essential values, beliefs and resources that God has supplied.
He was complemented by his wife, Rebecca, who shared a story of the evangelisation and regeneration of the Mokattam Garbage Village in Cairo, where the poorest of the poor live in appalling conditions recycling garbage to eke out a living. Here a layman shared the gospel with his garbage man, who became a believer, and this began a chain reaction of gospel conversations with many nominal Christians becoming active in their faith, so much so that the Coptic Church decided to ordain the layman and establish a church building for them in their village.
The final closing session
It was a treat of music, dance, video and inspirational addresses! Lindsay Brown, the International Director of the Lausanne Movement gave a stirring address on 2 Corinthians 4:1–7 in the light of what we had heard and learned during the week, stressing integrity and privilege of preaching the glory of God through Christ, so that we do not lose heart.
Archbishop Henry Orombi presided over the gathering, but since he had lost his voice, Doug Birdsall, the Executive Chair of Lausanne, administered the sacrament—so effectively we had lay administration, but no one seemed to mind! The 250 voice choir and the 30 member orchestra lifted out spirits with songs of praise and adoration, which became a fitting closing ceremony for such a significant Congress, finishing as we began by singing ‘Crown him with many crowns’.
As we said our farewells, we recognised that we may never see again the members of our table groups and others we had met. We were reminded that some may lose their lives for the sake of Christ, as did one young man shortly after attending Lausanne II. While the joy of a heavenly reunion awaits us, there remains the challenge of finishing the task of reaching all people groups with the gospel of God’s grace with its offer of forgiveness and gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
It has been a rare privilege to gather with so many believers from so many countries and cultures, and diverse denominations, all united in our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. While one can always quibble over some elements of the Congress (and I have), my assessment is that it will be seen as another landmark in world missions for reigniting, re-energising and recommitting Evangelicals to the Great Commission in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Glenn Davies is the Chairman of EFAC Australia. His Cape Town blog can found at: www.sydneyanglicans.net/ministry/evangelism/lausanne_the_final_day/