Roundup 149

Don’t Miss

2/12, Next DMM Nugget Training: When going isn’t enough
Join us to hear first-hand stories from a movement that has led to hundreds of thousands of new disciples in a spiritually dark region. A Beyond field worker will share her personal story: after serving on the mission field for many years without seeing any fruit, she eventually realized that simply going to the lost was not enough. What helped her change her focus, and what were the results? Come find out!

New Blog Posts

What unreached is not – Link

New events

Egypt: “Paving the way for Sisi to be president for life” – okay, a bit of an exaggeration. Really, amendments to strengthen the power of the military and allow Sisi to stay in office longer than the normal 2-term maximum – Link

Libya: Over a million people depend on food aid – Link

More protests in Sudan, thousands on the street – Link

Nigeria: 60,000 displaced in north since November, due to conflict – Link

Central Africa Republic: Lots of people happy as government initials a peace deal with 14 armed groups aimed at ending 5 years of conflict – Link

UN flags the influence of mercenary groups active in Africa, undermining peace – Link

The pope went to the UAE, ‘tens of thousands’ attended the first papal mass – Link

In fact, while several countries in the Middle East are justifiably known as ‘anti-Christian,’ there’s quite a lot of Christians there (mostly expat workers). Here’s five things to know about religious freedom in the UAE – Link

Longread in mainstream press: “Life under ISIS led these Muslims to Christianity” – “If heaven is made for ISIS and their belief… I would choose hell…” – NBC News

Mosul, Iraq: “significant explosive hazard contamination” – landmines everywhere. Link

Yemen: ‘a million just a step away from famine’: food available but inaccessible – Link

Iran’s revolution turns 40, and there’s lots of bits about that –
Judge Mohammed Reza reflects on his memories of the revolution and life after – Link
From ‘rogue’ to ‘regular’: how Iran is not unique in many of the things it does – Link
Will Iran’s government fall? The system is incredibly resilient – Link
Analyzing 40 years of Iran’s economic performance – Link

Afghanistan peace negotiations: here’s a bit of a reality check on US discussions with the Taliban – Link

India court rules change of religion doesn’t alter tribal status – which could impact the number of low-caste conversions? – Link

China: It’s time for Lunar/Chinese New Year again!
3 billion trips in 40 days – Link
#Longread: “48 hours from home”: a more personal look at CNY travel – Link
Radii video: several CNY traditions that are changing in recent years – Link
A holiday in Xinjiang: what it’s like being a tourist in a police state – Diplomat
CNY “Year of the Pig” a big deal in Uighur areas: being forced to eat pork – SupChina

Expelled from China: “Missionaries say the Communist Country is kicking them out, one by one” – WNG

Myanmar: for Rohingya women in refugee camps, marriage is both an escape and a trap – Link

North Korea: Life for Christians under repression includes quiet Sunday hymns and prayers in the bathroom – Japan Times


Digital Trends 2019 Report from Hootsuite – 227-slides – Link

Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2019 Report: Democracy in Retreat – Link


If you haven’t read Andy Grove’s High Output Management (I haven’t yet), here it is summarized in compressed form – Link

Jen Pollock Michel. “Move over, sex and drugs. Ease is the new vice.” Apathy may be a bigger block to mission mobilization than fear is. Christianity Today

Barna study about US Millennial attitudes toward evangelism – Link
… 96%: ‘part of my faith means being a witness about Jesus’
… 47%: ‘it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith’
… Analysis of report: “young believers want others to know about Jesus; they just don’t want to speak up about it” – CT

Rise of the star-studded, Instagram-friendly evangelical church – Link

Ashley Mayer. “Four lessons after eleven years in Silicon Valley.” Medium.
… some good things here for mission workers to keep in mind, too, especially the middle two.

Mark Oxbrow. “Majority World Mission: a return to mission for the majority.” Lausanne.
… a very brief look. I would also note: we forget that most of the migration happening in the world today is inside countries, and also between the very poor and the somewhat less poor (e.g. there is far more migration to Mexico from other Latin American countries than from Mexico to the USA; etc). I’m at Beyond because we believe we need to send workers from the West, but we are only taking “1%” of the estimated needed missionaries. We believe it is just as important to help raise up the other 99% from the rest of the world.

Jennifer Brogdon. “6 lessons from the life of Gladys Alyward” mostly on humble persistent obedience. TGC

Daniel Egan. “How to lose by beating the (wrong) benchmark” – while this is written about financial issues, the broader lessons can be applied in a variety of contexts from self-improvement to mission strategy. Link

Speaking of benchmarks and measurement: The power of 1% better or 1% worse, daily, over a year – Link

M. Zaheer. “Why every organization needs a Head of Problems.” This link is for Jon Hirst, who can tell us how lots of mission orgs can benefit from it. Link

Nis Frome. “Predicting success” – friction is a good indicator of good decision-making. Not sure what I think about this, but it’s something to reflect on. Link

How to ask 4 questions about your to-do list and multiply your time – Link
… (1) eliminate, (2) automate, (3) delegate, (4) procrastinate

Future, Tech

The world is demographically transitioning to a four-generation society, where four generations are alive together at the same time (longer life spans, etc) – Link

TechCrunch reveals many popular smartphone apps are recording screens and user activity. Apple tells developers to stop doing so or else. – TechCrunch, Apple

A new Chrome extension will detect unsafe passwords? Link

India reportedly proposing laws to clamp down on Chinese social media apps – Link

Music streaming actually saved the big record labels – Link

More on China’s Social Credit System
The complicated truth about China’s social credit system – Wired
Video – China is building an all-seeing surveillance state – Washington Post
See also Mythbusting China’s social credit system (Nov 2018) – SupChina
China’s Orwelling Social Credit System isn’t real – Foreign Policy
New Year: millions on the move, and big data is watching – Link

2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record – Link
… 5 hottest years were the last five.

How scammers use ‘dotted’ Gmail accounts – Link
… this is one of the reasons I moved away from to I was getting tons of emails. (Not the only reason, but one of the sparks.)


“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

Reading More

New book I’m looking at: Iran Rising: the survival and future of the Islamic Republic – Link

Book review: Sociological Analysis and Theological Reflection on China’s Migrant Workers – ChinaSource

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