One of the more discussed topics currently circulating the mission world is that of the ‘global north vs the global south’. With many referring to the global south now leading the way as to how missions are to be done, the question from those in the global north are what their responsibility heron forward should be.
Calisto Odede of Nairobi, Kenya, refers to the people of the south as the ‘people from the 11th hour’. Reading from Matthew 20, he acknowledge the great momentum people from the north gave in spreading the gospel amongst those in the south. However, although those who came early have been part of the mission movement much longer, their responsibility is not greater than those who arrived on the 11th hour. As those of the south start to take their responsibility within God’s mission movement, they are not to be seen as late comers, but us fellow workers who are to receive the same payment at the end.
Stories of great missionary legends such as David Livingstone are well known in mission circles around the world, which is great. But how many people know the names of ‘Chuma’ and ‘Susi’? The unknown heroes who carried his body for five month to the coast where it was then taken to Britain. We would not have known about the story if it wasn’t for these two men; people from the 11th hour.
The situation in the South is changing, very quickly. The question is not as much how the global north is to adapt, or what the south is about to do, but rather how we are to ensure the gospel is taken from everywhere to everywhere?