By Professor William Lawrence Svelmoe
“Cam” Townsend is rightly referred to as the visionary founding father of the summer time Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and the Wycliffe Bible Translators. This joint attempt is now the most important Protestant project association on the planet, a venture which has dramatically replaced the tradition of what was once referred to as religion missions. Townsend revolutionized Protestant missions through emphasizing that missionaries had to research the language of the folks to whom they have been despatched and to stay between them with the intention to comprehend their groups. His process under pressure education the missionaries in public overall healthiness, uncomplicated schooling, and agricultural talents. The tested good fortune of missionaries who Townsend’s plan ended in SIL/WBT impression within the higher societies within which the association was once current. Townsend used to be non-dogmatic in looking allies to pursue his targets, together with neighborhood political activities and gear constructions, lecturers, and different spiritual faiths, expanding the impact of his team to the purpose that SIL/WBT grew to become a significant component within the nationwide affairs of the nations during which they have been energetic, really in Latin America. The very luck of Townsend’s equipment ended in hassle together with his base within the usa. As conservative and evangelical monetary backers and potential missionaries observed the association and Townsend operating amicably with Roman Catholics, leftist political teams, and atheist and agnostic teachers, the SIL/WBT bumped into hassle at domestic.
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Faced with this yawning conceptual and linguistic gulf, Townsend panicked and hurriedly excused himself from the conversation. He decided to be more direct. ” but to this man on the street was an inquiry into whether he knew a Mr. Jesus, a common enough name in Latin America. The young man replied that he was a stranger in town, so unfortunately did not know where Mr. Jesus lived. This perfectly natural reply so confused and embarrassed Townsend that he gave You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press.
And when, as she walks across campus, the object of his affection lags behind her girlfriends, seemingly in a way that allows him to catch up to her, his worldview is confirmed and grows stronger. The impressions of our young man are ultimately validated, of course, only if the young woman turns out to return his affection. He is then able to look back at his earlier experience and confirm that his interpretation of events was indeed correct. Ultimately, evangelicals confirm God’s leading in the same manner.
He was especially impressed by the female missionaries; when he looked around there seemed to be more than twice as many women as men. He sat with his mouth open as one stalwart single lady told of traveling fifteen hundred miles a year on the back of a mule over trails kept treacherous by the constant rain. She told of being trapped under her fallen mule, of sleeping in a You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. S. Copyright law is illegal and injures the author and publisher.
A New Vision for Missions: William Cameron Townsend, The Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Culture of Early Evangelical Faith Missions, 1917-1945 (Religion and American Culture) by Professor William Lawrence Svelmoe