October 15th, 2009
Extracted from Darrow Miller’s Memoirs during his recent visit to teach in Peru.
I have been encouraged and gratified by the numbers of people who have come up to me to say that they have read Discipling Nations or have attended a conference, and about the impact that the school of thought has had on their lives. A pastor from the leading Alliance church in Ecuador told me that he had read the book ten years ago and that it changed his life and reshaped the focus of his church. I also met a businessman who said that he and his wife had attended the Nurturing the Nations workshop last year in Lima. Since then they have been team-teaching groups from the Nurturing the Nations materials. The wife teaches the materials to her students at a secular (perhaps a private) school. A graduate student in economics is using Discipling Nations as the foundation piece for a major paper that he is writing.
One woman, who first heard me speak at a YWAM base in Switzerland, said that Discipling Nations has been an anchor to reality for her own life and was part of what God used to bring her back to Peru to contribute to the building of her nation. She teaches at the university level here in Lima and the book is part of what shaped her being a professor who teaches from a biblical, rather than a humanistic paradigm. She has been writing and lecturing in the area of a biblical framework for politics and governance.
I had maintained a periodic correspondence with her for perhaps six years – since then she returned from Switzerland to Peru. Until I saw her in Peru yesterday, I could not put a face to her name and did not make the connection between the person that I met in Switzerland and the person who was writing to me. When we saw each other yesterday, with profound emotion, she shared how important my correspondence had been to her life. She said that both the fact that I would take the time to write to her in the midst of my busy schedule and the advice that I gave to her profoundly touched her. They were like a lifeline for her during some of her more difficult days in these last six years. They helped her to stay the course that the Lord has her on. My perception of the correspondence was that of routine and common courtesy of simply responding to a personal correspondence. This encounter has reminded me of the importance of personal correspondence as a means to coach, encourage, and walk with other younger leaders.
Another man came up to me at the Vision Conference. He is the leader of an organization that does evangelism and church planting among poor people in rural communities all over Peru. An American friend had given him a copy of Discipling Nations a year ago. He said that it had so blessed him and that it has refocused the ministry toward wholism and the planting of wholistic churches. He introduced me to one of the pastors he works with and said that his church is involved in helping the community have access to clean water, and that his church provides a meal each day for poor children in the community.
All of this reinforces in me the power of books and speaking. It reinforces my desire to continue to write and helps me see that there is a need for us to be more proactive in getting our materials translated and published where there is a felt need for them.
Read the rest of Darrow’s trip report to Peru in our News section on the DNA website.